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Rethink Your Drink



Steer your family’s health in the right direction by making the smart choice.

What You Drink Makes More Difference Than You Think!

Many people don’t realize how much sugar and calories are in common beverages. Sugar-sweetened beverages, like soda and flavored drinks, are now the largest source of added sugar in Americans’ diets and can account for a large percentage of a person’s daily calorie intake.

What is GO ON GREEN?

Choosing the right beverage is important to maintaining a healthy diet and staying hydrated and energized. This traffic light system is a guide to help you choose healthy beverages. If you or your child is thirsty, go for the green!

Cutting back on RED drinks and substituting them with GREEN drinks can help prevent unhealthy weight gain.

Green: The healthiest choice for kids! Drink plenty.

0 to 5g of sugar per 12 oz

“GREEN” beverages have no added sugars or artificial sweeteners. These are the healthiest choices, especially water. Water hydrates the body, quenches thirst, and supports other bodily functions necessary for overall health. Low-fat (1 percent) and skim milk contain natural sugars and healthy nutrient but should be limited to 2-3 8 oz portions s day.


  • Water
  • Seltzer water
  • Low-fat (1 percent) or skim milk (limit to 2-3 8 oz. portions a day)
  • Unsweetened soymilk (limit to 2-3 8 oz portions a day)

Red: Stop and think! Drink rarely, if at all.

Over 12g of sugar per 12 oz

“RED” beverages are high in sugar. Many also have high sodium and/or fat content. Red drinks contain “empty” calories, with little or no nutrients, and can contribute to unintended weight gain and chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.


  • Regular soda (Learn more.)
  • Energy drinks
  • Sports drinks
  • Pre-sweetened coffee and tea drinks
  • Juice drinks with added sugar
  • Whole or 2 percent milk
  • 100 percent fruit juice (more than 4 oz per day)

Green beverage choices are best for children.

Yellow: A better choice. Drink occasionally.

6 to 12g of sugar per 12 oz or contains artificial sweeteners

“YELLOW” beverages have moderate amounts of sugar and sodium or contain artificial sweeteners. One-hundred percent fruit juice and flavored milk contain some key nutrients. However, portions larger than 8 oz may have more than 12 grams (g) of natural sugars and should be limited as indicated below. Diet and “light” drinks that are artificially sweetened may increase taste preferences for sweet foods and drinks, which may contribute to weight gain. However, diet drinks can be used as a way to transition from RED choices to GREEN choices.


  • Diet soda
  • Diet iced tea
  • 100 percent fruit juice (limit to 4 oz per day)
  • Low-calorie sports drinks
  • Sweetened soymilk (limit to 8 oz portion)
  • Flavored low fat (1 percent) or skim milk (limit to 8 oz portion)

Green beverage choices are best for children.