Choose water. The Institute of Medicine recommends that kids ages 4 to 8 get about 5 12-ounce glasses of water each day, and that older kids and teens get between 5½ to 8 glasses, depending on age and gender.
Use pure juice, not juice drinks.
Juice drinks replace apples, oranges, grapes, and other fruits—it doesn’t have the fiber content of whole fruits, and nutrition labels show that even pure, all-natural juice has considerable sugar. But it’s in the juice, not added to it, and the juice offers far more than just empty calories. New research published in the journal Public Health Nutrition shows that drinking pure fruit juice is linked to improved nutrition in 2- to 18-year-olds.
Limit juice portions to 1 cup a day. “Portion size is most important,” says Beauvais. Four to 8 ounces a day is plenty for children. Serving sizes have increased over the years, so be careful—one juice box typically is about 7 ounces. Dilute with water if you have concerns.