How To: Best Drinks for Babies

Posted in Mum and Baby, Nutritional Information, Parent Know-How

The right drinks for babies and children are just as important as the right foods.

 Get the habit

Starting water in a rimmed cup when beginning solids cultivates good drinking habits, which stand children in good stead for the future.

Drink bottles and spout cups make drinking too easy – especially for drinks other than water. Sit children down with a rimmed cup when at home and save drink bottles and spout cups for water when you’re out.

 What’s to drink?

Many Australian children are heavier than they need to be and high kilojoule drinks can contribute to weight gain. Making water your family’s main drink has benefits; it’s cheap, kilojoule free and the perfect thirst quencher. It’s the best drink option for all of us. But, what of other fluids?

Milk: for the first 12 months babies need breast milk or formula as their main drink. Once they turn one full cream cow’s milk can replace these options. But while nutritious, too much milk can cause:

Fussy eating: too much milk fills up little tummies making appetite for meals poor.

  • Iron deficiency: a poor source of iron, too much milk and not enough food means not enough iron.

 Advice: Milk is great at snacks, meals or before sleep but not all of these.


Juice: Fruit juice has as much sugar as soft drink or cordial. Too much can contribute to:

Obesity: too many kilojoules, even from natural sugars add up.

  • Dental caries: juice creates the perfect environment for bacteria that cause tooth decay.
  • Toddler diarrhoea: young children may have problems digesting the sugars in juice.

Advice: Limit juice to 125ml a day and dilute it one-third juice to two-thirds water. Offer it from a rimmed cup rather than a drink bottle or spouted cup.

Soft drink and cordial: Highly sweetened drinks like these have little nutritional value and lead to the same problems as too much juice.


Advice: Avoid these for young children. And in school age children, save them for parties and special occasions.


Tea and coffee: Generally caffeine containing with little nutritional value, these drinks are not suitable for babies or children.


Advice: Avoid these drinks for all babies and children.

About the Author

About the Author: Rafferty’s Garden is a brand brought to life by our love of good food and by our belief in ensuring Australian babies get an amazing start to their food journey. .


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