Serving juice or milk to your child seems like a great way to work extra vitamins, minerals, calcium and hydration into their diets -- and it usually is. Serving milk or juice with each major meal is an effective way to supplement a kid's diet, especially if that kid is a picky eater. However, don't constantly allow children to drink juice and milk throughout the day. There are several reasons this isn't such a great idea:
1) Juice and milk, while healthy, are fairly high-calorie options. Just like adults don't notice they're drinking hundreds of calories in their morning frapuccino, many parents don't realize how many calories their children are actually drinking throughout the day. If you insist on sticking with these beverages, keep to skim milk and sugar-free, all-natural juices.
2) Juice and milk are both extremely sugary beverages. If your child walks around all day with a sippy-cup full of milk or juice, they are constantly coating their sensitive teeth in sugars. Opt for water and encourage tooth-brushing after meals.
3) For reasons 1 and 2, juice and milk can fill your child up -- they might not be hungry for a wholesome meal when it's put in front of them. Try switching to water between meals and see if their reluctance to eat is because they were full of juice, or they're just plain 'ol picky eaters.
Nothing hydrates like water -- switch out a few of your kids' daily beverages for a glass of water and see how they do.