Healthy Drinks for Kids

Lemonade All the Time

You always have lemonade around.

Fruity non-juice drinks are, sadly, a lot unhealthier than they seem. Take lemonade, for instance. It has six teaspoons of added sugar per cup -- the same amount as in five Oreos. "These kinds of drinks should be a treat every once in a while, not a substitute for juice," says Marcie Schneider, MD, a member of the AAP's nutrition committee. In the Columbia University study, kids were nearly three times more likely to down fruit punch, sugary flavored waters, and other sweetened drinks than 100 percent juice. Sometimes parents aren't even aware that the kids aren't drinking actual juice. "A lot of products look like they're juice, but they really contain a smidge of it and a lot of added sugar," says Dr. Schneider. "To make sure you're getting what you want, the words '100 percent juice' must be on the label."

Quench It: Most kids like fruit juice just as much as punches, so there's no reason to buy punch. Mott's even makes a tasty fruit punch that's made entirely from juice. If your kids drink a lot of lemonade this time of year, you can make a healthy pink version using watermelon. And many little kids may enjoy simply squeezing lemon wedges into a glass of water.

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