Have You Ever Wondered

. . . are fruit juices and fruit drinks good choices for kids? Actually, that takes a two-part answer.

Fruit juices: You know that kids are urged to eat fruit every day. Fruit juice is one option, but be aware that too much juice can add up to a lot of calories, or crowd out other nourishing foods and beverages such as milk, and can spoil appetites. An excessive amount also can lead to diarrhea and intestinal discomfort. Sipping a lot of juice even promotes tooth decay. For children and teens, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises:

  • ages 1 to 6 years: ]/2to 3/4 cup (4 to 6 ounces) of fruit juice daily, maximum
  • ages 7 to 18 years: ] to ] ]/2 cup (8 to 12 ounces) of fruit juice daily, maximum

For food safety sake, avoid unpasteurized juice.

Fruit drinks: They have some juice and perhaps added vitamin C or calcium, but offer fewer nutrients than ]00% fruit juice or milk. Read the Nutrition Facts and ingredient list to compare. See "Juicy Story: Fruit Juice, Juice Drink, Fruit Drink... or Just Plain Water?" in chapter 8.

... about iron poisoning-how does it happen? Iron poisoning from adult iron capsules or tablets-or from vitamin pills with iron-occurs when children accidentally swallow them. This can happen, too, if iron tablets meant for children aren't taken as directed, but instead at a higher dosage in a short period. If your doctor prescribes extra iron for your child, give it only as directed.

Iron poisoning can cause serious injury, even death. Call your doctor or a poison control center immediately if your child accidentally swallows a supplement with iron. Keep all pills in child-safe containers where your child can't reach them. Note: A healthful diet with iron-fortified foods won't cause iron poisoning!

  • Is food that's left on a child's plate discarded properly?
  • Do children each have their own dish, cup, and utensils, rather than share?
  • Does an adult eat with the children, serving as a good role model? Can you volunteer from time to time?
  • Are menus posted, or are they sent home with the children?
Parenting Teens Special Report

Parenting Teens Special Report

Top Parenting Teenagers Tips. Everyone warns us about the terrible twos, but a toddler does not match the strife caused once children hit the terrible teens. Your precious children change from idolizing your every move to leaving you in the dust.

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