Apple juice is the quintessential kid’s drink, right? It turns out that your child’s favorite drink isn’t so healthy.
I’ll be honest here, you guys, when I read a report revealing that apple juice is just glorified sugar water, I was far from shocked. Most fruit juice is no healthier than soda. When you make fruit juice, you lose so much of the goods. You concentrate the sugar and leave the fiber behind.
When you ditch that healthy fiber, you’re basically throwing away the part of the fruit that is healthy. Fiber helps our bodies handle sugar properly, which is why fruit is good for you despite having quite a bit of sugar. Juices like apple juice are not healthy for us, and that includes our kids.
Apple juice actually has more sugar per serving than the same amount of Coca Cola. The chart below breaks down apple juice vs. Coke:
Sure, apple juice has small amounts of a few nutrients, but when you weigh that against the amount of sugar in a one cup serving, those vitamins are hardly worth it. Your child is much better off just eating an apple or other fresh, whole fruit.
Moving Beyond Apple Juice For Our Children’s Health
So, what should our kids be drinking? Water is best, of course! I know that not all kids love water, though. If your kid is used to sugary juices like apple juice, the best way to transition them is to slowly give them their juice more and more diluted. Give them as long as they need to adjust – maybe start with 3 parts juice to 1 part water, then reduce the amount of juice from there after a few days at the next unsweetness level.
I’d love to hear from the parents out there! What do your kids like to drink? My son is only a year, so right now he’s transitioning from formula to full fat soy milk. I’m lucky that he seems to really like water, too! He drinks around eight ounces of water a day, which is what the pediatrician recommended for his age.
Image Credit: Child and Juice photo via Shutterstock