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Best drink for toddler?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
what's the best drink for toddlers (yeah, besides people milk)
Cow milk, soy milk, water, juice? Organic cow milk? (oh, and we're in Canada. IIrc, they aren't allowed to use hormones in milking cows here, if that makes any difference).
I'm trying to avoid cow milk for ethical reasons, but I don't do a very good job of it. So it wouldn't be a big deal to start buying cow milk instead of soy milk. I don't really feel very good about ds drinking much soy milk (at this point, he only has it on cereal).
And please please don't flame me for asking this...where does chocolate milk fit in there? Is it totally awful? Is it ok once in a while? Is it better (less bad) than juice?

Ds drinks less than 3 oz of liquids (other than breastmilk) a day. (I do hope to start nursing him less- he nurses at LEAST 6-7 full nursings a day. He's 2.75)

He pretty much refuses to drink anything but juice (watered down half). Since he has cavities, I limited juice to mealtimes only. But now he just waits until mealtimes to drink something. He mostly refuses to drink water. He did drink a tiny bit when I put some xylitol in it, but hasn't accepted it again.

So...what do I do? I know juice isn't the best thing. But how do I limit it? Just not buy it and not let him have any at all? Should I offer milk instead? or just try to go straight to water?
post #2 of 16
Water IMO....Kids will drink it if they are thirsty enough....
post #3 of 16
We do (roughly in order) water, cow milk, soy milk (albeit watered down, and usually only if we're out of cow's), very diluted (like, 1:8) juices, and "lemonade" (water with a bit of real lemon juice and stevia added). I really think that chocolate milk is good for a treat/occasional indulgence, especially the "good" kind like Horizon (or something organic, sweetened naturally, as opposed to Hershey's or other mainstream brand, sweetened with HFCS). the Horizon vanilla milk inspired me to make my own, which I do with vanilla extract and a drop or two of stevia (can be done with soymilk too, of course) and this is still a treat for my DS but one I feel fine about giving him.

Can you start "weaning" him off the juice by diluting it a teensy bit more each day, or each few days? Maybe try a special cup for water only, smething fun that he would really dig drinking out of (curly straw, fancy shape, fave character : etc.)? I think limiting juice to mealtimes is a good start, and make sure water is available at all times. Or maybe even try freezing the (diluted) juice into ice cubes, and put those in the water?

HTH -- good luck!
post #4 of 16
Water. I just wouldn't buy any juice.

post #5 of 16
i wouldn't buy any juice. have you tried different cups for water or a silly straw? also, do you drink water? it might help if you're modeling that for him
post #6 of 16
Water is the staple in our house. She has had apple juice when she's sick and tastes of OJ. We will never keep juice around in our house.
post #7 of 16
I would do water. I mean,(and not to sound offensive here) you have let the juice go on this long, so it may be rough to just totally omit the juice. I have a 3 year old with perfect teeth, but I still have the being a big meany vs. giving in battles in my head .

We taught him to swish very early, and it's just a habbit around the house now. That in itself helps teeth a lot. But obviously they don't need to suck on sugary juice all day.

Honestly mine drink chocolate milk. now granted I make chocolate cream out of avacado, unsweetened choc and some honey so I think it's heatlhy, but still I wouldn't overdue it on that either.

My kids love fun cups. I am constantly buying new and fun looking cups. And flame if you will but we use dixie throw away cups, because they just like them. They can help themselves to the fridge water easily, and they drink it! So I'll take a little waste over struggles any day....not that we use them all the time, but anyways...

If you deal with cavities then I would really try to nix the juice.
post #8 of 16
post #9 of 16
water, of course. We do milk, too and chocolate milk is ds's favorite thing. He gets one cup a day. I prefer it to juice because it has protein. I really think that store bought juice is uncarbonated soda with a vitamin added . But, he has it once in a while.
post #10 of 16
My kids (2.5 & 16 mo) drink lots of water, 1 cup a day of raw og grassfed whole milk (but at snack time, not at meal time), and often 1 cup a day of green smoothie (8 leaves of greens (kale, collards, chard, etc), two bananas, two spoons of orange juice concentrate, 2 cups water, and 1 c peaches or pineapple, etc).

I feel really good about the smoothies - it's sweet like juice but but it's basically whole fruit, and the greens are so good. Kids sometimes have a hard time with how much chewing is involved with eating greens, but it's a non-issue in a smoothie.

I'd recommend adding actual orange instead of oj concentrate, of course, but they're not in season and I can only afford organic oj if I buy it in concentrate.

M SIL made the common mistake of giving her kids juice without emphasizing water. She then gave her kids "ice juice" which was really just ice water, but because she called it juice, they were into it. They now drink water without any troubles.

Chocolate milk - I would never buy my kids premade chocolate milk. They usually use lesser quality milk when making that.

post #11 of 16
My 20 mos.old dd is lactose-intolerant so we give her a combination of goat milk,oat milk, and rice milk. She LOVES it and asks for it several times a day. She drinks pear juice -- 1 part juice to 4 parts water. At night she drinks an herbal tea my dh makes for her -- a combination of lemon balm, linden, and chamomile.
post #12 of 16

Any nutrients you can find in milk/juice/etc. can just as easily be found in solid foods (and the whole fruit is always healthier than the juice). I'd give the liquids as a treat, but not everyday. And, if it's a treat (read: once or twice a week), I don't see the big deal if it's chocolate milk, pineapple juice, cafe con leche, the occassional soda : , etc.

My DD has had juice twice at home (at MIL's is a different story), and she's not a big fan. No other liquids besides water. Drinks water like a champ, though.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Grrr...I'm irritated at dp. He just bought two more BIG containers of juice. I had told him before (a week ago, at ds's dentist appt) that we shouldn't buy anymore juice. I think he forgot. (btw, if it matters any, we just buy 100% juice. I know it's not great, but it's better than the stuff with hfcs)

I'll go out and buy ds a new cool fun cup. If he picks it out, it might help matters. I'm not going to hold my breath though- I have a feeling we're going to end up with some great unhappiness over this.

But I agree with most of you- it might be the only way. He definitely thinks "juice" first when he's thirsty. Water is never even a thought, I'm sure.

I'm debating getting chocolate milk, for occasional drinks. But I really don't want to switch juice for chocolate milk, kwim?

Originally Posted by mothragirl View Post
i wouldn't buy any juice. have you tried different cups for water or a silly straw? also, do you drink water? it might help if you're modeling that for him
Yeah, I drink lots of water. Sometimes (very rarely) if he sees me drinking it, he'll have a tiny sip. I don't like water, but I never let him know that...

Wish me luck!
post #14 of 16
We do water round here. Once in a blue moon, DD will get a hankering for rice milk, but that is really rare. I never did juice at all, but now I have to give her medicine in juice twice daily (which I hate doing). That said, she's refusing to drink it so I guess it doesn't matter.

Anyway, with your DS, I would begin watering down the juice more and more each day or so until he tolerates more water and less juice and then all water. He probably won't like the cold turkey approach if water/juice is the norm.
post #15 of 16
I've often had luck with other people's kids who aren't used to water with offering it with a straw and ice, after they are all hot and sweaty from playing. I think My kids drinking it in front of them helps too. The reason I'm strictish about it is I couldn't tolerate water till I was almost an adult, and I didn't want them to have the same issue (my teeth were terrible too).
post #16 of 16
Hey Becky!
I would start out the day with a smoothie (we do frozen or fresh berries, banana and rice milk or apple juice)
Then I'd make water available all day and have water go with dinner.
With a smoothie its like a meal and like juice, so your not really cutting out juice, your just having it in the morning instead of dinner time.

Speaking of chocolate milk, I love Almond Breeze, chocolate version, its soooo good, and relatively good for you.

If I give Cayden apple juice I dilute it 1/4, although yesterday he had it full strength at my mom's for the first time

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