*I have to warn you before I start that juice has been on my mind. We got a juicer when we got married and just got it out of the box yesterday. (I'm sorry to my sister-in-law if you are reading this.) So I've been thinking a lot about juice- buying it, making it, the value of it vs. eating the fruit. So that's where this post comes from.
Everyone drinks it. Right... ? It's fruit. It's natural. It's a great thing to give kids to quiet them down.
These are all statements that I've heard from people about juice, and my friends who've worked for WIC have heard some crazy juice statements!
Truth is there is natural juice with no sugar added that is a great supplement to a child's diet. But there are also many juice cocktail drinks with 3%, 5%, 10% juice in them, and it's up to you as a parent, a consumer, whoever, to read the labels on the bottles and make sure you are giving your child real juice. The 100% juice has sugar in it- of course, because it's made from fruit and fruit has sugar. So juice, even the 100% fruit juice, is something that should be accounted for in the diet. It has calories, it has sugar, and it's not the same as eating fruit. When we eat fruit we get other great things such as the FIBER that we can't get in fruit juice. So if you or your child eat fruit then cut back on the juice. It's always better to get our fruit intake in the natural form of whole fruit, and this can be fresh, canned, or frozen! With canned just look for the fruit that is packaged in natural juices rather than syrup because that adds a lot more sugar.
Look for more information on fruits and tips to get them in on the MyPyramid site.