Why choose healthy beverages?

  • Beverages are not often thought of as food, but they can still contain extra calories from sugar or fat. Limiting the amount of sugary and high-fat drinks is an important part of a healthy diet.
  • Sweetened beverages contain large amounts of empty calories. Empty calories are those that contain no nutrients and therefore do not benefit the health of an individual.
  • Low-fat drink choices such as skim milk offer the same healthy nutrients as a full-fat version, but with less fat.

Make the healthy choice

Instead of this...
Choose this...
Fruit Flavored Drink
100% juice
Chocolate Milk
Unflavored milk
Fruit-infused water
Whole Milk
1% or skim milk
Sweet Tea
Unsweetened tea with lemon and mint
Flavored Coffee Drink
Coffee with unsweetened soy milk or low-fat dairy milk

Help children make healthy choices

  • Be a role model and display healthy behavior
  • Always have healthy choices available
  • Keep the house free from unhealthy beverages
  • Involve children in decision making
  • Water down sugary drinks
  • Buy small containers of sugary/high-fat drinks
  • Allow undesirable choices sparingly 

Tips for making your decision

  • Read the Nutrition Facts label to identify the amount of sugar and fat in a beverage.
  • Choose the smaller portion sizes.
  • Reach for the low-suagr, no added sugar, or low-fat options.
  • Keep in mind that there are two different types of sugar - natural and added. Added sugar is the type to limit.
  • Avoid beverages with added sugars such as sports drinks, energy drinks, sweetened coffee and tea beverages, and sodas.


Should fruit juice be limited?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that youth consume limited amounts of juice each day. Juice should always be 100% fruit juice and align with the guidlines below.

Amount of 100% Juice Per Day
0-11 months
No Juice
1-3 years old
4 Ounces or Less
4-6 years old
4-6 Ounces or Less
7-18 years old
8 Ounces or Less


Four glass containers filled with various fruits and water and a straw.

Flavored Water

Yield: Makes 2 Quarts

Try these refreshing combinations or create your own!

1 cup watermelon

1 lime

1/2 cucumber

1 lemon or lime

5 mint leaves (optional)

1 cup canned, diced pineapple

Pineapple juice from can

1 cup grapes

10 strawberries or blackberries

1 kiwi or orange


  1. Wash all produce.
  2. Collect, slice, and measure all ingredients before starting to prepare the recipe.
  3. Add all ingredients plus enough cold water to fill a 2-quart pitcher. Chill overnight in the refrigerator for the most flavor, and store in the refrigerator until ready to drink. The fruit will stay fresh in the water for up to 48 hours after being prepared.
  4. After you drink the water, you can eat the fruit or blend it into a smoothie!

Tips for releasing flavors of the produce:

WATERMELON: Cut into small pieces (1 to 2 inches).

CITRUS FRUIT (ORANGE, LEMON, LIME): Remove rinds, and slice into thin pieces.

CUCUMBER: Slice into thin pieces.

MINT: Tear leaves.

GRAPES: Slice in half.

BERRIES: Remove top (strawberries only). Slice into small pieces.

KIWI: Remove peel, and slice into thin pieces.