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Juice For Kids
A study in the June issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine found that kids who drink juice are no more likely to be overweight and may actually get more nutrients than kids who do not drink juice.
The researchers looked at surveys from parents reporting what the kids ate and drank and actual measurements of the kids. On average the kids drink about 60 calories worth of juice, which is about 4 ounces. The kids who drank juice had higher intakes of whole fruit and they also took in more vitamins and minerals.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends:
- Age 1-6 years: 4-6 ounces per day
- Age 7-18: 8-12 ounces per day
When I was growing up we drank from "juice glasses" that only held probably 4 or maybe 6 ounces. I still remember the first time I went to someone's house for a sleepover and saw them drinking juice from a large glass. That was foreign to me as a child.
I think some 100% juice is great for kids. But pay attention to the labels and make sure it is 100% juice and not juice drink. Also, pay close attention to portion size, though. The recommendations above equate to very small amounts. 4 ounces is just a half cup and 8 ounces is one cup. When you look at the standard glass that people have in their homes, they are usually 12 or 16 ounce glasses.
Another great idea is to water down the juice. A few companies now sell juice that is 40% reduced in sugar and don't have any artificial sweeteners added. Basically they are watering it down. You can do this yourself at home for your kids and pour half water and half juice into a small glass.
Photo courtesy of Apple & Eve