My 2 year old loves juice. I only give him 100% juice, but I have heard that it is not good to give too much juice. How much juice is ok for a toddler and why is more juice bad, after all fruit is good for children?
It is a common notion that since fruit juice is made up of fruit, it must also be as nutritious and can replace fresh fruit in a kid’s diet. This cannot be further from truth. Commercial fruit juices even if it is 100% is made from concentrate and water and has lost some of its nutrition during processing. Other juices or fruit drinks are mostly just flavoured sugar and water.
It is OK to give freshly squeezed juices to children in small quantities, but not frequently. When you freshly squeeze a fruit to make juice and give it to your child, you know exactly what has gone into it. Even if you add a bit of sugar to it in case the fruit is tart, it will still be less than what goes into any of the packaged juices. Even the so called 100% & natural juices are heavily processed. In fact an industry leader among packaged juice makers was sued for the use of words “pure and natural” , as the juice extracted is then extensively processed to improve it’s shelf life. Can you keep freshly squeezed orange juice for 2 months even in a refrigerator? No, so the juices in the packs are not natural.
Even better than giving fresh juices is to give fresh fruits to your child. Fresh fruit provides not only vitamins and minerals but also roughage which is available from skin and pulp. Juice does not have this. Moreover, fruit juices may fill your child’s belly which may hamper her intake of solid food. Too much juice may also lead to diarrhea , tooth decay and gas or bloating. Hope this answers your query!!