Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Children and Juice Abuse

How much juice should your child really be drinking each day? The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends limiting juice to:

Infants < 6 months should not be given any juice
Children 1- 6 years old: 4-6 ounces/day (1/2-3/4 cup)
Children 7-18 years old: 8-12 ounces/day (1- 1 ½ cups)
Juices should be 100% real fruit juice, no ades, drinks or beverage mix substitutes. Juice in excess of these amounts can fill a child up leading to poorer intake of other nutritious foods and cause your child to gain too much weight. Instead of juice, children should be encouraged to eat whole fruits which are naturally rich in fiber, phytochemicals, and vitamins and minerals. A love of fresh fruit is a great habit to instill at a young age.

Other great beverage options include:

1-3 years old: 2 servings of milk (low fat milk after age 2 years)
4-8 years old: 3 servings of low fat milk
9-18 years old: 4 servings of low fat milk

A tall refreshing glass of ice water. Keep a pitcher of ice water in the refrigerator and you may find that your children and teens will reach for it to quench their thirst more often that you might have guessed.

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