Is It Safe to Give Your Child Fruit Juice? (2023)

Fruit juice is often marketed with a health halo. It seems like a better idea than drinks like soda or packets that you mix yourself with water and sugar.

The pictures of fruit on the label and the number “100%” or “added vitamin C” in various places all over the bottle are designed to send the message that fruit juice is something you should be serving your youngster. But not so fast.

Most fruit juice isn’t exactly what it seems. Before you pour your kids a glass, here’s what you should know.

What Are the Health Benefits of Fruit?

Fruit is an excellent and necessary part of a healthy diet. Each fruit has a unique profile with nutritional benefits, boasting different vitamins and minerals. Citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, apples are high in vitamin A, and bananas are high in potassium.

Most fruits are high in dietary fiber, which plays an essential role in digestion.

Since fruits are naturally sweet, many people enjoy digging into fruit-based snacks. Many children wouldn’t gravitate towards vegetable juice like tomato juice, but fruit drinks are always easy to serve up when you’re on the go.

How Much Fruit Should Children Have a Day?

Toddlers should have about one cup of fruit a day, and children four years of age or older should have up to 1 ½ cups of fruit a day. Encourage your child to gravitate towards more fruit instead of a potentially unhealthy snack. Fruit will do more to support their bodies than french fries or potato chips.

It might be challenging to think of fruit servings in cups when you have an older child. You have to cut fruit into small pieces for toddlers, which helps it fit easily into a measuring cup.

(Video) Fruit Juice: Is it safe for kids to drink?

Smaller fruits, like blueberries, can be poured directly into a cup to gauge an approximate serving size. So what fruits should you introduce your child to? We recommend:

  • Cranberry juice
  • Pineapple juice
  • Cherry juice
  • Grapefruit juice
  • Mango juice
  • Watermelon slices
  • Beetroot juice
  • Kiwi juice
  • Lime juice
  • Acai bowls

Many parents don’t have time to measure fruits before giving them to their children. A good rule of thumb is to assume one serving size of a large fruit is ½ cup of fresh fruit or one cup of fruit juice. For instance, a medium-sized apple or orange is a standard serving of fruit.

What’s the Difference Between Fruit Juice and Juice Drinks?

Many parents miss the point here, and it isn’t necessarily their fault. Juice drinks or fruit drinks are often deliberately deceptively marketed to appear the same as fruit juices.

Companies choose packages designed to make these drinks look upscale and healthier, depicting fruit on the label. If you read the fine print and check the nutrition facts, you’ll notice that these things are “juice cocktails” or that the disclaimer says “contains X% juice.”

These fruity drinks are almost the same as decaffeinated soda most of the time. They contain just as much sugar and often numerous artificial ingredients. The “health halo” used to advertise them leads you to believe that these drinks are somehow different when they can be equally detrimental to your child’s health.

Like sugar and candy, these drinks add empty calories to your child’s diet and may contribute to tooth decay. These drinks are blended and diluted with water and often include added sugar. You should consider them “junk food” and keep them off the table.

Unless the product specifies that it is pure 100% fruit juice, it isn’t 100% fruit juice. You should always check the ingredients list and nutrition facts before purchasing juice for your family to ensure that you’re getting juice and not just glorified fruit punch.

Real fruit juice will only contain naturally-occurring sugars from the fruit. It might be cloudy or less appetizing in color due to its nature. Pure apple juice will be a deep amber color, with unfiltered varieties appearing an opaque sandy color through the bottle.

(Video) Can I give my baby or toddler Fruit Juice? Quantity as per age? Fruit or Juice?🍹🥤

Natural grape juice will appear nearly black due to the concentrated natural pigments of the grape, and orange juice will be an opaque sunny yellow-orange color and will sometimes have visible pulp.

What Age Can Toddlers Start Having Juice?

Although it is technically safe to begin introducing juice to babies as young as six months, most pediatricians recommend against it. Babies have small stomach capacities, requiring a wealth of calories and nutrients to grow and thrive.

Juice would fill a baby up without providing them with the things they need from breast milk or formula.

The American Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t recommend the use of juice, even 100% juice, in a young child’s diet. While it isn’t dangerous, it simply isn’t as nutritionally beneficial as whole fruit for its caloric content.

  • One year to three years -- About 4 ounces (half a suggested serving size) of fruit juice daily
  • Four years to five years -- 4 to 6 ounces of juice a day

Since the recommended serving sizes of fruit juice are so small, and the acidity of juice may upset tiny tummies, most parents dilute a small splash of juice with filtered water to fill a sippy cup and effectively create fruit-infused water.

If adding a small splash of 100% juice gets your child more interested in drinking a sufficient amount of water, it’s probably a good move.

Most pediatricians recommend drinks like plain filtered water and low-fat milk (or unsweetened plant milk for children with intolerances or allergies).

Older children can enjoy variety by incorporating unsweetened coconut water, healthy fruit, green smoothies as snacks, unsweetened caffeine-free herbal tea, and naturally essenced sparkling water.

(Video) Never Give A Baby Fruit Juice - Dr.Berg On Nutritional Deficiencies & Healthy Diet For Kids

Why Are Whole Fruits and a Glass of Water Better?

Fruit juices contain the water from within a fruit, infused with some natural flavor and some of the water-soluble vitamins and minerals. Unfiltered juices or juices with pulp will retain more of the actual fruit, which is the real nutritional powerhouse.

Juice is like incomplete fruit. It doesn’t contain all the fiber and nutrients and isn’t filling. When you eat whole fruit, especially if the fruit is served raw, you’re taking in every valuable bit of nutrition that the fruit has to offer. It’s better to get your nutrition from whole fruit with a glass of water on the side.

This helps the fruit become a healthy snack or part of a regular meal rather than a normal drink. Your child can satisfy their hunger with something beneficial rather than drink calories that don’t provide optimal nutritional value.

This is especially true if something like whole fruit with nut butter is replacing a potentially unhealthy snack, like a sugar-laden granola bar or artificially flavored cheese puffs.

What if My Picky Eater Refuses To Eat Fruit?

Most picky eaters are more likely to enjoy fruits than vegetables, as fruits are sweet. Choose fruits that your child likes and begin gradually incorporating new fruits. If you usually top your child’s oatmeal or low-fat yogurt with strawberries, try adding a sliced banana. Then, add a few blueberries.

It’s important not to hide the fruit or trick your child into eating it. Your child must understand the benefits of eating fruit in a healthy diet. Rather than forcing them to eat fruit, lead by example and slowly incorporate new fruits into their meals.

You might have to accept that there are a few fruits or berries your child won’t like. Your child doesn’t need to pick cranberries or cherries or eat most other fruits you serve. Stick with the fruits that give you at least marginal success at the kitchen table.

Hiya Helps Your Child Fill In the Gaps

It can be difficult to help picky eaters get an adequate amount of fruit without adding sugar. You shouldn’t give in to the added sugar. You should keep providing your child with real whole fruits and slowly allow them to acclimate to healthier choices.

(Video) Doctors' advice about fruit juice for kids

If you’re concerned about your picky eater’s habits, you should always talk to your child’s pediatrician. Your pediatrician may recommend incorporating certain foods into your child’s diet.

They may also recommend supplementing your child’s diet with a multivitamin while learning to stop playing with their pomegranate and start eating it.

Hiya is here to help fill in the gaps. Our once daily children’s chewable multivitamin doesn’t contain any added sugar or gummy junk. It’s naturally sweetened with monk fruit and includesnaturally flavored with an organic fruit and vegetable blend.

Kids love the way it tastes, and parents love how it helps their little picky eaters meet their nutritional goals.

Sources:

Fruit juice: Good or bad for kids? | Mayo Clinic

Fruit and Vegetable Servings | Children's Hospital Colorado

When Can My Baby Start Drinking Juice? (for Parents) | Nemours KidsHealth

(Video) Are Milk and Fruit Juice Healthy Drinks for Kids?

FIBER IN FOODS CHART | Michigan Medicine | CS Mott Children's Hospital

FAQs

Should you give your child juice? ›

According to the statement, the AAP recommends: Infants younger than 12 months of age shouldn't have juice at all. Children ages 1 through 3 should consume no more than 4 ounces of fruit juice per day. Children ages 4 through 6 should consume no more than 6 ounces of fruit juice per day.

Is real fruit juice good for kids? ›

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children under 1 year of age drink no fruit juice. It is ok for children 1 to 3 years of age to drink up to 4 oz. per day, but parents should focus on offering whole fruit or water instead.

Is 100% fruit juice good for kids? ›

Thus, they recommend that children should consume whole fruit instead of 100% fruit juice whenever possible. Since 2001, the AAP has recommended specific limits on how much 100% fruit juice children drink each day: None until age 1; No more than 4-6 ounces/day between ages 1 and 6 years; and.

When can a child drink fruit juice? ›

Fruit juice or smoothies are high in sugar, so it's best to avoid them before your baby is 12 months. If you do choose to offer them, dilute with water (1 part juice to 10 parts water) and offer with a meal in an open cup/free-flow beaker to avoid tooth decay.

Which juice is best for kids? ›

It's okay to offer some juice in moderation, but make sure it's 100 percent juice (such as apple, orange, cranberry or pomegranate), which can provide some nutrients to a busy, picky toddler. Remember, too, that your tot shouldn't be toting a sippy cup filled with juice all day long.

Why I dont give my kids juice? ›

It's terrible for their developing teeth; it's not good for nutrition.” In addition to the problems with cavities, sipping on liquid calories can lead to issues with a child's weight. Freeman explains that kids are not always satiated by the calories that come from juice, which can lead them to consume more calories.

Is juice healthy yes or no? ›

There's no scientific evidence that juice is any better than eating fruit or vegetables. Though a small amount of juice can be part of a healthy diet, you can save money and time in the kitchen — and reduce the risk of consuming too much sugar — by simply eating fruits and vegetables instead.

Why is 100% fruit juice important? ›

Squeezed from whole fruit, 100% fruit juices have no added sweeteners, additives, or preservatives, which helps make them popular. They also contain important vitamins, minerals, and beneficial phytonutrients at higher levels than fruit juice cocktails and juices with added sweeteners.

Why is juice good for kids? ›

Juicing vegetables and fruit is the best way to pack your children's diet full of antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients, resulting in increased energy and improved health.

Is drinking 100% fruit juice the same as eating fruit? ›

Drinking 100 percent fruit may juice sound like a healthy option, but it's a far cry from eating the real deal—whole, fresh fruit. In fact, new research finds that drinking just one glass of 100 percent fruit juice every day leads to gaining close to half a pound over three years.

What happens when kids drink too much juice? ›

"Juice is a healthy food when taken in appropriate amounts," he tells WebMD. "But juice is basically water and carbohydrates, and too much can cause many health problems." Among them: malnourishment and stunted growth, tooth decay, obesity, and chronic diarrhea.

Which fruit is very good for kids? ›

From vitamin C in strawberries, grapes packed with antioxidants, and kiwi loaded with vitamin K, serving up their favorite fruit and adding in a few new ones can help ease your mind about what your kids are eating. Hopefully, it can end the mealtime battles as well.

How much fruit juice is too much? ›

A 150ml glass of unsweetened fruit juice, vegetable juice or smoothie can count as a maximum of 1 portion of your recommended 5 daily portions of fruit and vegetables. Limit the amount of fruit juice, vegetable juice or smoothie you have to no more than a combined total of 150ml a day (1 small glass).

How much juice can a toddler have? ›

In some cases where whole fruit is not available, giving your child a small amount of 100% juice (no more than 4 ounces per day in 2-3 year-olds and no more than 4 to 6 ounces in 4-5 year-olds) can provide some nutritional benefit. However, infants less than 1 year of age should not drink juice.

How much fruit is too much for toddler? ›

“Fruit is super healthy, but we can eat too much of it,” says Mandy. “Aim for two serves a day for your child, and if they are very active, you can up that to three.”

What should kids drink everyday? ›

Water is the best drink for children. Avoid sports drinks, fruit juices, soft drinks and flavoured mineral waters since they all contain sugar and are acidic, which can lead to tooth decay. The recommended daily intake of water for children is: 4 to 8 years old: 5 cups.

Which drink is safe for kids? ›

Infused and plain water, dairy- and plant-based milks, and certain herbal teas are examples of kid-friendly beverages. Use these drinks in place of sugary, high-calorie options, such as soda, sweetened milks, and sports drinks.

Is milk or juice better for kids? ›

A panel of nutrition experts is telling parents that milk and water are the two best things children under 5 can drink. They say fruit juice, sweetened drinks, and even plant-based milks aren't nutritious for young children. The experts note that sweetened beverages can quickly add calories to a child's daily diet.

Why should children drink water instead of juice? ›

Mixing the fruit in a blender instead of a juicer will keep the fruit fibre in the juice. It's best for children to eat whole fruit and drink plain tap water or milk. Water is better than fruit juice, because it satisfies thirst and doesn't have any extra sugar.

How much juice is recommended for kids? ›

Intake of juice should be limited to, at most, 4 ounces daily for toddlers age 1-3. For children age 4-6, fruit juice should be restricted to 4 to 6 ounces daily; and for children ages 7-18, juice intake should be limited to 8 ounces or 1 cup of the recommended 2 to 2 ½ cups of fruit servings per day.

Why can't kids have orange juice? ›

The high sugar content in juice can be difficult for little ones to absorb in their intestines and can lead to acute or chronic diarrhea. Lots of sugar contact with teeth can also significantly increase your risk of cavities,” Dr. Cyr says.

Why is 100% juice better? ›

What about pure fruit juice with no added sweeteners? It's true that 100% fruit juice is a good source of nutrients like vitamin C and potassium. The problem is that too much juice can be an extra source of sugar and calories. Juice also doesn't contain the same fiber and phytonutrients that raw fruits have.

What is healthier juice or water? ›

Any given day, water is better, in fact, the best drink to have over any other drink. Fruit juices are though healthier than other available drinks like carbonated drinks, diet sodas, flavored water, energy drinks, and so on, they can't replace the goodness of pure and clean water.

Is 100% juice healthier than water? ›

Fruit juices definitely have a lot of benefits, but the importance of drinking water can't be overlooked. Even if you drink fresh juices, it can't replace the benefits of drinking water throughout the day. Water replenishes the fluids that you lose when working out and other types of physical activities.

What happens if you drink fruit juice everyday? ›

There are some risks associated with drinking too much fruit juice. Many fruit juices are high in sugar and calories. It is important that a person does not consume too much sugar as this can lead to several health issues, such as weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

Is 100% orange juice real? ›

100% fruit juice means nothing added, nothing taken away

This includes sugar, preservatives, colourings, stabilisers, flavourings and even water. Therefore, when a label states '100% orange juice', only pure orange juice made from whole oranges will be inside.

Why is juice so important? ›

Increased Nutrient Intake

By drinking juice, your body can absorb nutrients quickly, without having to digest fibers and other components in whole foods. Juice also allows you to get a broader intake of vitamins and minerals — more so than you may be getting in your regular diet.

Why should we drink fruit juice? ›

Fruit juice does have some health benefits. Fruit juice contains vitamins, minerals and plant compounds that can help to protect you from disease. In some countries, including Australia, half a glass (125mL) of unsweetened fruit juice can count towards the recommended two servings of fruit a day.

Does fruit juice count as water? ›

To meet your fluid needs throughout the day, choose water most often. Remember that other fluids like milk, coffee, tea and juice also count towards your daily fluid intake. Try to avoid soft drinks and limit drinks with caffeine to 3 cups per day.

Does drinking juice count as eating fruit? ›

A: As long as it is 100 percent juice, one-half cup (four ounces) of fruit or vegetable juice is considered equal to one-half cup of fruit or vegetables. Juice can supply many of the vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals found in whole fruits and vegetables.

Is it better to eat an orange or drink the juice? ›

Although juice is indeed high in sugar, the scientists found that certain nutrients in orange juice might be easier for the body to absorb than when a person consumes them from unprocessed fruit.

How much juice is too much per day? ›

"I would encourage my patients to drink no more than four to eight ounces of juice per day." Researchers say sugary beverages increase insulin resistance and cause weight gain around the waist, which can be especially dangerous.

Can a child have too much apple juice? ›

Excessive juice consumption can cause diarrhea, abdominal pain and bloating in young children. → Juice lacks the healthy fiber found in whole fruits. (Compare 0.1 g fiber in 1/2 cup of apple juice vs. 3.7 grams of fiber in a medium apple).

How many cups of juice should a kid drink a day? ›

Children less than a year should not drink any juice at all. Children 1-3 years of age should have no more than 4 oz per day. For older children, juice is only recommended if whole fruits are not available. Children ages 4–6 years, no more than 4–6 oz per day, and for children ages 7–18, no more than 8 oz per day.

What foods can calm a child? ›

Kid Friendly Foods That Ease Anxiety
  • Chamomile Tea: Nothing gives you an “ahhh" moment like a cup of chamomile tea. ...
  • Water: Did you know that dehydration almost always leads to anxiety? ...
  • Yogurt: It is becoming common knowledge that a healthy gut equates to a healthy immune system. ...
  • Eggs: ...
  • Turkey: ...
  • Flax Seeds:

Can you give kids too much fruit? ›

But can kids eat too much fruit? The short answer is yes. Fruit is always a better snack or part of a meal because it is a whole food, but children should balance fruit intake with all other food groups as well.

What happens if you juice too much? ›

More extreme juice cleanses are associated with negative side effects, including diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, and fatigue. There is no evidence that juice cleanses are necessary for detoxifying the body. Also, juicing may harm people who have kidney problems or take certain medications.

Can too much fruit cause diabetes? ›

Generally, eating fruit as part of a healthful diet should not increase the risk of diabetes. A diet that is high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and saturated fats is likely to be more of a risk. However, consuming more than the recommended daily allowance of fruit may add too much sugar to the diet.

What liquids count as water intake? ›

In addition, beverages such as milk, juice and herbal teas are composed mostly of water. Even caffeinated drinks — such as coffee and soda — can contribute to your daily water intake.

Can toddler drink juice everyday? ›

Don't give juice to your child if they are under the age of 1. Limit juice to no more than 4 ounces daily for children ages 1 to 3. Limit juice to no more than 4 to 6 ounces daily for children ages 4 to 6. Limit juice to no more than 8 ounces daily for children ages 7 to 18.

What drinks are best for toddlers? ›

From ages 1-3, your toddler only really needs two things: Water & Milk. Water is a great go-to drink throughout the day (1-4 cups of water per day). Milk is great for mealtime. Starting at age 1, plain whole milk is recommended (2-3 cups of milk per day).

What kind of juice should a toddler drink? ›

If you give your child juice, it should be 100% pasteurized fruit juice and not fruit drinks. Instead of juice, children should be encouraged to eat whole fruits and drink milk or water.

Can a toddler survive on just fruit? ›

While fruit is a great source of carbohydrates, fibre, minerals and vitamins A, B and C, unfortunately it has little protein and virtually no fat, both essential for a growing child. This is why it's important to not use fruit as a child's main tummy filler.

Is it OK for toddler to only eat fruit? ›

You can never go wrong with fruit, so don't feel you need to downplay this healthy habit just because there's no veggies. It's not uncommon for kids to prefer fruit over vegetables.

Is 2 bananas a day too much for a toddler? ›

Bananas are high in sugar and can sometimes cause constipation. Children older than 12 months should have no more than one-and-a-half bananas per day.

Can you give juice to a 2 year old? ›

Yes, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends toddlers have no more than 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of 100% juice per day. When offering juice to child older than 1 year, provide it in an open cup.

Does juice still count as water intake? ›

To meet your fluid needs throughout the day, choose water most often. Remember that other fluids like milk, coffee, tea and juice also count towards your daily fluid intake.

Is it healthier to drink water or juice? ›

Water should almost always be your go-to beverage. Choose it over sugary drinks like soda or juice, which can be high in simple sugars and calories.

How much juice is too much for a toddler? ›

How much juice should my toddler drink? Toddlers between the ages of 1 and 3 should limit their juice intake to no more than 1/2 a cup (4 oz) a day, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

How much juice is OK for a toddler? ›

Limit juice to no more than 4 ounces daily for children ages 1 to 3. Limit juice to no more than 4 to 6 ounces daily for children ages 4 to 6. Limit juice to no more than 8 ounces daily for children ages 7 to 18. Don't give juice in a bottle or sippy cup because it encourages drinking too much.

Is juice actually healthy? ›

They say juicing can reduce your risk of cancer, boost your immune system, remove toxins from your body, aid digestion and help you lose weight. However, there's no scientific evidence that extracted juices are healthier than the juice you get by eating the fruit or vegetable itself.

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