Local News

100 Percent Fruit Juice May Not Be Best Choice For Kids

Posted February 25, 2005 4:25 a.m. EST

— Many parents have cut out sodas and sugary fruit-flavored drinks. Many turn to 100 percent fruit juice with not-so-sweet results.

Every child is different, even down to what they drink. Just ask Beth Hughey. Her youngest one, David, loves to drink juice.

"He is the juice lover. The other ones like milk. He likes juice," she said.

Hughey thought 100 percent fruit juice was fine until she saw the high sugar content. Weight was not the big issue for her.

"I was more concerned with tooth decay. His teeth were starting to come in," she said.

Hughey said she does not buy non-diet sodas because of the sugar. A can of orange juice can contain 33 grams of sugar.

"That's pretty equivalent to what you would see in a soda," WakeMed dietician Julie Paul said.

Paul recommends no more than eight ounces of fruit juice a day. She said even better than fruit juice is the fruit itself.

"It's going to make you feel more full, whereas liquid-sugar drinks do not really satisfy your appetite," she said.

However, David Hughey wants juice, so his mom gets the light brand with just 10 grams of sugar and 40 calories. A light juice is fine. Diluting juice is ok, but there is nothing like a calorie-free glass of water.

"We should drink water. That is the best source of hydration for the body," Paul said.

Three servings of milk a day is recommended for children. Paul suggests a good way to get children to drink more water is to flavor it with just a squeeze of lemon or an orange.