M.B. asks from Muskego, WI on August 01, 2006
Question About Juice
I have just read an article about toddler obesity. It states that you should not give your child more than 4 oz. of juice a day. My son is a big boy, but although he is off the charts, he is height/weight proportionate. He drinks a lot during the day. I have been giving him only 100% juice products with no added sugar and mixing it with half water (in a sippy cup). He does get milk before his nap (and finishes it when he wakes up)and before he goes to sleep. We have 3 to 5 nights a week that we can all sit down to dinner together and he usually gets milk (or a tiny bit of Ovaltine mixed in). Should I be concerned about how much juice he drinks or am I just overthinking (as my husband and my mother say) because of an article I read?
So What Happened?™
I had a long talk with my husband and we came to an agreement. We have replaced his nap and bedtime milk with water, replaced juice with milk for meals, and are going to limit juice to one 9oz. sippy a day (1/3 juice and 2/3 water), the rest of his sippies through the day will be ice water (he loves cold stuff). Thanks to everyone for all of the advice. I think we reached a pretty good comprimise based on it. Oh, and we will be discussing all of this with his doctor in a couple months at his 18 mo. check-up. Thanks again!!!
R. answers from Minneapolis on August 08, 2006
A lot of the articles about juice are referring to all juice given in a cup not cut w/ water. It is also a cause for cavities as well. I do the same thing as you; mix water w/ the juice, but I do a 3 parts water to 1 part juice. Don't worry too much about it. There is more to childhood obesity than just too much juice.
K.H. answers from Eau Claire on August 06, 2006
As far as the juice issue goes, I freeze the individual serving sizes of juice for both my girls. In the morning I take out two boxes of juice for the day. Then its easier for my to control how much juice they are drinking each day. The rest of the day its water or milk and occasionally sugar free koolaid. It is hard to control how much juice is given and this method has worked for me!
B. answers from Minneapolis on August 02, 2006
You never said exactly how much juice or milk you are giving him. Give him 4-6 oz. of juice (total, mixed or not) and about 3 cups (6oz or so) of whole milk per day. Even 100% juice is just sugar. If he wants/needs other fluids give him plain water. These recommendations are based on optimal nutrition, but also help prevent obesity. Also, kids that tank up on lots and lots of fluids tend to eat less and less nutritious solid foods and may become deficient in iron (though they get adequate calories from the fluids). Hope that this helps...
G. answers from Minneapolis on August 02, 2006
I thnik your doing just fine. You are giveing your child what he needs to be healthy. I think this articile was geared for parent who just give their children juice in excessive amounts. Aas long as your son is active, just take adice of your huband & your mom. Your always hear that saying. Mother knows best.
T.L. answers from Minneapolis on August 02, 2006
In my opinion, as long as your child continues to be active, then you shouldn't have too much to worry about. As you put it, he is porportioned, and I think that is just as important. My son, is about to turn 2 on August 17th and he is actually a bit smaller for his age. He drinks constantly all day, something that I fret about often, because he seems to want to drink rather than eat. He gets plenty of juice, all 100% (I am a licensed childcare provider, so it is mandatory I only serve 100%) but he also gets milk throughout the day as well. He drinks water during sleep times, I am not too fond of the idea of sugars floating around in a closed mouth.
Again, I wouldn't red flag it unless he is an inactive child.
H. answers from Minneapolis on August 02, 2006
I, too, think you have a right to be concerned. Milk and water is all that's offered at my house, just as much for weight as tooth decay. My friend gave her son juice instead of milk when she got rid of the bottle, and he had an abcess tooth at the age of 4. If you want to offer variety, flavored waters go a long way with kids, and they now sell them in little juicebox containers.
J.F. answers from Minneapolis on August 02, 2006
In your note you don't mention how much juice you are giving ...just that it is watered down. I don't think you are excessively worrying because childhood obesity is a very serious problem which can lead to diabetes and all sorts of problems. Juice in itself is not a problem as long as it isn't in excess. I give my daughter juice too but she only gets about 1/2 cup of watered down stuff/day. I got her used to water and milk early on and now she hardly asks for the juice. 100% fruit juice vs concentrates shouldn't make you think it is healthy. I have read that it is far better for your child to get their fruit serving by actually eating a piece of fruit (what a concept). Even though he may not be overweight for his size now, the habits learned as a child will be carried through his life when you are not there to guide him to healthy foods.
B.J. answers from Minneapolis on August 02, 2006
Marie,I can agree with the other mothers,I am a mother of 3 ,there ages are,20,18,5 1/2.My youngest son weighted 10 Lb. 9 oz. at birth and he was always half way up in the blue on the charts in height& weight and I can tell you that at my house I go thru a gallon of milk (2%)in a day,I don't agree to give your child whole milk as it can make them gain weight,try to give him 2%,my son was always bigger in his clothes always 2 sizes bigger,now that he is 5 1/2 he is in sizes 7,8 and his shoe sizes is 5 1/2 to a 6.what i'm saying is don't worry as he gets bigger he will get more active and he will start to slim down.And try not to give juice and milk before bedtime as it does rot there teeth.my sister in laws daughter had to have some teeth removed because they rotted,she had to gothru all that pain because she needed juice or milk before bed.water is the best before bed.so don't worry your little one will be just fine.unless his Dr. is concered,then I wodn't worry.
C. answers from Minneapolis on August 03, 2006
My son is also big for his age--he is very tall, but weight isn't an issue. I give him organic fruit and veggie juices throughout the day--I would say he drinks at least 12-16 oz., in addition to 16-18 oz. of milk (2%) a day. Additionally,he also will drink water out of his sippy cup as well. He isn't fat; he's very active, and very healthy. I don't think you should be worried, unless your son has a weight problem, or isn't getting enough milk. I think juice becomes a bigger issue as kids get older, and water isn't implemented into their diets. As long as water is a part of his diet now, you can eventually lessen the juice, and offer more water as he gets older. If you are choosing good juices, then the sugar should be natural, and quite frankly, milk has probably more natural sugars than some juices! Don't worry--especially in the summer when kids need more fluids anyway.
S.T. answers from Minneapolis on August 03, 2006
Hi! If your son is height/weight proportionate, and his pediatrician isn't concerned, that wouldn't be my worry. However, the reason I responded to your question is the risk of cavities, since both of my kids have had early childhood tooth decay--and I don't give them bottles before naps or bed. I rarely even give them juice, usually they drink water. I'm sure it is more genetic than environmental, but I just had to mention it since you said you put him down with milk. Good luck!