How Much Soda Is Too Much for Kids?

You might think that one can of soda a day is no big deal, but what about your child? Just like with adults, too much soda can be bad for kids. In this article, we’ll break down how much soda is too much for kids, and we’ll give you some tips on how to reduce your child’s soda intake.

How Much Sugar Is in Soda?

Soda is packed with sugar. In fact, a single can of soda can contain about 10 teaspoons of sugar, which is more than the American Heart Association recommends for kids in an entire day.

Drinking too much soda can cause health problems for kids, including weight gain and tooth decay. It can also lead to other issues such as diabetes and heart disease.

So how much soda is too much for kids? There isn’t one simple answer to that question. It depends on your child’s age, weight and overall diet. But it’s generally best to limit kids to no more than one can of soda per day.

It's important to consume soda in moderation, or to choose healthier alternatives such as water or unsweetened beverages (Photo: Caspar Rae/Unsplash).
It’s important to consume soda in moderation, or to choose healthier alternatives such as water or unsweetened beverages (Photo: Caspar Rae/Unsplash).

The Effects of Excessive Soda Consumption

It’s no secret that soda isn’t the healthiest drink choice, but just how bad is it for kids?

As it turns out, excessive soda consumption can have some pretty serious consequences. Kids who drink too much soda are more likely to be obese, have tooth decay, and experience metabolic syndrome—a cluster of health problems including high blood pressure and high cholesterol that can lead to heart disease.

So how much is too much? According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children should drink no more than one 12-ounce can of soda per day. Of course, there are plenty of other healthy drink options out there, so it’s best to try and stick to those whenever possible.

Is There an Minimum Age for Soda Consumption?

The answer to this question is tricky. There isn’t a definitive answer, as every child is different. However, pediatricians tend to advise limiting sugar-sweetened drinks, including soda, to no more than 4 ounces per day for kids between 2 and 5 years old.

After that, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises limiting sugary drink intake to no more than 8 ounces per day for kids between 6 and 11 years old, and for teens, no more than 12 ounces per day. Keep in mind that these are just general guidelines, and it’s always important to consult with your pediatrician about what’s best for your child.

It’s generally recommended that children under the age of 5 should not consume soda at all. Sorry, kids! Photo: zoo_monkey/Unsplash

How to Cut Down on Your Child’s Soda Intake

If you’re worried that your child is drinking too much soda, there are a few things you can do to cut down on their intake.

First, try to make water and healthy drinks more available and easily accessible to them. This could mean having a water cooler in the house or keeping a pitcher of lemon water in the fridge.

Second, cut back on sugary snacks and drinks in general. If there’s less junk food in the house, your child will be less likely to crave soda.

And finally, lead by example! If you’re constantly sipping on soda yourself, your child is going to want to do the same. So try to drink water or unsweetened beverages most of the time, and save the soda for special occasions.

What Are Better Alternatives to Soda for Kids?

So, if you’re looking for alternatives to soda for your kids, what are some options? Here are a few ideas:

  • Water: This one is pretty obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. Water is the best option for kids (and adults!) because it’s hydrating and has no sugar.
  • Milk: Milk is a good source of calcium and protein, and it can be a refreshing alternative to sugary drinks. Just be sure to choose low-fat or skim milk to avoid excess saturated fat and calories.
  • 100% fruit juice: Fruit juice contains vitamins and minerals, but it also has natural sugars. So, it’s best to limit fruit juice to no more than 4 ounces per day for kids.
  • Herbal tea: Herbal teas are a great way to get kids to drink more water. And, many herbal teas have health benefits, like chamomile tea, which can help with anxiety and sleep.
Orange juice
Drinking orange juice is certainly a healthier choice than drinking soda, but it’s important to remember that juice also contains a lot of sugar. (Photo: Piotr Chrobot on Unsplash).

How to Talk to Your Kids About Reducing Their Soda Intake

If your kids are like most and they love soda, then it can be tough to get them to cut back. But it’s important to have that conversation—soda is loaded with sugar and empty calories, and it’s just not good for them.

So how can you talk to your kids about reducing their soda intake?

First, explain why you’re concerned and why you think it’s important for them to cut back. You can share stats and research with them if you want, but try to keep it simple.

Then, give them some options for alternative drinks. Let them pick a few that they’re willing to try.

Finally, make a plan together. Maybe they can start by only having soda on weekends, or only having one can per day. Whatever the plan is, make sure it’s something they’re on board with—if they feel like they’re being forced into it, they’re less likely to stick with it.


The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that kids drink no more than one drink per day. This includes sodas, sports drinks, and fruit juices.

Too much soda can cause kids to gain weight and can also lead to tooth decay.

Parents should talk to their kids about the dangers of drinking too much soda and help them make healthy choices when it comes to drinks.

Recent Posts