A Parent's Guide to Juice
A balanced diet includes a variety of foods. Like foods, most beverages can fit into a healthful diet when chosen wisely. For instance, three-fourths cup of 100% fruit juice can count as a serving of fruit for children age 4 and older. The problem is, many children may be consuming too much juice, often in place of milk, water, fruits, or vegetables. While most 100% fruit juices contain vitamin C and some minerals, they often lack the fiber that whole fruit contains.
According to recent research, children who drink large amounts of juice have higher intakes of certain vitamins and minerals; however, children who consume too much juice may not be hungry and will miss out on other important nutrients their bodies would receive from food. Juices such as apple or pear juice contain high amounts of sorbitol, a nondigestible sugar alcohol, which may cause stomach upset or diarrhea in some children. For these reasons, most health care professionals recommend that parents limit the amount of juice their children drink.