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Inicio > Water for thirst: What do children do when they are thirsty?

Water for thirst: What do children do when they are thirsty?

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The answer in the great majority of cases is concerned: they do not drink pure water.


What do we offer children when they are thirsty?

In the market there is an immense variety of drinks elaborated industrially from fruits, vegetables, herbs, seeds and other vegetal components:

  • Gasified
  • Juices, pulps and concentrated juices
  • Syrups, powders and effervescent granules to prepare with water
  • Infusions, extracts, percolations and macerations

Many parents offer their children these types of drinks, understanding that they are useful and beneficial to health because they contain some vitamins, minerals, sugars, or simply because it comforts them to observe the enthusiasm they manifest in taking them

What are the disadvantages of always offering these drinks to thirst?

Over-consumption of industrial-processed beverages, more than 350 ml per day (three glasses), sometimes becomes a source of disorders for the health of children because, in relation to the different ingredients they contain, they can cause :

  • Increased risk of tooth decay and erosion
  • Nutritional disorders such as obesity or low weight
  • Alteration in height growth (shorter stature than determined by genetic potential)
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pains
  • Gastritis
  • Disorders in the absorption of calcium
  • Decreased calcium in the blood, reaching in some extreme cases in infants to seizures
  • Irritability and behavioral disorders and insomnia
  • Urticaria and other allergies
  • Loss of stool or fouling

Also the excessive consumption can disturb healthy habits causing:

  • Rejection or decrease of the necessary milk intake (when replaced by these drinks)
  • Disorders in the appetite at the time of eating (the calories that they contain interfere in the natural cycle hunger -food -satisfedad)

Industrial drinks usually contain a variety of additives (dyes, acidulants, sweeteners, regulators and neutralizers of acidity, flavorings, preservatives, thickeners, antioxidants, stabilizers, etc.) which, although permitted, are not recommended In young children

To reflect and start to change sweet by healthy:

  • If a healthy child refuses to drink pure water, it is simply because he is not thirsty
  • When a child is thirsty (and not just wanting to take “something”) he accepts pure water. Although children accustomed to sugary drinks at the beginning are not a good thing, if you can install the habit of drinking fresh water
  • Children say they drink water they do not like when they have the option of taking other sweet drinks from industrial processing
  • Children know these drinks and ask for them from an early age because adults offer them or induce them to drink them. Also by imitation of their family environment or by advertising and social pressure
  • These drinks are often energy rich but poor in other essential nutrients
  • The sugars they contain are considered empty calories and displace food intake with better quality nutrients and essential for their growth and maturing development
  • Diet drinks usually have sugars in small quantities and maintain the habit of consuming industrial beverages
  • Children, especially the smaller ones, have a special preference for sweet drinks but ignore the risks of excessive consumption. Responsible parents, adults and institutions should be aware of these potential disorders and regulate their intake to no more than 120 ml per day (one glass), and it is not advisable to offer them to infants and children under 1 year

The most important when it comes to drinking

1. Offer exclusive breast the first 6 months of life

2. With the beginning of the porridge, from the 6th month and without abandoning the breast, offer pure water in a glass or spoon

3. Strengthen and sustain the habit of drinking water for thirst in the early years of life

4. If you are offered fruit or vegetable juice it is advisable to squeeze it at home, with careful washing beforehand. Better still to offer the whole fruit more or less cut or crushed according to age


Implementing these recommendations will promote the acquisition of good eating and drinking habits with health and family benefits.

Always consult your pediatrician with all the issues related to the health of your children

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