Why 100 percent fruit juice can lead to a better diet
Worried that the juice boxes your toddler begs for will make her fat? Relax! As long as you give her 100 percent fruit juice (and not, say, a sugar-added fruit drink), it won’t put her at risk of tipping the scales, according to a new study in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine.
Specifically, the study of more than 3,600 kids between the ages of 2 and 11 found that there was no association between drinking 100 percent fruit juice and being overweight. What’s more, the 100-percent-juice drinkers had a better diet overall. “They had higher intakes of vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and folate,” says study coauthor Theresa Nicklas, a professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. They also ate less fat and added sugar — and more whole fruits.
Bottom line: There is absolutely no reason to stress over giving your kid 100 percent juice as part of a healthy diet. In fact, one box (or four to six ounces) counts as one serving of fruit. Still a little queasy about giving in to more than one juice fix a day? Go ahead and cut the extras with water!