Many parents think a juice box is a good drink option for their kids and a healthy option for their lunch box. But fruit juices are not a healthy option as they contain a high amount of sugar.
Fruit and vegetable juices contain sugars that are found naturally in fresh fruits and vegetables, but become very concentrated when made into juice.
Parents should encourage children to eat the whole fruit or vegetables, and drink plain tap water rather than juice to establish good eating habits early.
Research has shown that intake of sweet drinks reduces the quality of your child’s diet, has links to weight gain and poor oral health, and also exposes them to the ‘habit’ of drinking sweet drinks.
Children don’t need artificially sweetened soft drinks
Artificially sweetened drinks still maintain the ‘habit’ of drinking sweet drinks and do not add any nutritional value to a healthy diet. Long term use of artificial sweeteners can lead to a host of negative health effects.
The acidity of drinks, whether sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners, and the frequent consumption of them, may also contribute to tooth erosion and decay, so should be avoided at all times.
Fresh fruit and vegetables are best
Children only need a small amount of Vitamin C daily. So drinking a glass of juice that requires 3 – 4 oranges that is loaded with sugar and calories does not benefit your child, they only have to eat ½ an orange or 1/3 punnet of strawberries to get their daily Vitamin C allowance plus they get the fibre from the fruit as well!
Children do not need fruit or vegetable juice, whether bought or home made to have a balanced and healthy diet.
Encourage children to eat fresh fruit and vegetables instead of drinking juice. This will:
- supply fibre to their diet and help prevent constipation
- help with skills such as chewing
- teach about different textures, colours and tastes
- provide a convenient, healthy and nourishing option for snacks
- establish healthier eating and drinking habits.
Encourage children to eat the whole fruit or vegetable, and drink plain tap water rather than juice.
Sweet drinks can cause a range of problems including:
- excess weight gain
- tooth erosion and decay
- small appetite
- picky eating
- change in bowel habits.
How to reduce tooth decay
Children who have sweet drinks such as cordial, soft drink and juice regularly increase the risk of tooth decay.
Our range of dental care products do not contain any sugar they are naturally sweetened with 100% xylitol. Xylitol used in dental care is backed by thousands of clinical studies proving the oral health benefits.
The range of xylitol dental products we offer are all sugar free and include:
Kid’s Spry® Tooth Gel
Our dental health products will protect you and your family’s teeth. This is because products sweetened with xylitol create an unwelcome environment for harmful bacteria. There is less acid creation, and as such significantly less decay and plaque on teeth.
Suggestions for parents
Changing your child’s diet can be a challenge, but remember that young children can only eat or drink what is given to them.
- Be a role model by not keeping sweet drinks in the house or consuming sweet/fizzy drinks yourself.
- Be patient and break the habit of your child wanting juice or cordial whenever they are thirsty or hungry. If they do have a sweetened drink as a treat water it down to help reduce the amount of sugar.
- Encourage your child to eat fresh fruit and vegetables instead of drinking juice.
Encouraging your children to have water as their primary drink and eat fresh fruit instead of choosing juices or soft drinks, will help instil a healthy habit as they approach adulthood.