Juice or No Juice?
There's a debate on whether or not it is healthy to give babies and toddlers juice. While technically they don't need juice (water and milk are just fine), many parents choose to give their children juice for variety and because, well, they really like it. If you're wondering what to do about juice, here are a few ideas.
One concern about giving babies and toddlers juice is that it contributes to obesity. There are a lot of juices on the market that are full of sugar, which equates to empty calories. However, if you choose a juice that is 100% juice, you don't need to fret. Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D. for the Mayo Clinic says “Recent studies have confirmed that drinking moderate amounts of 100 percent fruit juice doesn't affect a child's weight.” Some brands that offer 100% juice are Ocean Spray, Tropicana, Juicy Juice, and Gerber.
Try to stay away from sugary drinks, like juice that isn't 100% fruit juice, drinks made from powders, and soda. These drinks offer little nutritional benefits for your children, and sometimes the extra jolt of sugar can make them hyper and cranky anyway.