In recent weeks we have seen a lot of people discussing healthy drink brands, thanks to influencer Revant Himatsingka. She had posted a video in which she criticized a popular health drink brand and ridiculed the health claims it made on its packaging. She said that by giving her children the drink, parents are making their children “addicted to sugar” at a young age. She removed the video after receiving a legal notice from the brand. But her video has made many question the nutritional value of packaged health drinks. If you also have doubts about them, change them for healthy natural drinks for children.
Health Shots contacted Shruti Keluskar, Executive Nutritionist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Pune, to find out all about healthy drinks.
Sugar in healthy drinks
The expert says that in one of the health drink brands, the ingredients include sugar, cocoa solids, caramel color, emulsifiers to increase shelf life, and artificial flavors. It also includes liquid glucose and maltodextrin, which are different names for sugar. She points out that if you add it up, every 100 grams of this product has about 37 grams of sugar.
According to the NHS, eating too much sugar can make you gain weight and cause cavities. While there is naturally occurring sugar found in fruits and milk, the type of sugars that people typically overeat are free sugars. That means they are sugars that are added to food and drinks. From cookies to chocolate, breakfast cereals and soft drinks, they all have free sugars. According to the NHS, children between the ages of 7 and 10 should not consume more than 24 grams of free sugars per day.
The expert says that when children consume sugar, there is a physiological response in the body. The body makes insulin to control blood sugar levels, and the brain releases dopamine, which is a feel-good chemical that can temporarily improve mood. However, having too much sugar can lead to insulin resistance, leading to diabetes.
Natural healthy drinks for children.
If you want to replace packaged drinks with healthier ones, go natural this summer. Here are some recipes!
1. Mango lassi
Keluskar says that eating fruits that are in season is always good. So, use mango, one of summer’s favorite fruits, with hung curd to make mango lassi.
• Mango – 1/2 cup
• Hanging curd – 3/4 cup
• Coconut milk – 1/4 cup
• A pinch of cardamom
• Chopped walnuts to decorate
• Honey/jaggery -1 teaspoon
• Take a blender and add the mangoes, hung curd, coconut milk, honey and cardamom.
• Blend until smooth and well blended.
• Pour the lassi into a glass, top with some walnuts and serve.
2. Make your own malt
You can make healthy fresh malt yourself without harmful preservatives or a lot of sugar.
• Chana whole – 1/4 cup
• Whole wheat – 1/4 cup
• Sprouted Whole Moong – 1/4 cup
• Nuts – ¼ cup
• Almonds – ¼ cup
• Dried dates – ¼ cup
• Take the whole chana, the wheat and the moon and let them dry in the sun for two hours.
• Next, dry toast all ingredients well until golden brown.
• Crush to a dry powder and store in an airtight container.
• Your fresh malt is ready to serve with warm or cold milk.
3. Sattu sherbet
Sattu provides energy and hydration, which are two key concerns moms have when it comes to their children. It also favors digestion, says the expert.
• Chana sattu – 1 cup (100g)
• Lemon – 2
• Jaggery powder – 1 tablespoon
• Fresh mint leaves – 6 to 7
• Roasted cumin powder – 1/2 teaspoon
• Black salt – 1/2 teaspoon or to taste
• Take sattu in a bowl, then add some water and mix well.
• Add 1 cup of water.
• Add black salt, powdered brown sugar and lemon juice.
• Mix well and serve.
4. Nut smoothie
A simple mix of nuts and seeds makes a nutritious drink.
• Almonds – 6 to 7
• Walnuts – 2
• Milk – 1 cup
• Oats – 2 teaspoons
• Chia seeds – Half a teaspoon
• Pumpkin seeds – Half a teaspoon
• Cinnamon powder – a pinch
• Take a high powered blender and add milk, almonds, walnuts, oats and ground cinnamon.
• Blend this for a minute on high speed or until it becomes a smooth, creamy smoothie.
• Pour this into a glass and top with the healthy seeds.
You can also give your child fresh fruit juices instead of the ones that come in juice boxes.