Should Kids Drink Juice?

July 28, 2010   15 Comments

A bottle of juice (Minute Maid Juice) inspired the creation of Snack Girl. The ingredient list was a shock to me after I had willingly purchased this drink for my daughter.

Should Kids Drink Juice?

The marketing on the bottle had tricked me into believing I was giving my daughter a healthy drink. HA! And, I decided to help others decode food packaging by creating this site.

I probably shouldn't have titled this post, "Should Kids Drink Juice", because it is impossible for me to give a definitive answer. The best advice I received was from my pediatrician who told me that juice is a treat.

She said, "Don't give it to your kids if they are really thirsty." Makes sense, doesn't it? Water should quench thirst, juice is a sweet treat.

We shouldn't chug juice because it is mostly sugar with a few nutrients. Some would call juice "empty" calories.

But, I like juice and so do my kids! What to do?

Well, First Juice sent me some of their product a while back and I think it is a nice solution to the juice dilemma. It features 50% less sugar than the leading 100% apple juice. How do they do it? The first ingredient in the bottle is water.

You are essentially buying watered down organic juice to give your kids. My kids loved this stuff, especially the blueberry and purple carrot juice, and they didn't notice the lack of sugar. This may be because my husband came from a family of frugal juice drinkers.

He buys a container of juice, pours out 1/2 of it into another container, pours in water, and stores both in the fridge. He saves money and the kids haven't noticed because they never get "full strength" juice.

I don't actually like the watered down juice because I grew up with 100% juice, so I just don't drink it (hey, we save more money!).

First Juice costs about $4 for 32 fl. oz., is organic, and it tastes a bit more sour than regular juice. They also incorporate carrot juice with the sweeter fruit juices like apple and peach. And, they have these cute little sippy cup containers that you can grab and go with. They even suggest you reuse them!

Adults who want to try to reduce their juice intake should try this stuff. You can find it at Whole Foods - or check their Store Locator

This product was received for review consideration. No other compensation was provided.

Do you drink juice or give your kids juice?

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I don't let my daughter drink juice unless we are on a special outing with friends and family. She drinks water and milk and perfers it. Its all in how we as parents teach our children. Nothing wrong with letting them have sweats as long as its in moderation.

I only give a few sips of OJ with breakfast. That's it.

Water is the main beverage in our house. My daughter likes a little OJ now and then for breakfast - but that's a rare treat. My son has a sweet tooth and loves juice. I buy the 100% organic juice on occasion and water it down 50/50, also.

I use this First Juice, and I don't sweat it when I give my son less than 8 oz per day. It's important that kids get their vitamin C with iron - it helps for absorption. While my son is offered plenty of fresh fruits, he will go in phases as to which fruits he eats. Right now he's onto raspberries in huge quantities. So, when I give him some protien, I try to do it in absence of calcium (dairy) and with vitamin C. If this is a little extra insurance that he is absorbing his iron, so be it. We live in a dry state, and as long a she is gettign fluids, I am not too concerned about watered down juice.

I like that idea of watered-down juice. Clever!

I don't like the taste of juice myself, so the only time I drink it is when I'm hiking. I add the crappy processed powder stuff to water so that I can keep myself hydrated (it makes me sad that I resort to the unhealthy stuff, but I figure if it makes me more inclined to drink the water - which I get tired of pretty quickly when I'm hiking for hours at a time - then it's worth it ocassionally).

Giving water and whole fruit to kids seems like the best choice - but if they've got to drink juice, then 100% real juice watered down is probably the next thing to it!

We don't drink juice regularly in our house. We drink tons of water. My kids rarely ask for jusice because they are so used to water. Even my 15 month old will choose her water cup over juice! I am not a big juice drinker so I never imagined giving it to my kids regularly. My juice of choice Bolthouse Farms products. The bottle says it has 4 servings. But we get 8-10 out of a bottle because we only drink about 4 sips at a time. Juice is a treat around here and used very rarely.

i'm so glad i'm not really a juice (or sweets) drinker, but i personally like your DH's idea of splitting a bottle of juice into two. that really helps in a family situation! too bad for me i live pretty much alone, and that would make a bottle of juice take forever to drink. XD

I read once that a person who drinks atleast 8 oz of juice a week is more likely to develop diabetes. Yikes! With that said, not sure if it's true. But it made me realize that even though it's 100% fruit juice, it still causes our insulin to spike and isn't good all the time for us. So we stick to water also. Surprisingly my children hate juice and soda pop. Lucky me!

I give my son everyday 100ML Prune juice, 100ML V8 Fusion and the rest water up to the 12 oz mark of his sip cup. As he drinks his way through it, I keep added more water or just straight water if he's finished it. I have always believed that juice is the devil in disguise, but his doctor said not to make it taboo for him, so I gave in and allow him a little everyday. Water and milk are the preferred drinks in our home and while we are chatting about kids beverages never chocolate or other flavored milks while.

1 part juice to 1 part carbonated water (or club soda) is awesome.

To Juice or Not To Juice. That is the title of a blog I wrote a few months ago. It isn't an easily answered question but I would agree, use water for thirst and juice for treats. I learned the hard way!…

I'd love to know your opinion of Apple and Eve juice. It says 100% juice and I look at the ingredient list thinking it looks ok. I still only give my daughter less that 4. Oz a day and I always water it down a LOT.

We are frugal juice drinkers as well! I start with 100% juice because I don't want extra sugar or too many other ingredients that aren't juice. Then we mix it with water. My younger kids don't always want to drink water when I offer it so I figured this is a good way to increase the amount of water they're drinking in the summer. The hotter the weather, the more water in the juice.

My kids get 1/4 juice to 3/4 water in their cups. They've always drank juice this way, so they don't know the difference! And I only buy 100% juice (like Juicy Juice).

As far as my 2YO knows, you make a cup of juice by pouring the water in first (about 2/3) and then putting juice from the bottle on top. I don't buy watered-down juice because it costs just as much as pure juice, when it should be cheaper.

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