© Commonwealth of Australia 2012
© State of Queensland 2012 (marked photographs only)
The information in this publication is for general information only, and must not be used as a substitute for medical advice. You must seek independent professional medical advice before relying on any information contained in this publication.
Readers should be aware that these resources may contain images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are now deceased.
Breastmilk is best for babies
Good drinks for babies
- Breastmilk is best for baby, and is the only food or drink that baby needs until around 6 months.
- Breastfeed your baby for as long as you can.
- If formula feeding your baby, talk to your health worker about how to use infant formula safely.
- Babies who are breastfed can have cooled boiled water from around 6 months.
- Babies who are formula fed can have cooled boiled water at any age.
Water - the best healthy drink for our kidsSweet drinks like soft drinks, juice, cordial and flavoured milk have too much sugar and are not needed for good health.
Water is important for good health - it helps our bodies to work well
- Give kids water with all meals and snacks.
- Pack water bottles when going out.
- Take plenty of water in the car.
- Keep a jug of clean tap water nearby.
- On hot days, keep the jug of water cool.
Kids need lots of water
- Kids need to eat and drink more often than adults.
- Kids can dehydrate very quickly and get very sick if they do not drink water throughout the day.
- If kids are active, they need to drink more water.
- Drink water yourself – let kids see you like water.
Sweet drinks are not needed for good health
Sweet drinks are:Top of page
- soft drinks
- flavoured waters
- flavoured milk
- sports drinks
- fruit drinks
- fruit juice
Do not give baby unhealthy drinks like tea, soft drinks or cordial in a bottle. Tea weakens your baby’s blood.
- can lead to tooth decay and weight gain
- fill your kids up so they don’t eat healthy meals.
Cow’s milk and babies
Babies under 12 months should not drink cow’s milk as the main drink because:
- they can’t process the protein and salt well
- it can cause their blood to be low in iron.
Small amounts of cow’s milk can be mixed with baby’s food.
Cow’s milk and kids
- Cow’s milk is good for kids over 12 months – limit to 2 cups a day.
- Kids under 2 should not have low or reduced fat milk.
- Kids over 2 should mostly have reduced fat milk.
- Kids don’t need flavoured milk.
Information and help
- Talk to your childcare educator.
- Talk to your health worker.
- Call the FREE Breastfeeding Helpline on 1800 mum 2 mum or 1800 686 268.