Health & Spirit

Toddler drinks definitely are not for toddlers

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

In a scene from the 2004 movie "Mean Girls," lead mean girl Regina George goes on what she calls the "South Beach Fat Flush" -- drinking only cranberry juice for 72 hours. When a fellow student looks at the "juice's" nutrition label, he says: "This isn't even cranberry juice. It's cranberry juice cocktail. It's all sugar."

You always need to look closely at the nutrition facts to get past misleading labels. In a new study, published in Preventive Medicine, researchers found that to be especially true when it comes to beverages being sold as "toddler drinks." They're often marketed in a way that makes parents think they're healthy, when in fact they're NOT!

The researchers discovered that a wide variety of these beverages made at least one claim about health or nutrition. Truth: Most are made of powdered milk, added sweeteners (often high fructose corn syrup) and vegetable oil, and contain less protein than regular milk. The World Health Organization and medical experts have deemed toddler drinks "unnecessary" and "unsuitable" for kids 9 to 36 months.

Unfortunately, while there are policies in place that say what can and can't go on infant formula labels, the Food and Drug Administration doesn't regulate the marketing of drinks to toddlers.

So keep your eyes open and institute your own regulations! When you see a product labeled "toddler formula," "toddler drink," or "toddler milk," skip it. For your toddler's diet, stick to cow's milk and water, fresh fruits and veggies, and healthy proteins and fats, such as those found in salmon.

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Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c) 2018Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2018 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


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