Most parents think that juice is an essential part of their children’s breakfast. While it cannot be denied that it is convenient and delicious, there are some things that a parent should remember when giving juice to children. That is why in this article, we are going to list some of them.
- Juice contains unhealthy sweeteners – Most juice brands contain a lot of artificial sweeteners to help them boost flavor. These sweeteners can cause dental caries in children. There is a lot of research that relates dental caries to the consumption of juice. Children’s teeth begin to grow when they reach six months of age. If you often give your child a lot of ready-to-drink juice, their teeth are exposed to the sugar that is in the juice.
- Juice contains less fiber – According to research, juice contains less fiber compared to whole fruit. Whether it is in restaurants or at home, making juice often involves vigorously washing the fruit and removing its skin. This process lessens the fiber content of the juice. That is why instead of offering your child a juice, opt for giving them fruits instead. This way, they will get more fiber and nutrients.
- Opt for pure juice – Always go for products that indicate that it is 100% pure juice. Take note that juices that are rich in antioxidants and vitamins include pomegranate, vegetables, tomato, berries, grape, and orange juice.
- Watch your child’s weight – As we mentioned, most juice brands contain artificial sweeteners. That is why it can contribute to obesity, and children tend to fill up on it rather than consume healthier food. Not only that, drinking too much juice can cause diarrhea. According to research, 100% of fruit juices do not contribute to weight gain. However, they can increase blood pressure levels, triglycerides, and blood sugar levels. Juice can also cause a sudden surge in acidic sugar levels, which can inflame the arteries.
- Remember to be careful when you give juice to your children – A child’s digestive system is a lot more fragile than adults. That is why you should always take precautions when you feed your children juice. Take note that homemade juice is not recommended to be given to infants. This is because you will not be able to pasteurize the juice, which means that it is possible that some bacteria such as salmonella, E. coli, and norovirus. These bacteria can cause vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, lack of appetite, and even bloody stools.
- Treat the juice like food – Just like introducing new foods to your child, you should also try to introduce one juice at a time. You can start with single fruit or vegetable juices then work your way up to combine them.
Tips When Giving Your Child Juice
- Dilute juice with water so that it would not be too sweet for your child.
- Try boiling the fruit and use the juice that seeps into the steaming water from the fruit.
- Do not let your child develop a habit of sipping juice using a straw. You can serve juice in an open cup rather than a juice box, sippy cup, or bottle. This way, they could not carry it around, and they will not get used to sipping juice all day.
- Make sure that your child is not drinking too much juice. Keep in mind that you should not introduce juice to infants 0 to 6 months of age.