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Photo of a child drinking a glass of water.


Most people need to drink at least 3 cups of low fat or fat-free milk and plenty of water daily. Milk is full of nutrients bodies need. Water keeps bodies working right. But where do juices and other sweet drinks fit in?

Here is a healthy guide to drinking right:



  • Try for at least 3 cups of milk a day.
  • Milk and milk products are loaded with calcium. Kids and adults both need calcium for strong and healthy bones and teeth.
  • Kids over the age of two need to drink low-fat or skim milk and eat other dairy products like low-fat cheeses and low-fat yogurt.
  • Lactose intolerant? Ask your health care provider for information on lactose- free dairy products.



  • Try for 5 to 8 glasses a day.
  • Water is the least costly and most available beverage around.
  • Tell your kids not to wait until they are thirsty, as thirst is a sign that your body is already low on water.
  • Encourage water by keeping a plastic pitcher in the fridge, keeping a bottle or large glass of water nearby when at home, and stopping at water fountains.



  • Save juice for a snack and watch the serving size.
  • A serving of juice should be ½ cup of 100% fruit or vegetable juice.
  • Juice can be a healthy choice, but drinking it "like water" will add many extra calories. Limit to one ½ cup serving daily.
  • Eating whole fruit is better than drinking juice, because whole fruit contains fiber along with vitamins and minerals.


Sweeter Drinks

  • Sweet drinks include: soda pops, fruit punches, sports drinks, sweetened ice teas and flavored fruit or juice drinks.
  • It is OK to have sweet drinks once in a while … but as a rule, don't keep them in the house.
  • Most sweet drinks have almost no nutritional value. A 20-ounce bottle of soda pop has around 20 teaspoons of sugar!
  • Encourage everyone in the family to choose low-fat or skim milk or water with every meal, instead of sweet drinks.