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Big Kids: 10 Things Parents Can Do to Fight Childhood Obesity

Beware Beverages

Do kids drink too many calories? Cutting sugary drinks out of your child's diet (and your own) can help to significantly reduce the number of calories your child consumes every day. Sweetened drinks and fruit drinks offer nothing except sugar and calories. Even 100 percent fruit juices, although better than fruit-flavored, sugary drinks because of their vitamins and nutrients, still pack in a lot of calories per serving. So be sure to limit how much your kids drink. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids ages 7 and older drink no more than 12 ounces of 100 percent fruit juice a day (one serving of fruit is equal to four ounces of 100 percent fruit juice).

Water and milk are the healthiest beverage options to keep in the refrigerator, and educate your kids about how to make the right choices when they aren't with you (you won't be there when the lure of the school vending machine pulls at them). Older children and teens will understand the idea of "you are what you drink," which is important because, according to a study published in the journal "Lancet," every serving of soda increases a kid's risk of becoming obese by about 60 percent.