Fruit Juices vs. Fruit Beverages
Kids love the taste of pure fruit juice, and parents love it because it’s a healthy source of nutrients. When choosing healthy pure juice for your children, it’s important to note what kind of juice you are serving and how much you are offering. Here’s what families should know about fruit juice versus other fruit-flavored beverages:
Choose the Right Fruit Juice
All juices are not created equal – some are nutritional gems while others are sugar water. Consider these tips as you make juice part of your child’s diet:
Be label savvy and buy juice labeled “100% fruit juice.”
Examine the ingredients and avoid fruit-flavored beverages that have added fructose corn syrup. They shape a child’s taste toward sweet cravings.
Look at the juice, if you can see through it, you’re buying mostly water. Generally, the cloudier the juice, the more nutritious it is. Picture a tall glass of 100% pure orange juice with pulp. There should be some sediment at the bottom, which is a reminder of the juice’s origins.
Consider juice variety instead of choosing one type of juice. Another beneficial juice in addition to orange juice is nectar juice. Nectar usually has more calories, but more nutrients are preserved during processing nectar than other juices. Apricot nectar is especially healthy, containing a lot of beta-carotene, almost a gram of protein per 8-ounce glass, and it’s higher than most juices in vitamin A, vitamin B-6 and iron. Other nutritious nectars come from the “P” fruits – peaches, pears and prunes.