Orange juice, apple juice and fruit punch taste delicious, but are they good for kids? Many parents mistakenly think that giving juice everyday to their children is healthy. In reality, the consumption of juice contributes to child obesity, tooth decay and other health problems.
It’s true that many juices contain vitamins and calcium, but the high calories outweigh the benefits of these vitamins. Pediatricians agree that children should eat their calories, not drink them. A glass of OJ contains 120 calories, but a whole orange only has 60.
Experts recommend eating whole fruit and drinking a glass of water to wash it down. Not only are whole fruit and water less calories, they are great for the digestive system because of the fiber. Eating a piece of fruit and drinking water vs. drinking fruit juice also provides a feeling of fullness and satiation.
Simply put, parents need to get children used to drinking water. Fruit juices—even those with no added sugars—are sweet, and children will continue to want it if you give it to them. Try adding some berries or fruit slices to their water for fruit flavor with no added sugar. Don’t rely on juice to give your children essential vitamins—Give them fresh fruit and water for a healthy, filling snack!