The ugly truth is that all this sugar means empty calories that put kids at risk of obesity and dental/ health problems that can show up as early as adolescence. An easy, relatively pain-free way to cut out some of the sugar in your child's diet is to reduce their juice consumption. Changing your child’s diet can be a challenge, but remember that children can only eat or drink what is given to them.
- Avoid using a bottle to settle your child to sleep.
- Be a role model by not keeping sweet drinks in the house or consuming sweet drinks yourself.
- Sugar sweetened drinks such as soft drinks, juice, fruit drinks, vitamin-style waters, energy and sports drinks, are not recommended or needed.
- If your child is already used to sweet drinks, start to reduce their intake – for example, you could offer watered-down versions for a short time and then move on to water. Have water as the main drink in your family.
- Be patient. This may take time, particularly if your child is in the habit of wanting juice or pop whenever they are thirsty or hungry.
- Encourage your child to eat fresh fruit and vegetables instead of drinking juice.
- Limit consumption of fruit juice to ½ cup (with no added sugar) only occasionally.
- Visit your local doctor or health centre if you have any concerns about your child’s health or growth.