Many juice manufactures want you to believe drinking juice is equivalent to eating fruit. Well, it’s not. Not even close.
Here are 4 reasons why children should not drink juice.
Fruit juice offers no nutritional benefit over whole fruits. Most vitamins and minerals in juice are added. Remember, juice is a processed food and considered empty calories.
A small apple contains 77 calories, 1 mg sodium, 4 gm fiber, 15 gm sugar
1 cup (8 ounces) of unsweetened apple juice contains 114 calories, 10 mg sodium, 0 gm fiber, 24 gm sugar
If you compare an ounce of unsweetened apple juice to an ounce of coke, the apple juice (13 calories/ounce) has more calories than the coke (11 calories/ounce.)
2. Portion Control:
Drinking juice will leave children hungry and wanting more due to fast absorption and lack of fiber. Since an apple has fiber and is slow to digest, eating an apple will leave children full and content. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends drinking no more than 4-6 ounces of fruit juice for children between the ages of 1-6 years. That is less than 1 cup (8 ounces) of juice a day. Some sippy cups can hold up to 14 ounces.
Fruit juice does not taste the same as whole fruit. Fruit juice is actually sweeter. Giving children fruit juice actually trains them to prefer sweets over other foods. This can make it difficult when trying to teach children to eat vegetables.
Giving children a variety of whole fruits exposes them to different flavors, textures and aromas. This allows children to learn how to eat foods of different textures and tastes.
If you have a child that absolutely cannot live without their juice, try watering it down. Continue to water down the juice until they are only drinking water. Think of juice as a treat instead of a staple.
My children have only had juice twice in their lives. Both times was when my son underwent surgery. He was only able to have water or clear juice and I wanted him to have some calories. My children do not like juice because they are never offered juice.
On a typical day, my children will have whole milk with their meals and before bed. They drink water while they are playing and with their snacks.
Do you drink juice? If so, what is your favorite?
--- I don’t drink juice, but my favorite is apple.