June 14, 2013 by thehealthyheartcenter
- 100% juice is a nutrient dense beverage and can help your child reach the recommended number of servings of fruit per day (two cups/day). For a picky eater, it may be one of the only sources for certain vitamins & minerals.
- Buying whole fruit is often pricey (especially organic produce) compared to buying 100% fruit juices. Furthermore, fresh produce is not always accessible.
- It is easy to pack on the go if kids have a busy schedule and are unable to peel and consume a whole fruit—in this case 100% juice would be the second best thing.
- For kids who are not lacking essential vitamins & minerals, drinking fruit juice is not necessary—it contains more sugar and calories than eating a whole fruit.
- While whole fruit provides lots of fiber, fruit juices do not (even pulpy orange juice). This is an important distinction for children who lack fiber in their diet.
- Liquids do not usually signal the brain that we are full.
- Fruit juices cause a spike in blood glucose, which is undesirable for children at risk for diabetes.
So what does this all mean?!
Overall, whole fruits are more desirable than juices. However, small amounts of fruit juice are definitely acceptable, especially for a picky eater. When purchasing fruit juice look for a label that says “100% fruit juice with no sugar added” (an option is to mix half juice and half water to lessen the amount of sugar).
**Don’t forget to look at serving sizes. The recommendation for 1-6 yr olds is 4-6 ounces of juice/day. For 7-18 yr olds it is recommended to limit juice consumption to 8-12 ounces/day.**