Health Shots got in touch with Shruti Keluskar, Executive Nutritionist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Pune, to know all about the health drink.
Sugar in health drinks
The expert says that in one of the health drink brands, the ingredients include sugar, cocoa solids, caramel color, emulsifiers to increase shelf life, and artificial flavorings. It also contains liquid glucose and maltodextrin which are just different names for sugar. She points out that if it is added, then every 100 grams of this product contains about 37 grams of sugar.
According to the National Health Service (NHS), eating too much sugar can make you gain weight and lead to tooth decay. While natural sugar is found in fruits and milk, the type of sugar people usually eat too much of is free sugar. This means that they are sugars that are added to food and drink. From biscuits to chocolates, from breakfast cereals to aerated drinks, they all contain free sugars. According to the NHS, children aged 7 to 10 should have no more than 24g of free sugars a day.
Experts say that when children consume sugar, there is a physiological reaction in the body. The body produces insulin to control blood sugar levels and the brain releases dopamine, a feel-good chemical that can temporarily elevate mood. However, eating too much sugar can lead to insulin resistance, which leads to diabetes.
Natural health drinks for kids
If you want to replace packaged drinks with healthier ones, try natural drinks this summer. Here are some recipes!
1. Mango lassi
Keluskar says that it is always good to eat seasonal fruits. So, use the favorite summer fruit mango along with curd to make mango lassi.
• Mango – 1/2 cup
• Hung Curd – 3/4 cup
• Coconut milk – 1/4 cup
• A pinch of cardamom
• Chopped nuts for garnish
• Honey/Jaggery – 1 tsp
• Take a blender and add mango, curd, coconut milk, honey and cardamom.
• Blend it till it becomes smooth and mixes well.
• Pour the lassi into a glass, top with some dry fruits and serve.
2. Make Your Own Malt
You can make your own fresh healthy malt without any harmful preservatives or lots of sugar.
• Whole gram – 1/4 cup
• Whole Wheat – 1/4 cup
• Sprouted Whole Moong – 1/4 cup
• Walnuts – ¼ cup
• Almonds – ¼ cup
• Dried Dates – ¼ cup
• Take whole gram, wheat and moong and dry them in the sun for two hours.
• After this, dry roast all the ingredients well till they turn golden brown in color.
• Grind them to make dry powder and store them in an air tight container.
• Your fresh malt is ready to be served with hot or cold milk.
3. Sattu Sharbat
Sattu provides energy and hydration, which are two major concerns that mothers have when it comes to their babies. Experts say that it also helps in digestion.
Chana Sattu – 1 cup (100 grams)
• Lemon – 2
• Powdered jaggery – 1 tbsp
• Fresh mint leaves – 6 to 7
Roasted cumin powder – 1/2 tsp
• Black salt – 1/2 tsp or as per taste
• Take out the sattu in a utensil, add some water to it and whisk it well.
• Add 1 cup of water to it.
• Mix black salt, powdered jaggery and lemon juice.
• Mix them well and serve.
4. Nut Shake
A simple nut and seed concoction makes a nutritious drink.
• Almonds – 6 to 7
• Walnuts – 2
• Milk – 1 cup
• Oats – 2 teaspoons
• Chia seeds – half a teaspoon
• Pumpkin seeds – half a teaspoon
• Cinnamon powder – a pinch
• Take a high power blender and add milk, almonds, walnuts, oats and cinnamon powder to it.
• Blend it on high speed for one minute or till it turns into a smooth creamy smoothie.
• Pour it in a glass and put healthy seeds on top of it.
You can also give fresh fruit juice to your child instead of the ones that come in the juice box.