You are probably well aware by now that fruit juices are an excellent and easy way to sneak in more valuable nutrients to your children’s diet. However, who do you know if the fruit juices you’re buying are healthy or not? Prior to buying any fruit juice you see at your local supermarket, keep the following tips in mind to help make certain that you’re not feeding your kids more sugar and less fruit by purchasing the wrong types of fruit juices.
Know the Difference between Standard & 100% Natural Fruit Juices
For starters, it’s very important that you scan the packaging of the fruit juice to figure out whether it’s made of 100% fruit juice or if it’s just a combination of fruit juice and added flavourings and sweeteners such as high fructose corn syrup. Although your kids might prefer the sweeter taste of sweetened fruit juice, they’ll get more nutrients, minus the calories from 100% fruit juice, even fruit juice concentrate. That being said, always check the nutrition information provided in the juice’s packaging to determine if what you’re buying is 100% fruit juice or if it’s a mixture of fruit juice and other ingredients like sugar, corn syrup, colouring, etc. This is the only way to know exactly what you’re buying.
Find Out How Much Sugar is in Fruit Juice Mixtures
The regular fruit juice mixture typically contains just 10% of natural fruit juice (yes—it’s that low), but some products might have more. 100% fruit juice on the other hand, whether store-brought or made with your own citrus juicer don’t contain any additives, even sugar. But if you are not averse to giving your kids fruit juice mixtures from time to time, at least make sure that you know how much sweetener, natural or synthetic, it contains before blindly assuming that it’s ‘healthy enough’ for your kids.
Give Your Kids Fruit Juice and Other Kinds for Drinks
Instead of giving your kids multiple fruit juice servings every day, consider giving them a 6-oz or 178ml serving of pure fruit juice daily—half that amount, plus some ice, if you’re giving them fruit juice concentrate or fruit juice mixtures. Give your kids milk or even teas at other times throughout the day. But don’t forget to give your kids at least eight full glasses of water daily, because the more sweet beverages they drink, the higher the chance that they’ll develop a taste or liking for them. On the other hand, drinking plain water will encourage them to be used to its untainted taste. Make certain that your kids are getting enough servings of real fruits as well.
It is very easy for parents to think that any kind of fruit juice is healthy for kids because it has fruit. But you need to make reading nutrition information on labels a habit so that you will know exactly what you’re spending your money on. Put simply, just because fruit juice has fruit in it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s healthy and beneficial for your kids.