Your Guide to Healthy Drinks for Teens
One element of nutrition for teenagers that is often overlooked is the matter of healthy beverages for teens. The beverage market is filled with sugary fizzy drinks targeted for teenagers, which in fact are unhealthy when consumed in high quantities. Teens need energy and refreshment that come from healthier choices as discussed below.
Substitution is the key to introducing nutritious drinks into a teenager’s diet. One simple example is to switch from fruit flavored drinks to actual fruit drinks that are natural and contain the right amount of calories and sugar. Natural fruit juices are available in a wide variety to suit any teenager’s preferences while providing the body with essential nutrients.
Caffeinated drinks should be replaced as much as possible with healthy drinks. Reduce how much coffee and energy drinks that a teenager consumes on a daily basis including diet drinks. Caffeine reduces the amount of water in the body resulting in dehydration, which in turn leads the teenager to look for more unhealthy means of refreshment. Incorporate decaffeinated products into your teenager’s health plan and encourage your teenager to eat more fruits and consume natural juices.
Water is also an essential healthy drink for teenagers. Unfortunately, encouraging a teen to drink water can be a bit difficult considering the wide range of sodas and alternative beverages. On the other hand, reusable water bottles are a trend that is catching on very fast among teenagers and it can be used to encourage more water consumption.
In addition to these options, other healthy drinks include milk products such as yogurt, milk shakes, smoothies and even plain milk. All these provide the teenager with calcium, protein and vitamins to build bones and muscles, as well as gain essential minerals for other body functions. If the teenager is allergic to milk or lactose intolerant, use milk substitutes like soy or rice milk.
The great thing about milk as a healthy drink for teenagers is that it can be consumed in different forms. With encouragement from parents teenagers can prepare their own unique blends of shakes and smoothies. Yogurt, for example, can be mixed with berries and fruits or used as a dip for vegetables.
Healthy drinks will only be accepted by teenagers in the home if parents make them available and promote better choices when eating out. In most households, the refrigerator is filled with cans of soda and root beer and not enough chilled drinking water. Milk products are also reserved for cooking or drinking when feeling down, as is popular with yogurts and ice cream. Such habits will be eliminated from the household once the family alters their unhealthy eating practices and starts consuming healthier beverages.
Make these healthy drinks for teenagers accessible in the home, starting from where you put the drinks in the refrigerator to placing drinking glasses within reach in the living room or kitchen. Provide a wide variety of ingredients for preparing these drinks, including fruits, nuts and flavor extracts to inspire some creativity in their preparation.