An essential to all of us is water! Tap water in the majority of Australia is extremely safe to drink, accessible and inexpensive! Tap water contains fluoride, which concerns some but this is an essential element required for developing strong bones and teeth.
Unfortunately when we are unable to access a tap you can be paying a premium for bottled water. This may mean that people opt for another less healthy drink option, usually a soft drink or juice. Water is of course free of sugar and therefor, there is an absence of the acidity found in soft drinks and juices. It is the acidity in these drinks, when drunk regularly that can destroy tooth enamel which results in tooth decay. In some parts of the world children under 10 years of age are having their teeth surgically removed due to the teeth rotting down to the roots!! Soft drink and juice consumption has been blamed for this in a lot of cases. Water should always be the drink of choice. The sugar in soft drinks can sometimes contribute to weight gain. Water of course is free from calories!
Infants should only be given breast milk and or formula, exclusively until 6 months of age. Cooled boiled water can be given in a bottle or cup from 6 months. Up until 12 months of age the milk should only be breast milk & or formula. After 12 months cow’s milk can be introduced to their diet. Babies should not be put to bed with a milk bottle as this also encourages dental caries. At no time, should babies be given a bottle with soft drink or juice in it. It is also advised that a baby should only be drinking from “sippy” cups from 12 months of age and no longer using a bottle at any time of the day.
Water is an essential to health & well being. In pregnancy, being well hydrated helps particularly with fluid retention, it can also reduce the risk of urinary tract infections and makes you feel better. Dehydration can make you feel tired and cause the bowel to become sluggish. So if you are feeling tired ensure you are drinking enough and ensure your iron level is adequate.
In pregnancy 2-3 litres of water is encouraged dependent on activity level and the weather. Some elderly and children should be encouraged to drink before they become thirsty.
The Food Pyramid and what has changed.