When it comes to your child’s diet, it isn’t just about the food your child eats, drinks matter too. Here’s how to encourage some healthy drinking habits.
WORDS NURULHUDA SUHAIMI
A Positive Example
Be a role model for your child, Kellie Kong, dietitian, Nutrition and Dietetics Department, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital advises. As parents, you should be a positive example for your little one to model his behaviour on. “Choose water as the first choice of beverage at home and when eating out,” says Kong.
Keep sodas or other sweet drinks in a location where your child will
not find them, or better yet, don’t buy any of these drinks altogether.
If the rest of the family practices healthy drinking habits, your child will
more likely develop the same habits too.
Avoid the Sugary Stuff
Avoid offering your child sweet-tasting beverages every day, recommends Meave Graham, registered dietitian, formerly of Child Nutrition Singapore, as this can cause your child to develop a sweet tooth. This will then make it harder for you to break your child’s unhealthy drinking habits later on.
Keep a small pitcher of water on the kitchen counter or in the refrigerator so that your child can get a cup of water by himself whenever he wants.
A Fruity Taste
“Offer unsweetened flavoured beverages such as water infused with citrus fruit or mint, or unsweetened barley water,” recommends Kong for children who have a lower preference for water.
Dilute, Dilute, Dilute
“Dilute sweetened beverages with water and reduce the sweetness gradually over time” if your child can’t get used to the change from drinking sweetened beverages to water, says Kong. This allows your child time to become accustomed to non-sweetened drinks.