Kids' drinks can cause cavities

Published On: Nov 19 2012 08:10:16 AM PST   Updated On: Dec 03 2012 09:03:47 AM PST

By Pure Matters

Over the past three decades, children started drinking more carbonated soft drinks and non-citrus food drinks and less water and milk. Here are some disturbing facts about soft drinks.

What should be the drink of champions among kids? Water or milk. To add more pizzazz to plain water, buy low-calorie favored water or make your own with lemon or lime. Steer your kids toward skim or 1-percent milk. Preschools need three cups of milk every day. In addition to calcium, fortified milk is a great source of protein, and vitamins A and D. Stick with pure citrus juice (orange and grapefruit, calcium fortified but without added sugar). It contains high amounts of vitamin C. Although many children love apple juice, it is high in natural sugar and excessive amounts may cause diarrhea. Limit the amount or dilute it with water.

An 8-ounce serving of apple juice contains about 120 calories. Other juices rank even higher: grape juice (155 calories), cranberry juice (145) and pineapple (140). Orange juice has 109 calories per 8 ounces.

Calories aren't the only problem. Dentists say too many sugary drinks of any kind can cause cavities. Most of these drinks do not contain calcium, either, which is important for building strong bones and teeth.

How much your child should drink depends on climate and season. When it's hot, kids need more fluids because they lose more perspiring and breathing; they may need a drink even if they're not thirsty. Experts recommend they get the daily equivalent of six to eight 8-ounce cups of fluids, especially water -- more if they're out in the heat.