Sweet as: Should kids drink fruit juice?

Kinderling News & Features

Ever jumped on Dr Google to seek information for an ailment your child has? And then been overwhelmed with varying and discombobulating answers? You’re certainly not alone! Which is why we’re so glad Babyology has released Ain’t That The Truth – a brand new podcast that debunks the myths and sets the facts straight.

Listen to Ain't That The Truth:

Expert, trustworthy advice

Their brilliant podcast host, Sarah Hunstead, is an author, paediatric emergency nurse and vocal advocate for child safety and children’s health. You might recognise her voice from appearances on our own Kinderling Conversation!

In other words, she’s a highly trained, very experienced local expert. Sarah sorts evidence-based fact from fiction and answers the curly questions you’ve been wondering about.

Is juice good or bad?

In a recent Facebook Live, Sarah and Babyology editor Livia Gamble discussed the pros and cons of fruit juice, fielding real-time questions from parents – and getting to the heart of juice and kids.

So, what did we find out about juice from Sarah? Plenty!

“What we know is that breastfeeding, milk [or formula] and water are the best things that children can drink,” Sarah began. “Juice can be quite acidic, it can be quite high in sugar and it can be really bad for kids’ teeth.”

“When you compare fruit juice to eating a whole piece of fruit, the fruit juice is missing a lot of fibre,” Sarah notes, highlighting that actual fruit is always a better option.

Control the serving size

Sarah says that over-consumption can be a problem with fruit juice fans too.

“You can consume a lot of juice, in comparison to eating fruit itself. So for example, you couldn’t eat seven apples, but you could easily down the juice of seven apples.”

“Juice should be the exception, rather than the rule,” Sarah says, explaining that kids don’t need to drink juice daily and that the Australian dietary guidelines suggest no more than half a cup of juice a day for a toddler.

Organic, veggie, fruit, oh my!

Sarah advises reading juice package labels very closely, and never assuming that an ‘organic’ sticker means that the juice is good for your child.

“You can get ‘organic fruit drinks’ or ‘organic fruit juice'” Sarah points out. “Any ‘fruit drink’ may only have five percent juice in it, so there could be sugar, flavourings, all sorts of other things put in there. But a 100 percent juice is something that doesn’t have any other additives.” Look a little more closely at the ingredients, Sarah suggests.

Asked whether 100 percent vegetable juices are a good option for kids, Sarah said the research tells us “YES!” Vegetable juice is full of goodness – although not as much as actual whole vegetables – but Sarah says the real struggle might be convincing your child to drink it!

For more research-backed real talk about kids’ health issues, listen to Ain’t That The Truth, a Babyology podcast. Find it in your usual podcast app – or online. 

This post originally appeared on Babyology.