What Percentage of Juice to Water for a Second Grader?

Updated on July 22, 2013
A.M. asks from Silver Spring, MD
28 answers

I've been giving my daughter 50% juice and 50% water, but now I see that some parents are further reducing the amount of juice. She's a great water drinker, but I do like to give her some juice because she isn't allowed other sweets like fruit snacks which her classmates enjoy.
Do you go as low as 25% juice and what reaction did your children have initially?

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone for your input. She's not a big milk drinker and once weaned, pretty much only drank cow's milk if flavored. The pediatrician wanted her to drink milk even if it was chocolate so I put up with that for a year because she was actually underweight (25th percentile). Now that she is 50% percentile for weight, I'm worried about the calories. I'm sending a reusable water bottle for school and she'll happily drink water throughout the day. I feel like I ought to send either milk or watered juice to have with snack and lunch. Maybe it isn't necessary. Thanks for the food for thought.

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answers from Chattanooga on

I give my 3 yo DD straight juice, when she gets it. Usually, it's more of a treat for longer car rides.

She drinks plenty of water. She eats fresh fruits and veggies. She has a balanced diet, and has always been very healthy. So I don't see any problem with giving her juice when she wants something sweet to drink. Everything in moderation! Watered down juice just tastes nasty, IMO, so it's not much of a treat.

She has never had any kind of reaction to having straight juice.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I have never watered down juice for my kids, ever. My daughter does not like juice anyway. She is a water drinker. I'll give my son just 1 cup of juice a day (he would love more though, lol) and the rest of the time he drinks milk or water

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

My kids have a 100% juice pouch with their lunch if they bring lunch or they buy milk if they buy lunch. I've never watered down their juice because they would only have one serving a day at lunch when they were in daycare/preschool and that has continued through elementary school, and watered down juice is rather disgusting (I drink 50/50 juice and water before long bike rides and it's not appealing at all). They'd rather have juice or water, not a mix. The rest of the day at school they drink water. At home I honestly have no idea what they drink as they help themselves. We usually have OJ or grapefruit juice, water, milk, unsweetened iced tea and Simply Lemon lemonade (like Crystal Light but made with real lemon juice and Stevia instead of chemicals). My kids are slender and healthy so I don't really manage what they drink. I don't have anything in the house that they can't drink so they can really have whatever they want.

Anyway...I would just leave it as is if it's what she likes.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from St. Louis on

I can honestly say I have never diluted my kids juice. I am happy to report all four of them have perfect teeth, are very slim and healthy, and despite my indulgence one is a green drink drinker! Gag!! But she is happy so whatever, be healthy my love!!

Please, someone tell me why this happens? I get with a baby but I was lazy and bought baby juices when they were babies. But kids? Why?

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Augusta on

She's 2nd grade and a water drinker, I wouldn't water it down any.
Not like she's a toddler.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

How much juice does your daughter drink? Diluting juice is for toddlers and preschoolers. If you mean she has a glass of juice or a juicebox once a day, I think you are well past the stage of diluting. When my kids were school aged, I did not dilute juice, but I did limit the juice.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I would not water it down. Only watered it down when kids were little. It seems these days everyone is on the "no juice" kick. Juice with breakfast or once during the day will not hurt. Variety is the spice of life! The same thing day in and day out gets boring.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

why are you watering down the juice? give her a glass at full strength and then give her glasses of water. watered down juice is just gross. you might as well give her a glass of watered down koolaid. I just don't get it

I'm adding to my answer lol.

a juice box at lunch time is a good source of vitamins and it tastes good when a carton of milk might not. schools are not always air conditioned and a juice box that was frozen will taste pretty good on a hot day.

I don't think a glass of juice a day is going to rot your teeth and or make you addicted to sweets and make you fat. being lazy and not having physical activity makes you fat and lazy and not brushing teeth and or having juice in a bottle at bedtime will rot your teeth.
ok off my soap box now.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Janesville-Beloit on

I feel like juice is one of those things that has become taboo, but my belief is that it (like most things) is fine in moderation. My dr shares this opinion as well. I give my two-year-old one glass of apple juice a day (at her age, it's watered down 50/50, so she probably has about 4 oz). She also loves milk and water. At your daughter's age, I wouldn't be watering down. A small amount of juice once or twice a day isn't going to be a problem, in my opinion. I know plenty of people who are totally anti-juice, but I feel like it's one of those things that if you are too restrictive, they will just go overboard with it when they are making their own decisions later on.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

My kids weren't milk drinkers either. I only watered down their juice as toddlers. After that juice was a "breakfast" item, and they pretty much drank water for lunch and dinner (chocolate milk on days they got school lunch, a few times a week.) I also let them have lemonade or soda at parties and restaurants, even though we never had it at home.
I think you'll find when kids are used to water they just don't expect much else.
And my kids were always 10-15% percentile but super healthy and hitting milestones so I had no worries there, especially since their dad is Filipino and they were always tiny anyway!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

We rarely buy or drink juice.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

We stopped buying juice and our kids only drink water and milk with the occasional juice at birthday parties. They don't seem to miss it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

My kids don't drink any juice except an occasional glass of fresh squeezed tangerine juice. They prefer water. Perhaps it is because they never have juice.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

I add a little water to juice otherwise it's just to sweet. (75% juice) My kids love and drink a lot of juice. We are THAT family. Sometimes we even drink Country Time lemonade. We don't do cows milk we do almond milk in chocolate.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

I gave my daughter undiluted fruit juice, as much as she wanted, from the time she was a toddler. She brushed her teeth regularly and they didn't rot, and she never had a weight problem. I also gave her whole milk, as much as she wanted.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

My son drinks 100% water or 100% milk. There is no need at all for juice - please read the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations. My personal feeling about watered down juice is - that's gross. When we go out to brunch somewhere where the juice is fresh squeezed - we order it. It is a rare treat. Otherwise - I would rather drink water and so would my son.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Reading on

We do water. I stopped sending juice pouches to school and invested in refillable water bottles. My son loves milk, so he drinks it with breakfast and dinner. But otherwise, just water and whole fruit. Juice is little better than soda. I did buy a juicer for making fresh juices at home, so occasionally we will make that, but we don't buy store bought juices any more. Also, we have a soda stream and we don't use any of the prepared flavors. For that, I will mix carbonated water with a little juice (2:1 ratio) for a natural soda.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My kids water down their own juice - they are 6, 8, and 10. They just prefer it that way. And I'm okay with that. They probably do 25% water.



answers from Los Angeles on

I've always watered down juice for my kids because I find it too sweet. For my older two it's about 75% juice; for my youngest about 50%. When they do have full-strength juice they find it too sweet as well and feel like they're having dessert! LOL



answers from Albuquerque on

I'm guessing you're not a fan of plain water, right? Those of us who like water see nothing wrong with providing just plain water. I don't mind my kids getting sugar, but I prefer it to be in something they truly enjoy -- like a cookie -- rather than watered down juice. It affects the body the same way, so skip the juice and save up those calories and sugar grams for a real treat.



answers from Oklahoma City on

A complete serving of juice per DAY is between 4 and 8 ounces. If you are giving her more than that then you're giving her too much.

It does not matter if you give her straight up juice or mix it with water. Juice has the same stuff in it no matter what you mix it with.....

So you have to stop giving her more than a serving of juice per day.


answers from Boston on

There's no nutritive value in juice, at least not the commercially available juices you will find. It helps kids develop a sweet tooth, adds unnecessary calories, and adds expense to your food budget.

You are right -a reusable, non-plastic (or non-BPA) bottle, and tap water. Purchased bottled water is a huge rip off, one of the great marketing ploys of the past 15 years, and a huge budget-buster as well as a massive environmental nightmare (using fossil fuels to make the bottles and transport them to your store, then the disposal/recycling of the bottles to start over).

Your daughter likes water. GREAT! There are plenty of things you can do to boost her nutrient level without using cow's milk too. Milk really isn't necessary for the human diet. I'm not against it, but I'm against forcing it or believing that it's essential. Instead of just flavoring either one, you can add nutrients in a highly absorbable form. Your worries about calories are that these are inefficient or empty calories - so make them nutritive and beneficial, using cellular nutrition. I'm in the food science field and I can tell you there is wonderful info available on absorption, synergism (nutrients working together), and even epigenetics (proper gene expression and correcting the influence of toxins, "bad genes" and environmental factors.



answers from Washington DC on

I always did 50/50 at that age. Why not, if they still like the taste?

He's ten now and wants 100% juice. I knew it wouldn't last forever.........

Now sometimes we both have water with just a spash of juice and just call it "flavored water". It's refreshing!



answers from Portland on

I only water it down depending on frequency. We hardly ever buy juice, however, my son does get a juice box at his tutor's house, and that's a nice 'special' thing he gets to do there. He's starting first grade soon.

As for at home, if I buy juice, I buy a single-serving bottle. He might have it in three servings-- some in a smoothie, some straight, or some halved with fizzy water. I try not to be too strict about it when we do have it, so it's not a big issue. I might buy a small bottle of juice a couple times a month, just because he's otherwise happy with drinking sparkling water or milk. We also do the fruity herbal teas sweetened with a bit of honey while hot, then cooled and served alone or with the fizzy water, depending on what he wants.

As for school lunches, we'll pack a water bottle usually or send him with a single-serving of almond milk, which he loves.



answers from Phoenix on

She doesn't need the calories. Your essentially giving her a few teaspoons of sugar & flavorings with water. Gross.

It is now a proven fact that sugar is a cancer breeding agent (google it). Doctors recommend, if you change anything about your amount of sugar intake, not to drink sugared beverages and you can avoid a lot of sugar that way. I say skip the juice all together!



answers from Denver on

Well, I do 50/50, roughly, for any kid in my house that asks for juice.
Why, some ask? For starters, 100% real juice is EXPENSIVE! So, with 5 kids, its a cost saver. Second, watered down juice is less corrosive to teeth. Your kids might have had perfect teeth after full strength juice, but mine, not so much. The first thing our dentist asked us with our 3rd child, who is prone to cavities was, "Does he drink a lot of juice?"
Mind you, we are not buying "grape juice cocktail", or fruit punch (makes me cringe how many people think these types of drinks are "juice"), but only 100% juice.


answers from Chicago on

My son likes juice mixed in his tea too. So I use a caffeine free tea and add juice to it to mix up the flavor also. Right now he is really into a splash of fresh watermelon juice (water melon and lemon juice blended in a blender until all juice) and a splash of lemonade. It's my twist on the classic Arnold Palmer.

However, now I no longer dilute, most and if I do it's 50/50 since he gets juice so rarely these days. He drinks water more than anything.



answers from Chicago on

When my SD was a baby, she was giving un-watered down juice and her baby teeth rotted and she had to have major dental work. She also is addicted to sweets.

For years she would suck down juice like it was going out of style. Glass after glass, after glass. She wouldn't drink water or anything that wasn't strongly flavored or sugared down. Milk only if it was flavored with strawberry or chocolate (and of course sugar).

My husband finally saw the light and we started pushing drinking water more often. She would beg for juice. She would cry. She'd refuse to drink water because it "had no flavor."

We started watering down the juice. First maybe about 10%, then maybe 25% and gradually more and more until we got 50% juice and 50% water. Then, and only then, did we break her of the juice habit and she started drinking water. It took at least a year.

Now she drinks lots of water and she can have a glass of unwatered down juice a day, but usually just drinks water. She will drink milk occasionally. We broke her of the begging for pop, she can drink it on special occasions.

High fructose corn syrup was the culprit, it was hard to break her of that addiction. We now buy juice that does not have it in it and we've found it's not addicting. I think it also took time for her taste buds to adapt to something less strongly flavored.

I think watering down juice or limiting it is a GREAT idea.

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