If you want to optimize your children’s bone health, height and growth rate, you may know that diet plays an important role. But it’s not just about what they eat. The drinks kids consume can have a direct impact on their physical development and lifeline bone health.
These are the best and worst drinks kids can have for their bone health.
Best Drinks for Kids’ Bone Health
These healthy drinks are great to include in your child’s diet to support normal growth and development:
1. Cow’s Milk
It might come as no surprise that good old-fashioned cow’s milk is a great beverage choice for kids. One cup of 1% milk contains 30% of the daily recommended intake of calcium, a nutrient essential for healthy bone formation and strength. Fortified is also a good source of vitamin D, which plays a role in helping the body absorb calcium from food. If your child doesn’t like drinking plain milk, try serving them yogurt or making a fruit smoothie with milk.
2. Fortified Non-Dairy Milk
If your child has a dairy intolerance or allergy, fortified non-dairy milk is a good substitute to cow’s milk. However, it’s important to choose unsweetened dairy-free milk. In particular, soy milk is the best option to replace cow’s milk. Not only does it have a similarly thick and creamy texture that kids love, but it’s also a good source of protein and calcium. One cup of organic unsweetened soy milk has 29% of the daily recommended value of calcium and 7 grams of protein. It also contains 9% of the daily recommended intake of magnesium, which also plays a role in healthy bone growth and metabolic functioning.
Hydration is essential for nearly every biological process. While kids don’t need to drink as much water as adults, 9-year-olds and older should have at least 8 ounces of water a day. Under 9, kids should consume as many glasses of water as their age. For example, two-year-olds should have two glasses of water, three-year-olds should have three, and so on.1
Worst Drinks for Kids’ Bone Health
Now for the not-so-good drinks that kids should avoid for their bone and muscular health.
1. Sports’ Drinks
Even if your child is highly active, she should not consume sports drinks. Studies show that electrolyte drinks pose health risks for children, including obesity.2 These drinks are high in simple carbohydrates in the form of sugar. A high-sugar diet is tied to weight gain and chronic diseases later in life, including diabetes. The best way to help your child rehydrate after a soccer game or swim practice is with plain water.
2. Energy Drinks
Highly caffeinated drinks like energy drinks, coffee, and even tea, can be harmful to kids’ health. Consuming caffeine can stunt bone and muscle growth in children under twelve, one systematic review study found.3
Studies link soda consumption to obesity, diabetes and heart disease in kids and adults. Not to mention, high-sugar drinks can decay teeth and increase the risk of cavities, especially in kids. In addition, many sodas contain caffeine and sugar that can create unhealthy blood glucose spikes, crashes, and cravings for more sugar. Keeping glucose stable by avoiding high-sugar meals is important to avoid long-term health risks like heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
It’s hard to impossible to make sure that your child has a well-balanced diet with all of the nutrients they need and none of the junk they don’t. And if you’re struggling to make sure that your children eat for optimal bone health, a supplement can help.
Our Bone Science Supplement is specifically designed to support bone development in kids. Read more about how our 100% natural blend of vitamins, minerals and proteins can make the difference in how your child develops.
1 How much water should kids drink? Children's Health Orange County. (2021, April 8). Retrieved November 12, 2021, from https://www.choc.org/programs-services/urology/how-much-water-should-my-child-drink/.
2 Pound CM, Blair B; Canadian Paediatric Society, Nutrition and Gastroenterology Committee, Ottawa, Ontario. Energy and sports drinks in children and adolescents. Paediatr Child Health. 2017;22(7):406-410. doi:10.1093/pch/pxx132
3 Torres-Ugalde YC, Romero-Palencia A, Román-Gutiérrez AD, Ojeda-Ramírez D, Guzmán-Saldaña RME. Caffeine Consumption in Children: Innocuous or Deleterious? A Systematic Review. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(7):2489. Published 2020 Apr 5. doi:10.3390/ijerph17072489