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Should Parents Give Their Kids 100% Fruit Juice?

Answer

YES! Let’s look at the facts. One hundred percent fruit juice contains no added sugar, just the natural sugars found in the fruit it is squeezed from. According to the 2020-2025 US Dietary Guidelines (DGA) 100% juice is included in the fruit and vegetable group because it contains similar essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, folate, potassium and beneficial plant compounds like polyphenols as fruit or vegetables. One cup of 100% fruit juice is equivalent to one cup of fruit. In fact, the DGA recognizes 100% juice as a nutrient-dense beverage that can be consumed by adults and children over the age of two, and along with water and low-fat milk, fruit juice should be a primary beverage consumed by adults and children.

Several studies even show that juice drinkers, both children and adults, have better quality diets, eat more whole fruit and have lower intakes of saturated fat, total fat and added sugar than non-juice-drinkers have. Recently, a study showed juice drinking may also have long-term benefits. The study found drinking 100% juice during preschool years is associated with higher intakes of whole fruit intake and total fruit as well as better diet quality through childhood and into middle adolescence, without affecting weight status. In addition to its positive impact on diet, 100% juice is accessible, affordable and convenient and can complement fruit intake.

Incorporating juice into a child’s diet early on in place of other snack items that include added sugar and sodium, which 100% juice does not, leads to a healthier diet as they age. Plus, kid-friendly recipes are made incredibly easy with the help of 100% juice. Sip Smarter, the consumer platform of JPA, has tons of kid-friendly and parent-approved juice recipes including Fruit Juice Popsicles, Refreshing Summer Punch, Fruit Juice Jello Shots, and many more.

Parents should never feel guilty about serving their children a glass of 100% juice, so long as consumption occurs in moderation, like any other part of a balanced diet, and serving size recommendations are followed. Find more information about 100% fruit juice including resources for parents at the Sip Smarter website.

Finally, given the fact that more than 80 percent of Americans are not eating the recommended amount of fruits, 100% juice can increase total fruit intake and help fill in the gaps when whole fruit is not available.

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