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Choose Healthy Drinks

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Drink water or low-fat milk. Make it fun!

Serve your children unsweetened tap, bottled, or sparkling water, unsweetened non- or low-fat (1%) milk, unsweetened hot or cold caffeine-free tea, or 100% fruit juice in limited amounts.*

Try giving your child his/her own water bottle.

Serve water or milk in a colorful, fun or favorite cup.

Let your child sip water or milk from a silly straw.

* The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of juice per day for children ages 1 to 3, 4-6 ounces (1/2-3/4 cup) of juice per day for children ages 4 to 6, and no more than 8 ounces (1 cup) for children ages 7 to 18.1
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Presentation can make a big difference. Try some of these ideas:

Add fresh mint or slices of lemon, lime, orange, or cucumbers to a pitcher of water.

Freeze lemon juice, berries or mint leaves in ice cube trays and drop one in a glass of water.

Drop a couple of frozen berries in a glass of sparkling water.

Make your own “soda” with a splash of 100% fruit juice and club soda or seltzer.

Try filtering your water.

Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator and serve it cold. You’d be surprised how much of a difference this can make.
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Make it easier to drink water. Pack it wherever you go.

Carry a water bottle with you and refill it throughout the day.

Make sure your children have water bottles when they head to school or outside to play.

Tips for Cutting Back on Sugary Drinks

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Make it a rule not to have sugary drinks in your house.

Avoid the sugary drink aisle at the supermarket.

Don't introduce sugary drinks to your kids. If they don't have them, they won't want them.

Don’t allow yourself or your family to drink sugary drinks in the car.
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If you or your children are going to drink a sugary beverage, choose a smaller size.

Order water or low-fat milk when eating out.

Limit sugary drinks to special occasions, or not at all.

Send kids to school with a refillable bottle of water or low-fat milk.

Be a good role model. Make healthy drink choices.
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Help make the healthy choice the easier choice.

Support your school’s effort to restrict the sale of sugary drinks in vending machines, for fundraisers, and at sporting events.

Let other parents know that you and your child drink water, not sugary drinks, when you are thirsty.

During your child’s sporting events, decide not to offer sports drinks or other sugary drinks at half-time or after the games or practices.


  1. American Academy of Pediatrics. Fruit juice in infants, children and adolescents: Current recommendations. Pediatrics. 2017; 139(6):e20170967.

The Play Every Day campaign acknowledges the County of Sonoma Department of Health Services for sharing content and images used on its Choose Healthy Drinks website.

Return to Cutting Back on Sugary Drinks Improves Health.