4 Tips to Help You Reduce the Amount of Juice Your Toddler Drinks

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that toddlers have no more than 4-6 ounces of juice per day. Juice has a much higher sugar content than other recommended drinks such as milk or water and can add lots of unnecessary and empty calories to your little one's diet as well as causing damage to their teeth. Of course, for many toddlers juice is one of their favorite drinks and they might get cranky or upset if a parent tries to persuade them to drink milk or water instead. If you’re worried about your little one’s juice intake and want to reduce how much they drink, consider the tips below.

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1. Make sure that all your child’s caretakers are on the same page 

Reducing the amount of juice your little one has at home will do little good if their other caretakers simply start offering more as your toddler requests it. Make sure that all of your child’s caretakers know how much juice you’re comfortable with your tot having each day and report back to you on how much they gave. Knowing that your little one already reached their daily limit at daycare or while they were with grandma makes it easier for you to plan for your evening ahead instead of having to guess as to what they’ve already had. 

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2. Make your house a juice-free zone

If your little one gets juice elsewhere, like at restaurants or when they head to the babysitter's house, consider making your home a juice-free zone. Toddlers often have a hard time understanding “sometimes” and are more likely to get upset if they don’t understand why you served them juice with lunch yesterday but won’t today than if you simply let them know consistently that “you only have juice at restaurants” or “we don’t drink juice at our house.”

3. Water it way down

If you’re comfortable giving your little one juice, but want to reduce the amount of sugar they are getting, consider watering down your child’s juice by at least 50%. If you have a discerning little one you may have to start by adding just a splash of water but over time they won’t notice their juice getting a little less concentrated. Purchasing juice in a large jug and serving it in a cup allows you to do this much more easily than purchasing juice boxes and will save you money as your toddler begins to drink less.

4. Keep water readily available 

If your toddler is used to drinking juice to quench their thirst they may complain of being thirsty as you begin to remove it from their diet. Make sure your little one always has easy access to water to ensure that they’re not getting dehydrated throughout the day. To get your little on board with drinking more water, consider letting them pick out a cool new water bottle next time you head to the store. 

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4 Tips to Help You Reduce the Amount of Juice Your Toddler Drinks

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. She is writing a memoir on pregnancy, motherhood, and sisterhood and lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. ... More

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