It sounds healthier than soda, but “100% fruit juice” may actually contain far more sugar than you bargained for. A study released last year by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that children are getting too many calories though “liquid candy” such as sodas — and fruit juice.
Pediatric experts are recommending no more than eight to 12 ounces of juice per day for children ages 7 to 18. Younger children should consume no more than four to six ounces a day.
“Excess sugar is not healthy for children,” says CHOC Certified Diabetes Educator Jill Nowak, R.D. “Sweetened beverages are one of the contributing factors to the obesity epidemic in children. Obesity puts them at risk for multiple health issues, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, fatty liver, sleep apnea and orthopaedic problems.”
Nowak says that artificially sweetened sodas and beverages are okay in moderation. Still, she advocates healthier choices, such as milk.
Here are some additional tips:
Make Every Calorie Count
Read Nutrition Labels
• Does your child’s juice contain added sugars, such as high fructose corn syrup?
• How many ounces are in a recommended serving?
• Does one serving fulfill your child’s daily requirement of vitamin C? Not every fruit drink does.
Serve Whole Fruits Instead
• Whole fruit contains the fiber and healthful benefits that juice leaves behind.
• Eating a whole piece of fruit will leave your child feeling less hungry.
• Milk contains calcium for your child’s growing bones.
• Soy milk is an acceptable substitute for cow’s milk.
Can The Soda
• Soda contains phosphoric acid, which leaches calcium from bones and puts your child at risk for osteoporosis.
• Just one 12-ounce soda contains 10 teaspoons of sugar and 150 calories, far exceeding your child’s recommended daily limit.