Insights & Actions for Healthy Living

Is it true that my kids shouldn’t drink too much juice anymore? How much juice should they drink each day?

Thank you for your question. As moms, we are concerned that we are giving our kids the healthiest and most nutritious foods we can. Naturally hearing something that we thought was a good choice may not be can be shocking.

With the epidemic of childhood obesity in our nation, the beverages that our kids are consuming has been a focus. The question is whether or not our kids are drinking too many nutritionally empty fluids such as soda.

The American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) recommend kids drink water when participating in physical activity especially sports and avoid sports drinks and energy drinks which give extra calories and stimulants that are not appropriate for kids. They also recommend that low-fat milk or juice be offered with their meals.

Because juice tastes good, kids often ask for it and can drink it all day long. Because juice can lead to obesity and tooth decay, the AAP offers these guidelines for the amount of juice each age group should drink in a day.

Children under six months should not be given juice. One to six year olds should have 4-6 ounces a day. A better choice to gain nutrients is giving whole fruits instead of juice. For those kids seven to eighteen years old, give 8-12 ounces a day.

Remember that kids shouldn’t carry a bottle of juice or juice box around all day sipping intermittently as this can lead to dental caries. Also, read the label and choose 100% juice not juice blends or cocktails with additional calories from added sugars.

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