No juice is good juice


There’s no reason for children to drink juice. The American Academy of Pediatrics says kids can have up to four ounces per day. But that doesn’t mean you have to give your child any.

Think of juice as a treat. It’s just like any other sugary drink or snack. And it doesn’t matter what kind. Your morning OJ, organic juice, fresh-squeezed juice or even “pure” fruit juice — none are good. If you do give your child juice, be sure to water it down.


Why is juice bad?

Juice is mostly fructose. But that’s also true of fruits themselves. So how can fruits be good and fruit juice be bad? The difference is that in fruit the fructose is combined with fiber. This makes it easier for the body to break down fructose in a healthy, natural way.

What does your body do with juice?

Fructose in liquid form hits the stomach fast and is quickly absorbed. Next, it’s filtered by the liver. Fructose stresses the liver and causes a spike of insulin from the pancreas. Lastly, the body quickly stores the fructose as fat. None of these are good things.


What about diet juices?

Drinks with artificial sweeteners may have less calories. But it’s not clear whether they’re healthier. Water and low-fat milk are the healthiest drink choices.

If you want to give your child something sweet, diet drinks are okay once in a while. See our “Sugar” article for more information about different kinds of sweeteners.

Flavored water is a good choice

A little fruit adds a lot of taste to water. Try a slice of orange, lemon, peach or a few berries. Cucumber and melon make a fresh change, too.