Juice and Kids
What You Really Need to Know
What’s up with juice for kids? We see it everywhere! We remember drooling over Capri-Sun’s and loving a good box of Juicy-Juice. So what bout kids today? In this article we review what you need to know about juice for kids including the American Academy of Pediatrics’ updated expert guidelines and what that means at home.
What are the guidelines?
In May of 2017, the AAP changed their tune on juice and recommended:
- Kids under 1 = no juice
- 1-3 years old = 4 ounces a day
- 4-6 years old = 4-6 ounces a day
- 7-18 years old = limit juice to 8 oz or 1 cup of fruit
Is juice for kids bad?
First, juice, like any food, in moderation is not bad for kids. But, juice like other sugar-sweetened beverages (think drinks like soda, lemonade, and sports drinks) has a lot of added sugar. Our bodies, big ones and little ones, don’t need it.
Here are some reasons for avoiding this stuff
- Drinking a lot of juice and other sugary drinks are documented to cause things like heart disease and type 2 diabetes
- Sugary beverages hurt our teeth and increase the risk of tooth decay (think cavities)
- Juice causes obesity and is sometimes called ‘empty calories’
- Juice fills kids up so they don’t have room in their tummies to eat real food or meals
But wait, I thought juice had vitamins
Sometimes, but we’re not impressed. 100% fruit juice has a small amount of vitamins, but it also has a lot of added sugar. What is removed is actually the good stuff, like the skin and the pulp. This is where the vitamins are and there’s fiber. Think of an apple. To get a cup of juice you need 4 apples!
OK, so what can we do instead?
So, we fall on the no juice for kids camp. But, we get it, and we love a glass of home squeezed orange juice for breakfast. Just like us, kids love the stuff. But, we want you to keep to the AAP recs, so here we round some ideas for how you can move away from juice toward other drinks that are better for our bodies.
Replace juice with pieces of fruit
Moving from apple juice to an apple has some sweet benefits. First, chewing! Just by chewing food it signals to our bodies we need to digest what is in our stomach. Pretty cool. It also sends signals to our brain that we are eating and should be feeling satisfied. Feeling this is one way we can assess our own hunger cues and know when we need to eat or stop.
Move from juice to flavored water
We love fruit water at Foublie! There are so many fun ways to make it and it looks so pretty! Put water in a pitcher with some ice and add fruit. It’s that easy. It will keep for two days. Some nice combos are:
- Watermelon and basil
- Mint and orange
- Strawberries and lemon
Go from juice to watered down juice
Sugar is addicting, so it is very likely that your child will not be happy if you stop juice all together if they are used to it. If you are having trouble weaning your child from juice, consider first diluting juice with water. Mix 1/3 cup of juice with 2/3 cup of water. Over time, your child will get used to the taste and be able to wean all together.
Just remember, in the long run, it’s really worth it to keep the amount of juice and sugary drinks to a minimum
You can help your little on set some good food habits with your approach to juice for kids. If you want extra motivation or someone to troubleshoot with, our Fooblie Coaches are here to help you. You’ve got this!