- With Mayo Clinic nutritionist
Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.read biographyclose window
Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
As a specialty editor for the nutrition and healthy eating guide, Katherine Zeratsky helps you sort through the facts and figures, the fads and the hype to learn more about nutrition and diet.
A Marinette, Wis., native, Katherine is certified in dietetics by the state of Minnesota and the American Dietetic Association. She has been with Mayo Clinic since 1999.
She is active in nutrition-related curriculum and course development in wellness nutrition at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and nutrition education related to weight management and practical applications of nutrition-related lifestyle changes.
Other areas of interest include food and nutrition for all life stages, active lifestyles and the culinary arts.
She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, served a dietetic internship at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and worked as a registered dietitian and health risk counselor at ThedaCare of Appleton, Wis., before joining the Mayo Clinic staff.
Children's health (7)
- Car sickness in children: Can I prevent it?
- Fruit juice: Good or bad for kids?
- Child growth: Can you predict adult height?
- see all in Children's health
- Multivitamins: Do young children need them?
Elementary students (5)
- Baby teeth: When do children start losing them?
- Trampoline jumping: Safe for kids?
- Dental braces: When to start
- see all in Elementary students
Fruit juice: Good or bad for kids?
Is it OK to give my child fruit juice?
from Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
While whole fruit is the best choice, certain types of fruit juice can be a healthy part of your child's diet.
Recent studies have confirmed that drinking moderate amounts of 100 percent fruit juice doesn't affect a child's weight. However, fruit juice contains calories. Just like any other food or calorie-containing drink, too much fruit juice can contribute to weight gain.
If you choose to give your child fruit juice, choose 100 percent fruit juice instead of sweetened juice or fruit-juice cocktails. While 100 percent fruit juice and sweetened fruit drinks might have a similar number of calories, your child will get more vitamins and nutrients and fewer additives from 100 percent juice. Serve juice in a cup — not a bottle — to avoid tooth decay. In addition, serve fruit juice only with a snack or a meal, rather than allowing your child to sip juice throughout the day. If you're having trouble getting your child to eat, don't allow him or her to drink any liquids 30 minutes before meals or snacks.
To ensure that your child isn't drinking too much juice, follow these limits from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association:
- Birth to 6 months: No fruit juice, unless it's used to relieve constipation
- 6 months to 6 years: 4 to 6 ounces (118 to 177 milliliters) a day
- 7 years and older: 8 to 12 ounces (237 to 355 milliliters) a day
About 4 ounces (118 milliliters) of 100 percent fruit juice equals one serving of fruit. Remember, though, juice lacks the fiber and other nutrients of whole fruit. Although a reasonable amount of fruit juice each day is fine for most children, be sure to offer your child whole fruit as well.Next question
Child growth: Can you predict adult height?
- Nicklas TA, et al. Association between 100% juice consumption and nutrient intake and weight of children aged 2 to 11 years. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. 2008;162:557.
- O'Connor TM, et al. Beverage intake among preschool children and its effect on weight status. Pediatrics. 2006;118:e1010.
- American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition. The use and misuse of fruit juice in pediatrics. Pediatrics. 2001;107:1210.
- Mypyramid for kids. U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://teamnutrition.usda.gov/Resources/mpk_poster2.pdf. Accessed Feb. 28, 2011.
- Juice or fruit drinks? U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.fns.usda.gov/TN/Resources/Nibbles/juice.pdf. Accessed Feb. 28, 2011.
- American Heart Association. Dietary recommendations for children and adolescents: A guide for practitioners. Pediatrics. 2006;117:544.
- Zeratsky KA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 15, 2011.
- Hoecker JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 14, 2011.
- Shelov SP, et al. Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5. 5th ed. New York, N.Y.: Bantam Books; 2009:516.