Maybe just because water and eating fruit is even better? Well, there is that reason but there are many other reasons why kids don’t need juice. Juice is every where though. It's at gatherings, school events, family dinners and you can even buy juice containers small enough to pack for snacks and lunches. Yikes! It seems that as a culture, we're pretty juice friendly for children, when instead there's plenty of evidence that should make juice almost as limited to children as candy.
Don't believe me? Here are some of the reasons to avoid (or at least really limit) giving juice to a child.
- Drinking just one 8 oz glass of juice a day has been shown to increase a child’s risk of obesity by 60%.
- Drinking juice means that nutrients are not coming from other sources that are much better such as vegetables and fruits.
- Even 100% juice can contain too many calories.
- Juice increases the risks of diabetes.
- Drinking juice can lead to tooth decay.
- Drinking juice can lead to diarrhea and loose stools in a child.
- Juice lacks fiber and other nutrients that are found in the whole fruit.
- Juice is a processed drink and parents should avoid processed foods as much as possible.
- Certain juices have been shown to contain arsenic.
- If your child will drink juice – make it 100% juice and be label savvy.
- Pediatricians agree that juice as minimal nutritional value.
- Avoiding juice means you won’t have to worry about giving your child too much juice. Score for easier mothering!
These are just some of the reasons to avoid giving children juice. If your child has juice regularly, one way to wean them off the juice is to start watering the juice down. The goal being to eventually eliminate the juice instead. I found that since my children got so used to drinking water, they didn’t consider juice a daily drink. Juice is a “special occasion” to my kids – it’s even in the same level as dessert. Throughout the day the kids drink water and we eat whole fruits….so much better than the worries of juice.