When you’re really thirsty, cold water is the best thirst-quencher. And there’s a reason your school cafeteria offers cartons of milk. Kids need calcium to build strong bones, and milk is a great source of this mineral. How much do kids need? If you are younger than 9 years old, drink 2 cups of milk a day, or it’s equivalent. If you’re older than 9 years old, aim for 3 cups of milk per day, or its equivalent. You can mix it up by having milk and some other calcium-rich dairy foods. Here’s one combination:
- 2 cups (about half a liter) of low-fat or nonfat milk
- 1 slice cheddar cheese
- ½ cup (small container) of yogurt
You probably will want something other than milk or water once in a while, so it’s OK to have 100% juice, too. But try to limit sugary drinks, like sodas, juice cocktails, and fruit punches. They contain a lot of added sugar. Sugar just adds calories, not important nutrients.