Many parents worry the beverages their children drink contain too many calories and therefore contribute to weight gain. They are definitely right to be weary of soft drinks and sweetened fruit drinks. However, a study on the dietary habits of children shows that there is no correlation between 100% fruit juices and weight gain. The children who drink them are unlikely to become obese when compared with children who do not drink any. In addition, they get great nutritional benefits and could in fact benefit from drinking more pure fruit juices.
The study on the dietary habits looked at the impact beverages have on children’s health. Researchers observed that more than half of the children did not drink fruit juice at all. Contrary to what most were led to believe, juice consumption does not seem to come at the expense of milk. This is great news as it means their daily calcium intake is not compromised. In addition, children who drank a lot of pure fruit juice daily were not heavier than their peers, while their intakes of various minerals and vitamins was usually higher than the children who did not drink them.
When choosing juice, it is important you carefully read the nutritional label on the package, as well as the list of ingredients. If you read words like “sugar”, “sucrose”, “fructose” or “saccharose”, the juice is not 100% pure.
North American children typically consume too little fruits and vegetables. Although less nutritious than whole fruits, pure fruits juices are a delicious alternative – or ruse – to have your child ingest a few extra vitamins.
This summer, why not make frozen treats with pure fruit juices instead of store-bought ones that are chock-full of artificial aromas, food colourings and added sugar? Not only will your kids love them, they are likely to ask for more!