All of us have grown up drinking certain chocolate drinks from our childhood days. Chocolate or any other favorite flavour, there was one bottle of nutritional beverage in a powder form in our house. We love the taste of it even now! Don’t lie. I know I still love it. We love it because of the taste it gives us and yet the question still remains, How healthy are these drinks?
Let’s break it down and see some facts.
What purpose these drinks are designed for?
These drinks are formulated to give people general nutrition namely more proteins and calories. These drinks are meant to be taken as a substitute for drinks because of its high-calorie content.
What makes these drinks bad?
These nutritional drinks are loaded with lots of sugar to improve its taste. Their sugars have hidden danger in them. These drinks also have preservatives for extra storage shelf life.
What do these drinks actually contain? – The marketing strategy
Now, let’s look at the ingredients of these products and what the ingredients actually mean.
- Wheat flour – Grain
- Sugar – Sugar
- Edible vegetable oil – oxidizable unstable fat
- Cocoa solids – processed junk
- Invert syrup – sugar
- Salt – salt
- Raising agent – junk which is hard to digest for kids
- Edible vegetable fat – oxidizable vegetable fat
- Emulsifier – junk ingredient
- Glucose syrup – sugar
- Cocoa butter – processed fat
- Edible fiber – processed junk
By these above comparisons, you will be able to tell that most of the things inside a nutritional drink are fat, sugar, more sugar, processed junk and more sugar.
What are the bad effects of these drinks?
- Child Obesity
As we discussed earlier one cup of nutritional beverage is a lot of sugar. One cup contains between 190-240 calories. A normal full course meal has the calories between 500-800 depending on the diet and cuisine of the family. This tells us that the kid is consuming almost half calorie as his/her full meal in the name of a nutritional drink. The sugar in this drink is high which will lead to obesity.
- Oral health
Since these drinks are high in sugar, there will be growth of bacteria in mouth and soon, the teeth will decay and lead to cavities.
This nutritional drink gives you a high amount of energy due to its sugar content and so the person may feel lazy and lethargic later when they don’t drink the beverage.
- Child’s overall health
Adding preservatives and colors to your child’s drink in the form of nutritional beverage will result in harmful effects on your child’s health and behavior. It affects your child’s concentration, memory power, and alertness.
What can be the substitute for these drinks?
Now that you know that nutritional beverages are a no-no, let us look at what we can have as an alternate
- A good glass of ordinary milk
Milk is the best drink you can give to your child. It contains Lactoferrin which naturally helps to increase your child’s height without the need for any harmful powders.
- A well-balanced diet
There is no way around this. Show your child the spoon aeroplane, show your child a bird, and show your child anything interesting to make him/her consume the natural products. There is nothing as good as vitamins and minerals from the right sources without any side effects.
The child’s intake of nutrients should be more natural food and less processed food. The less processed food your child takes, the fewer problems in the form of obesity, diseases, side effects he/she will encounter in his/her life. Make sure you keep a track on what your child is eating and how his body and brain functions accordingly.
Be strict where you need to be strict- Saying No and save your child’s health. A child does not know what is right or wrong for him/her. In a child’s food world everything is about the hype, the color, the looks, the shape, the taste, what his/her friend is drinking, eating at home etc. The child looks at these things which are appealing to their eyes and start demanding to buy those appealing things. The place the child get the most advantage is the supermarket. We all know that children scream and cry for the processed food once they enter a supermarket. Do not get guilty or show mercy to your child once you see that innocent eyes fill up with tears. It is the duty of the parents to be strict when they need to be strict and say no to their children.
They are your gems, raise them wisely!