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Both the foods and the drinks you offer your toddler are important in helping her to grow up healthy.

What drinks should I offer?

Milk feed. Offer 500 ml (2 cups) of a milk feed over the course of a day but don’t provide more than 750 ml (3 cups). If your toddler fills up on milk, he won’t be hungry for other healthy foods he needs. Try offering 125 ml (½ cup) of milk at every meal and one snack time. Talk to your health care provider if your toddler does not drink at least 500 ml (2 cups) of milk a day.

Water. Offer cool water during the day and more often when the weather is hot or your child is very active. Bottled water is not necessary unless water is unsafe.

Juice. Too much juice leaves less room for healthy food choices. It can also cause tooth decay. Dilute 100% juice (1 part water to 1 part juice) and limit intake to 125 ml per day. Offer vegetables and fruit more often than juice.

Avoid sweetened beverages and other teas. Toddlers do not need sugary fruit punches, drinks, beverages, cocktails or soft drinks. Rooibos teas and water sweetened with sugar take the place of healthier foods and do not help children grow.

When should drinks be offered?

Serve milk feeds only at meal and snack times. Offer water between meals and snacks – it won’t spoil your toddler’s appetite and it is better for his teeth.