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We Can!® Community News Feature

Planning a Picnic? Beware of the Fruit Punch!

Putting together a picnic basket? Have your picnic checklist?  

  • Watermelon
  • Corn on the cob
  • Blueberries
  • Peaches

Summertime is a great time to pack a picnic full of nutritious seasonal foods, but don't forget to think about the drinks that will keep your family hydrated at the park.
Did you know that many juices and fruit punches pack a calorie punch as well? For example, there are 11.5 teaspoons of sugar and 195 calories in an average 12–ounce glass of fruit punch. Imagine adding nearly a quarter cup of sugar to any drink!

Here's a look at some other drinks (per 12-ounce serving) that can be popular at summer picnics, but also pack a sugary and high–calorie punch:

Orange soda: 13 teaspoons of sugar | 210 calories

Grape juice: 12 teaspoons of sugar | 200 calories

Powered drink mix (with sugar): 9 teaspoons of sugar | 145 calories

Sweet Tea: 8.5 teaspoons of sugar | 120 calories

This information—and many more science–based tips, tools and other resources to help keep the whole family eating healthy—are available on the We Can!
(Ways to Enhance Children's Activity & Nutrition)® Web site ( We Can!, developed by the National Institutes of Health, provides resources for parents, caregivers and communities to help children ages 8–13 maintain a healthy weight by eating right, increasing physical activity and reducing screen time.

The program can help your whole family live a healthier life—not just have a healthier picnic.

So, before you shop for your next picnic—or just the week ahead—visit the We Can! Web site for tips, including healthy substitutions (such as using fat–free or low–fat sour cream in dips, and leaner meats when grilling) and suggestions for fun outdoor group activities, like volleyball or soccer, to get the whole family moving to burn off calories from your summertime feast.

And the last thing to add to your list?


Last Updated: May 8, 2012

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