Putting the Squeeze on Juice
How Much Is Too Much?
All that said, kids love juice, and a little bit each day is fine. Lifschitz
recommends no more than one ounce daily per three pounds of body weight, or
about 1.2 cups for the average two year old and 1.8 cups for a five year
Juice should never be the main source of liquid for a child (that should be
water), nor their main source of nutrition, says Lifschitz. And no child under
four months of age should be given anything but mother's milk or formula.
In addition to limiting juice amounts, there are things parents should keep
in mind when choosing healthy juices. Melissa Einfrank, RD, a clinical
dietician with the University Medical Center in Tucson, Ariz., recommends the
- Look for juices that are fortified with vitamin C, such as apple juice for
- Calcium-fortified juices are good options, but not as good a source of
calcium as milk or other dairy products, which contain vitamin D, aiding the
absorption of calcium, according to Einfrank.
- When possible, offer your children fresh fruit instead of juice, suggests
Einfrank. "Fresh fruit contains fiber and nutrients and vitamins that are
lost in the juicing process."
- If you must give your child juice, try diluting it with water. "Kids
need fluids, so adding water to juice not only helps decrease the amount of
sugar they're drinking but gives them the water their bodies need," she