Q&A: Should I limit the amount of juice my toddler drinks?
Should juice intake be limited for toddlers?
No absolute limit has been set for juice intake for toddlers, so the “right” amount will depend upon the age of the child and what else he/she is eating and drinking.
While not a “bad” food per se, the juice often offered to toddlers (apple, orange, grape) provides water, sugar, vitamin C but little else in the way of nutrition. The same volume of whole milk offers more calories, vitamin D, and calcium. The bottom line is that juice should not replace milk, but should be considered more of a bonus food, a good source of vitamin C given on top of a healthy milk and solid intake. A 1- to 2-year-old child should be getting about 24 to 32 ounces/day of milk, a 2- to 3-year-old child should get between 16 and 32 ounces. (More than that can constipate and lead to iron deficiency.) Excessive juice in a toddler’s diet can also lead to waterry stools. A rough guide for a toddler would be from none to 8 to 12 ounces a day.