Expert Q&A

Juice: How much should children drink?

Because my child doesn’t like to drink water, she uses juice as a substitute. I’m concerned about whether she’s drinking too much. How much juice should my child drink?

-Brenda from Vermont

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends children between the ages of one and six drink no more than 4-6 ounces a day. Recommendations for children between seven and 18 should drink no more than 8-12 ounces a day.  In addition, any juice kids drink should always be 100% fruit juice as opposed to juice “drinks”, ades, punches or other sugar-based fruit-flavored beverages. 

Health concerns of drinking too much juice

The main concern with drinking too much juice is that although 100% juice contains vitamins and minerals, it also contains sugar. Fruit naturally contains a sugar called fructose.  Because of the sugar content, juice can provide a good deal of calories when consumed in large amounts. 

Many juices are good sources of vitamin C, potassium, or other nutrients.  However, once your child starts drinking more juice than the recommended amounts, the sugar and calorie content outweighs the nutritional benefits.  This can increase your child’s risk of developing a weight problem or dental caries.  Too much juice can also fill small children’s bellies so they aren’t as hungry at meal or snack time. This will prevent them from getting all the other nutrients their growing bodies need.      

Heidi Reichenberger McIndoo, MS, RD
Contributing Expert

Have a question for our Experts? Send it in!