Healthy Beverage Guidelines and Easy Ways to Control Portions

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Why is Water Best?

  • Water has no calories, no sugar, and no fat.
  • Tap water in New York City is healthy and free.
  • Drinking more water can help with headaches, dry skin, constipation, and thirst.

What about Juice?

  • Juice has a lot of sugar. Even 100% apple juice (16-ounce bottle) naturally has 11 teaspoons of sugar.
  • Whole fruit fills you up and is healthier than juice.
  • It is always best to eat a piece of fruit instead of drinking fruit juice.

Easy Tips to Drink More Water and Less Sugar

Check once you have tried each of the following:

  • Make water fun with a slice of lemon, lime, orange, or cucumber.
  • Make spritzers by mixing a small amount of 100% juice and seltzer water.
  • Order tap water instead of soda at restaurants.
  • Serve tap water with meals.
  • Keep bottles of tap water in the fridge instead of soda and juice.
  • Carry a water bottle and refill it during the day.
  • If you buy juice, check the nutrition label and make sure it is 100% juice.
Recommended Amount of Juice Each Day
Age Amount of Juice per Day
0 months - 1 year no juice
1 - 5 years No more than 1/4 – 1/2 cup
of 100% fruit juice per day
6 years and older No more than 1 1/2 cups of 100% fruit juice per day

Easy Ways to Control Portions

Why should you “eat smaller amounts”?

  • By eating smaller amounts you eat only the calories you need and avoid eating too much.
  • If you order a “supersized” portion you are more likely to eat or drink more.

How to Use the Nutrition Facts Label

  • Check the nutrition facts label to learn more about what is in packaged foods.
  • This area shows the number of servings in one package.
  • This area shows the nutrition facts per serving.

Your hand can help you measure the right amount of food to eat

Use your hand to measure out portions

  • Palm of Hand
    Amount of Lean Meat
  • A Fist
    Amount of Rice, Cooked Pasta, or Cereal
  • A Thumb
    Amount of Cheese
  • Thumb Tip
    Amount of Peanut Butter

Note to adults preparing meals for children: Use your child’s hand to measure portion sizes.

Tips for Eating Smaller Amounts

Check once you have tried each of the following:

  • Put the right amount of food on each person’s plate and leave the serving dish in the kitchen.
  • Eat dinner with your family.
  • Eat dinner sitting at the table and with the TV off.
  • Order half of the meal to go at restaurants.
  • Share a meal with someone else at restaurants.
  • Divide large packages into smaller baggies to make single servings.
  • Check the Nutrition Facts Label and eat the right amount for 1 serving.

Healthy Beverage Guidelines

Healthy Beverage Guidelines