Limit Sugar-Sweetened Beverages

December 13, 2014


Why Limit Sugar-Sweetened Beverages? Because...

  • They offer no nutrition but do add lots of extra calories and sugar

  • They raise the risk of cavities and dental damage

  • They often replace milk at a meal or snack, which contains many nutrients for good health

  • Energy drinks in particular contain sugar plus caffeine and other harmful ingredients

  • Energy drinks are not recommended for children and teens


What Your Family Can Do:

  • Drink milk, water, and other low calorie beverages instead

  • Serve low-fat milk with meals

  • If your child won't drink white milk, give them 1% flavored milk instead

  • Limit juice to only 100% juice, 4-6 ounces per day

  • Don't buy sugary drinks for the home

  • Serve water between meals


Drink Milk for Better Nutrition

  • Milk provides calcium, protein, and vitamins A and D that help kids and adults maintain a healthy diet and improve bone health

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children get 3 servings and teens get 4 servings of milk a day (one serving = 8 oz)


Quick Tips:

You can determine if your drink contains additional sugars by reading the ingredient list. Sweeteners listed go by many different names, so use the list below to identify ingredients that show a beverage is sweetened.

  • High-fructose corn syrup

  • Fructosee

  • Fruit juice concentrates

  • Honey

  • Sugar

  • Syrup

  • Corn syrup

  • Sucrose

  • Dextrose

Instead of sweetened beverages, try

  • Water or other calorie free beverages to quench thirst

  • Limiting soft drinks to special occassions

  • Low sugar sports drinks over regular sports drinks, and only if you have had intense exercise


For More Information


Information provided adapted from, Journal of Adolescent Health, Journal of the American College of Nutrition, and NCH handouts.

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