Your Guide to Summer Drinks for Toddlers

With the summer holidays approaching, you may find yourself eating out with your toddler more than usual, where they may be tempted by a variety of drinks they may not have seen before. But what’s suitable and what should be avoided? Keep on reading for our guide to sweet drinks for toddlers, so you can plan appropriate drink options for warm sunny days!

Should toddlers drink sweet drinks?

All sweet drinks can cause tooth decay – even those which are made of fruit! All of them can damage teeth because of the sugar and how acidic they are, which breaks down your child’s the tooth enamel. So, it’s best to avoid giving your toddler any sweet drinks, but if they are given occasionally, make sure that they are very diluted and served in a cup, not a bottle, and kept to meal times – stick just to milk and water in between! Read more in our guide to sweet drinks for toddlers below, for everything explained!

What’s the difference between different sweet drinks?

  • Fruit juices are high in sugar and are acidic, both of which can damage teeth. They aren’t an essential part of a toddler’s diet – a toddler can consume enough vitamin C by eating fruit, vegetables or potatoes. Any fruit juice given to toddlers needs to be well diluted– try one-part juice to about six to ten parts water
  • Fruit smoothies are also very high in sugar and calories and are acidic. They can be an alternative to a sugar-containing pudding but it is better to have your toddler eating fresh fruit rather than drinking smoothies About 100-120ml or 3-4oz would be a good serving
  • Squashes are usually artificially flavoured and sweetened with sugar and/or sweeteners. Although you may not suspect, like fruit juices, they are also acidic and can damage the teeth
  • Flavoured milks and yogurt drinks do have added sugar but are slightly less damaging to teeth than other sweet drinks, because they contain calcium in the milk, which helps protect teeth against decay!
  • Fizzy sweet drinks are sweetened with either sugar and/or sweeteners. These can be very acidic, causing damage to teeth
  • Diet drinks, zero calorie drinks and no added sugar drinks – while these don’t contain sugar, (instead sweeteners are usually used), they are still acidic, which can be just as bad for teeth as other sweet drinks!
  • Tea and coffee – both contain caffeine and neither should be given to young children! Although tea may seem harmless, it actually contains tannins which then reduces your toddler’s crucial absorption of iron. So be sure to avoid tea at mealtimes
  • Herbal teas can be given to toddlers but be sure to limit them like other sweet drinks if they’ve been sweetened with sugar or honey!

Found our guide to sweet drinks for toddlers useful? Find out more here, and be sure to share with your friends and family!

Further Reading

  • Halloween is one of the most exciting activities to celebrate for toddlers! The anticipation of dressing up in their favourite costumes and going trick or treating can be a thrilling experience, however as a parent it can be difficult to find the balance for your toddler between joining in the fun and maintaining a healthy diet. This Halloween we wanted to provide healthy, easy to make snacks that will help avoid a sugar overload while maintaining a festive atmosphere that your toddler will love! Each snack has been created for little tummies to enjoy.

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  • September means the end of the summer holidays and a return to nursery or preschool. If you send your toddler in with a lunchbox, making sure that this is varied and balanced can feel like a challenge. Our Guide to Toddler Lunchboxes is here to help, with our top tips and suggestions. Continue reading

  • Mealtimes for many parents or carers can be a stressful part of the day. But please do not lose hope! The Infant & Toddler Forum is here to guide you through some of the ‘Dos and Don’ts’ with our top tips for a happy mealtime for you and your toddler!

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