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Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

Given the fact that only 10% of Americans are eating enough fruits and vegetables, and 75% of Americans do not meet their daily fruit recommendations, I am always trying to find easy and innovative strategies to help consumers, young and old, meet their produce needs. Certainly, fruit is great in the bowl or on the plate, but 100% fruit juice is a great way to help reach fruit intake every day.

Of interest is that preschoolers with higher intakes of 100% fruit juice or who drank at least 1 cups/day had significantly higher intakes of whole fruit and total fruit at 14-17 years of age than children who consumed little juice (less than 0.5 cups/day). Juice can be part of a healthy eating plan from the start. In addition, preschoolers who drank more 100% fruit juice (at least 0.75 cups/day) were much more likely to meet the Dietary Guidelines recommendations for whole and total fruit during adolescence. And fruit juice intake was not associated with weight gain or obesity.

Serving Size Guidelines:

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, serving sizes for juice are based on age:

  • Ages 1-2: 4 ounces
  • Ages 4-6: 4-6 ounces
  • Ages 7-19: 8 ounces

What’s in the glass:

Juice is fluid so it counts towards one’s daily fluid requirements.

Juice contains carbohydrates for energy.

Juice is a source of micronutrients:

  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium
  • Folate
  • Magnesium

Juice is a also source of phytonutrients (plant compounds) that may have a role to play in supporting health and decreasing inflammation.

Juice delivers on convenience, available, accessible, affordable, and shelf stability. 100% fruit juice is also versatile, and can be consumed as is, or added to sauces, dressings, marinades, smoothies, oatmeal, rice dishes, baked goods, and even entrees.

Here are a few of my favorite ways to use juice:

Recipes for fruit juice popsicles, orange juice slushee and fruit juice jello shots are available at SipSmarter.org.

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