Juice is a staple in the American child's diet and it's very cleverly marketed to lead parents to believe that it's a convenient source of nutrients. What do the experts have to say about juice consumption?
- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) stated in 2017 that juice provides no nutritional benefit to children under age 1. For older children, the AAP advises avoiding juice because the high sugar content is a contributing factor to childhood obesity, diabetes, and causes tooth decay.
- The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) agrees with the AAP's recommendation to avoid or reduce juice intake.
- Children will readily drink juice and it is easy to over consume. Kids who fill up on juice miss the opportunity to eat other healthy foods.
Do you know how much sugar is in your juice?
Apple juice contains the same amount of sugar per ounce as Coca Cola! (Click HERE to see how much sugar your favorite snacks and beverages contain).
Diet is an important part of a successful oral health plan. Here are some frequently asked questions we have encountered with patients in our office:
What about unsweetened juices?
"Unsweetened" or "No Sugar Added" means that no additional sugar was added to the juice. Fruits used to make juice contain natural sugars.
Are organic juices healthier?
Organic fruits still contain natural sugars that can cause cavities.
My child loves juice and will be really upset if I take it away. What should I do?
Start by diluting your child's juice with a small amount of water. Over time, increase the water and reduce the juice until eventually your child is drinking water with a splash of juice. From there it is easier to offer plain water to drink.
Try flavoring plain water with slices of fresh fruit. Let your child get involved and add the fruits himself.
Does this mean fruits are bad for my child's health?
Fruits and veggies are an important part of a healthy diet and should not be eliminated. Whole fruits are much more nutritious than juices made from just the sugar and water of the fruit. Whole fruits contain fiber, are digested slower, and provide much better nutrition for the teeth and whole body. Click HERE for more info on making healthy food choices for your child.