Most kids drink juice and love it! But perhaps it is something that should be cut out of their diets. According to The Childrens Mom Docs, who are all pediatricians with St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, juice boxes such as Juicy Juicy and Capri Sun have recently been popping up filled with mold. The smallest puncture in the juice container can cause mold to grow quickly because the sugar ferments and there are no preservatives in the juices. Doctors recommend that kids don’t drink these juices anyway because they are loaded with sugar.
The sugar in juices can be considered a gateway drug of sorts for your child. When drinking sugary drink, opiates are released in the brain which stimulates the desire to have more sugar and other junk food. The more sugary the drink, the worse the cravings are. If you let the child have a second juice they will be full with empty calories and sugar and will not want to eat a healthy dinner. Junk food will most likely be appealing to them though.
Drinking too much juice can also cause tooth decay, flatulence, and diarrhea. There are many other foods that contain the vitamins that kids need, even though juice claims to have it all. They do not need juice. A nice cold water and a healthy apple is much better for them and teaches good habits.
Here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics:
1. Juice shouldn’t be introduced before six months of age.
2. In children six months to six years of age, juice has no nutritional benefits over whole fruit.
3. Intake of fruit juice for 1-6 year olds should be limited to 4-6 ounces per day, and for 7-18 year olds, 8-12 ounces per day.
4. Never serve unpasteurized juice.
5. These recommendations are for 100% fruit juice. Other juices have no nutritional benefits.