Healthy Drinks for Kids

Doesn't Want Milk

Your child fights you over having a glass of milk.

It's tough for kids who don't drink milk to get the bone-building calcium and vitamin D they need without a lot of extra calories or fat. Cheese, for instance, doesn't naturally have vitamin D, and it would take 3 ounces of reduced-fat cheddar (with its almost 14 grams of saturated fat) to get the calcium that's in 2 cups of low-fat milk (with just 3 grams of the artery-clogging fat).

Quench It: Some kids start resisting milk around the age of 1 as they're being weaned from breast milk or formula. "Cow's milk tastes considerably different from what they're used to having," explains Sanna Delmonico, RD, a childhood-nutrition educator in Napa, California. To get your kid accustomed to the taste, start putting a splash in his formula or in a bottle of breast milk and increase the amount every couple of days. "When you drink milk, be sure to do it in front of your toddler since kids this age are very impressionable," says Delmonico.

If your child, like mine, starts rejecting milk when she's older, flavor it yourself. Many brands of chocolate milk have 200 calories per cup and about half of the amount is from the added sugar. But you can make mouthwatering flavored milks with fruit or low-cal extracts; just follow the recipes in this story.

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