Last fall the results of a Consumer Reports investigation showed there were disturbing levels of arsenic and lead in apple and grape juices. Inorganic arsenic is a human carcinogen and small amounts of lead can seriously effect physical and mental development. Many kids regularly drink juice, so it may be a big contributor to arsenic and lead exposure.
In January of this year, a fungicide linked to liver tumors and hormone-disruption was found in orange juice from Brazil. And just a few days ago, more of the fungicide was found in imported juice. These imports were from Brazil and other countries. This is all very disturbing since kids drink a lot juice. When most parents consider healthy drinks for kids, they think of juice. But is it really that healthy?
Fruit Juices are Not Healthy Drinks for Kids
Fruit juice is not a whole food and adds little nutritional value. Juicing removes the fiber, and unless the juice is freshly squeezed and consumed immediately, most of the nutrients are lost. Commercial canned, bottled, or boxed juices are mostly just fruit sugar (even if you buy unsweetened) and contain pesticides if not organic.
So if your kids are sipping on juice throughout the day, they are getting a constant sugar hit, and if it’s not balanced with quality protein, fats, and fiber, this can cause blood sugar problems. If they drink a lot of fruit juice, they may also be susceptible to yeast overgrowth since yeast feeds on the excess sugar. This can lead to chronic nasal congestion, eczema, or throat and ear infections.
In addition, some fruit juices contain sorbitol, which isn’t absorbed well and can create gas and bloating or even chronic diarrhea. Apple juice has high sorbitol levels. White grape juice doesn’t contain sorbitol and may be tolerated better than other juices, although you still have the problem with sugar and pesticides. Drinking large amounts of juice can also decrease the appetite. If your kids drink a lot of juice, they may not have an appetite for the food they really need.
If your kids are drinking too much fruit juice, you may want to begin to wean them by diluting one-third juice with two-thirds water. Then you can slowly cut the commercial juice out altogether. Pure water and freshly juiced or squeezed vegetable/fruit juices are healthy drinks for kids.
7 thoughts on “Are Fruit Juices Healthy Drinks for Kids?”
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Great article! I completely agree.
Hello There! I ‘am so shocked that the fruit juices I have been giving the kids in the pack lunches everyday in their pack lunches hasn’t been beneficial to them! Your website has just made me think twice about what I give the kids, so thank you!! I have book marked this page!
I think that it is important that we really look at what we are giving our children becasuse it looks healthy and the advertising looks great, it may not be healthy at all. LIke others have said, the fruit juice may be loaded with lots of sugar and no real fruit at all. Just be careful and look at labels on these types of things.
Hi..Please suggest me which is the best health drink with milk for my 3 yr old son
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What about probiotic drinks like Yakult (www.yakultusa.com)? I know they contain sugar as well, but aren’t there many benefits? I know in other cultures it is huge to give children Yakult…
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