Pick up any cartooned-up kid’s menu in America, and alongside an illustration of mac and cheese and chicken nuggets will be a drinks list that is heavy on the apple juice and chocolate milk. The former is so popular, not even Dr. Oz, who had heard reports of arsenic in apple juice, could take it down.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, orange juice was the thing 50 years ago. It wasn’t for its flavor, though; orange juice helped to prevent scurvy. Now, apple juice has taken the top spot with the single-digit age bracket. The Mayo Clinic doesn’t recommend juice for kids under 1 year old, but after that and it can help them reach their recommended daily serving of fruit. Despite its health benefits and insane popularity, apple juice isn’t a worldwide phenomenon. In fact, not many other countries offer it up at mealtime to their kids.
Kids in England enjoy traditional teatime, despite the fuss that caffeine is bad for children. In Croatia, kids accompany their parents to social outings that often involve sitting at a café. That means they will often be seen sipping a hot cup of kava all their own — with lots more milk, of course.
Dairy drinks are popular in South Korea, too, where five-packs of mini barrel-like containers of flavored yogurt drink are popular with kids.
Talk to Russians and they will tell you that there is no need to go to the store if your kid is thirsty. Babushkas everywhere make homemade fruit juice called kompot from whatever is in season at the moment. It’s a similar picture in Australia, except that the fruit-based syrup is store-bought and mixed at home.
Here’s a look at what some of the rest of the world’s kids are drinking right now.
Down Under, while kids have access to the goods like Pepsi and Coke, they’d rather reach for a cordial. A cordial is a fruit-based concentrated syrup that mixes with water, similar to Kool Aid. Last year, Australian-owned and -made Fruities hit the market as the only kid’s cordial free of preservatives and anything artificial, “so mum can be free from worry.”
Orangina is a favorite citrus-y bubbly treat for kids in Croatia. It’s their soft drink of choice, but if their parents have a say, they’d rather make them a very weak latte. Drinking coffee is a social thing in Croatia. Families gather together at cafés to catch up with friends and it is not uncommon for parents to serve their little ones a little coffee with loads of milk mixed in.