Is juice good for kids? If you’re looking for a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, you’re bound to be disappointed. The real answer is that it depends on what kind and how much.
Here are the basic things you should know before giving your child fruit juice, as shared by noted expert on pediatric medicine, Dr. William Sears:
- Choose juices that say “100% fruit juice” on the label.
- Avoid those that call themselves fruit drink, beverage, cocktail, beverage, or ade. These juices will contain water, added sugars, and other additives, and offer less nutritional value.
- A good way to identify a more pure fruit juice is to look for those that are cloudy and have sediment on the bottom.
- Be sure your juice is pasteurized to kill bacteria.
- Citrus juices offer the most nutritional value.
- Juices can be diluted with water for children who prefer juice over other beverages, and can be mixed with seltzer for a bubbly treat.
As fruit juice can be high in calories and natural sugars, it should be a limited part of a child’s diet. These are the appropriate daily juice servings for children:
6 – 12 months 4 ounces per day
1 – 4 years 6 ounces per day
4 – 12 years 8 ounces per day
Also, never allow a toddler to fall asleep with a bottle containing juice, as this will lead to tooth decay.
For more information on your child’s nutritional needs, find a trusted pediatrician near you with the Vitals Doctor Finder.