by Troop Atomic Mommy
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As a parent, you want to make health-conscious decisions for your kids. This means you choose what they eat and drink, ensuring that it’s healthy. Naturally, kids can drink some pretty unhealthy things. They love cans of soda, but we know how bad they can be for their health. Instead, we look at some healthier alternatives – like natural fruit juice drinks.
These drinks seem super healthy – after all, what’s unhealthy about a drink made from literal pieces of fruit?! However, you should actually avoid letting your kids drink these drinks multiple times per day.
Why? Allow me to explain…
Fruit juices are packed full of sugar
The sugar content of a fruit juice drink could be up there with that of a can of soda. Sure, you can argue that these sugars are all-natural as they come from the fruit. But, sugar is still sugar, meaning that drinking copious amounts will still mean your kids’ teeth could be at risk for cavities, so be sure to keep up with regular visits to the dentist.
In fact, one of the reasons so many kids have cavities from a young age has been pinned on fruit juice drinks. Parents give them to kids thinking they’re healthy, but they end up providing a mouthful of sugar. Furthermore, excessive sugar consumption has been linked to lots of health problems in kids – like diabetes and obesity. So before you hand your kid another natural fruit drink, check the nutrition facts on the packaging and keep their daily sugar intake to a minimum.
Fruit juices lose the fiber from the fruit
Okay, if fruit juices contain so much sugar, how come nobody ever tells you to avoid eating fruit? Won’t you get the same amount of sugar from a few apples as you would from apple juice?
Well, no, not exactly.
You see, fruit contains a lot of fiber, which is great as it slows down the absorption of fructose (this is the sugar in fruit). Unfortunately, when you blitz up fruit and extract the juice from it, you destroy the fiber. So, fruit juices are consumed without fiber slowing down the absorption of fructose, meaning your body instantly absorbs a lot of sugar. This is really bad for your liver because then your liver has to work harder and can’t do its job properly. This is where the risk of diabetes come from.
Fiber also helps you feel full. A lack of fiber from fruit juices can actually end up making you feel hungrier. Thus, you start eating more and more – which is where the risk of obesity comes from. In short, don’t skip eating fruit, just cut down on juicing them.
What’s the solution?
It is generally considered that you should drink no more than 150ml of fruit juice per day. You can give your kids a glass with a meal, and it will count as one of their five a day. Any more than this and you start to see the dangerous effects of too much fruit juice.
When possible, opt for healthier drink options for kids, like water. Water is the best drink they can have. Add fruit to the water to give it a slightly fruity taste, without all the extra sugar. Milk is also a great option as it’s good for their teeth and bones.
Fruit juice on its own is bad when consumed large quantities. Limit your kids to 150ml per day, max or about 5 glasses per day. This will hopefully save your kid from experiencing cavities or other medical issues stemming from too much sugar.