Feeding infants and children: What You Need to know about beverages

Feeding infants and children: What You Need to know about beverages

Infants over one year of age do not need to use a bottle or “sippy cup” (cup with a lid). A regular (open) cup is the best choice to encourage development of mature drinking skills, a healthy diet and good dental health.

You should NEVER give any type of honey to infants 12 months old and younger. Feeding babies honey before they are one year old has been linked to a rare, but serious, form of food poisoning called Infant Botulism.

Feeding infants and children: What You Need to know about beverages
  • Milk

Whole cow’s milk (3.25% MF) can be introduced after nine months of age. Reduced-fat milk (2%, 1% or skim) and fortified soy beverages can be introduced after two years of age (discuss with family before changing the type of milk served). Children who drink more than 3 cups of milk a day may not be hungry for food and therefore may not be getting other nutrients their bodies need.

  • Water

• Once an infant is six months of age, water may be introduced as a beverage.

• Water given to infants (for drinking and/or preparing food and other beverages) must be clean and safe from contamination.

• Offer water to satisfy thirst

  • Fruit juice

• Fruit juice is not recommended for infants under six months of age.

• Vegetables and fruit should be offered more often than juice.

• If juice is served to children or infants after……..

Six months of age:

  1. offer only a small serving (about 60 – 125 ml or ¼ – ½ cup)
  2. The daily amount should not exceed 125 – 175 ml (or ½ – ¾ cup); keep in mind that they may be drinking juice at home, too
  3. Offer in a cup, not a bottle
  4. Only offer as part of a meal, or snack
  5. Offer only 100% fruit juice

Never serve un-pasteurized juice

• Do not serve beverages called “fruit cocktail,” “fruit punch” or “fruit drink.” They are not a food-group choice and are high in added sugar.


• Too much fruit juice will fill a child’s stomach, making them less hungry for nutrient-rich breast milk, infant formula, milk and healthy foods.

Sweetened drinks

• Sugar-sweetened beverages like pop/soft drinks, fruit punch, flavoured water, iced tea, lemonade, sports drinks, and drinks sweetened with artificial sweetener, are not recommended for children.

• When children fill up on these beverages, there is little room left for nutritious food and drinks.


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