City Puts Squeeze on Day Care Juice Rules

The city is cracking down on the juice kids drink at day care as it looks to curb childhood obesity. Michael Scotto filed the following report.

Three-year-old Honor Michaels likes to drink juice, but her father says he usually just gives her water or milk.

That's good news for city officials, who are trying to get kids to consume less sugar. 

The Board of Health, controlled by Mayor Bill de Blasio, has unveiled new rules aimed at cutting juice consumption at licensed day care centers.

Going forward, only children two and older will be allowed to drink 100 percent fruit juice, and they'll be limited to just four ounces per day. That's about 60 calories for a standard apple juice.

Previously, kids eight months and up were allowed six fluid ounces.

Most, but not all, parents NY1 spoke with are OK with the change.

"I think because a lot of parents don't know that juice is a bunch of, big can of sugar," said one parent.

"I don't know enough about the nutritional problems associated with juice, but to me, it seems harmless I mean, I grew up drinking juice," said another parent. "It seems kind of like nanny state stuff."

The idea behind the rule is to cut down on obesity and diabetes. Health officials believe young kids who drink more water will be less likely to want sweet beverages later in life.

Health officials also want kids to move around more. The new rules prohibit kids two and older from watching more than 30 minutes of television or video per week, down from 60 minutes per day. Screen time is already prohibited for kids under two.

As for Honor, she's not allowed more than 40 minutes of television per week. That might be because her father didn't get much time in front of the TV when he was her age.

"I was very limited in the amount of television I could watch," her father said. "In fact, I was five before I realized there was another station other than PBS. 

Now, there are more channels than ever, but at local day care centers, at least, children will spend less time watching and drinking juice, and more time being active.

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