How much juice should kids drink? What you need to know about juice and serving size

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(BPT) – Selecting beverages for your children can be tricky. What should they be drinking and how much should they drink? Dr. Lisa Thornton, pediatrician and mother, breaks down new juice guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and answers questions about 100 percent juice in the diet.

My kids like to drink juice, but I don’t know how much to serve them. Do you have any suggestions?

Like the whole fruit it is squeezed from, 100 percent juice is both delicious and nutritious. It is filled with important vitamins and minerals like potassium, folate and vitamin C, which make it a great beverage to serve your children. A serving of 100 percent juice is also a good option to help children meet their daily fruit serving recommendations.

In regards to portion size, follow the guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Children ages 1-3 can have up to 4 ounces of juice a day, kids ages 4-6 can drink up to 6 ounces a day and children 7 and older can have up to 8 ounces per day. These new guidelines were put into place to help parents manage their children’s intake.

Should I be worried about juice and weight gain?

Balance is the key to good health for people of all ages, from age 1 to 100. Guidelines and recommendations are put into place by experts at the American Academy of Pediatrics and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help guide you to make the best decisions about the foods and beverages you serve to your family.

Scientific studies that analyzed the juice consumption of children and adults found that when juice is consumed in appropriate amounts, there is no association between drinking juice and obesity. If you are worried about the impact of individual foods on your child’s weight, consult with a professional, such as a nutritionist or pediatrician.

Does drinking juice impact fruit consumption? I’m concerned that if I serve my children juice, they will be less likely to eat fruit.

Actually, nutrition research shows just the opposite. Children who drink juice tend to have overall better quality diets than those who do not drink juice. This means they eat more whole fruit, less saturated fats and have less added sugar in their diet.

Drinking juice shouldn’t replace eating whole fruit in the diet; it should complement it. According to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, 100 percent juice is part of the fruit group, which consists of all forms of fruit – fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100 percent juice. More than 75 percent of Americans do not eat the recommended amount of fruit; one serving of fruit juice can help to supplement your family’s intake.

Making decisions about what to feed your family shouldn’t be stressful or difficult. Consult with your physician, pediatrician or nutritionist if you are confused about what foods and beverages you should be serving your loved ones. For more information about 100 percent juice and how it fits into an overall balanced diet, visit Juice Central. Juice Central is your source for the latest information about juice, including healthy lifestyle tips, recipes and nutrition science.


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* When you're pregnant, you want to do everything that's in the best interest for your baby. That includes eliminating the following items from your plate.

With and Without Diabetes

It’s important whether you have diabetes or not to avoid certain foods while pregnant to help benefit you and your baby. It's important to eat properly and avoid foods that could be damaging to the development of your child.

Mercury

The most common thing we hear to avoid during pregnancy is seafood high in mercury. Too much mercury could harm your baby's developing nervous system. Foods to avoid include: swordfish, shark, king mackerel and tile fish. Other fish that would be lower in mercury include; shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, Pollock and catfish. The recommendation for serving size of these fish is 12oz per week. If choosing albacore tuna (bigger fish=more mercury) limit your intake to 6oz per week.

Raw Fish, Shellfish, and Undercooked Meats

Avoid raw fish or shellfish altogether. Make sure all fish is cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees. If you're not sure of the temperature, invest in a meat thermometer. Avoid all raw or undercooked meats or poultry. It’s recommended to avoid hot dogs and lunch meat. However, if you do eat hot dogs be sure to cook them until steaming. Cook eggs completely until firm, and avoid pates and meat spreads unless canned.

Unpasteurized Cheese

Avoid all unpasteurized cheese products such as brie, feta, and blue cheese unless they are clearly labeled as pasteurized. This also includes any unpasteurized juice, cider, or milk.

Caffeine

Pregnancy can leave you feeling extra tired and fatigued. Unfortunately caffeine can cross the placenta, so it's best to avoid or limit the amount of caffeine you drink. For pregnant women, caffeine should be limited to less than 200mg per day. One cup of coffee contains about 95mg of caffeine, while one cup of tea contains about 47mg.

Alcohol

Alcohol can be damaging to your baby's tiny developing organs including the brain, and can lead to a whole host of disorders called Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. It's better to be safe than sorry, so in this case eliminate all alcohol use while pregnant.

Takeaway

Although this list may seem like a substantial amount of foods and beverages to limit, remember it is only for a short time. The health of your baby is worth the sacrifice.

Foods and Beverages to Avoid During Pregnancy Foods and Beverages to Avoid During Pregnancy

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