Best and Worst Juice Drinks for Kids

How the juices your kids are drinking affect their dietsHow the juices your kids are drinking affect their dietsEven just a little time spent watching a 30-minute children's program on TV will no doubt show the sheer volume of juices and drinks being marketed to eager kid viewers. It seems like everyday there is a new product being targeted to kids, and it is easy to become dazed and confused by it all.





Slideshow: Best and Worst Juice Drinks for Kids

Supermarket isles are stocked to the brim with different juice and beverage options, despite the fact that today's medical professionals continue to recommend that kids stay away from many of these drinks. Why? Well, for one, because they often contain a lot of sugar, which in large quantities can lead to such things as cavities and weight gain. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests limiting juice consumption to six fluids ounces a day for children less than 6 years old, and 12 fluid ounces a day for kids more than 7 years old. So while milk and water are the best beverage bets for children, there is still a place for juice in a healthy diet.

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The trick, of course, is choosing the best juice among the vast selection of brands available. Many of these drinks can hardly be called "juice" at all, containing more added sugar and preservatives then actual fruit juice. High-fructose corn syrup can run rampant in kids' juice drinks, as it adds the sweetness kids want without a high cost. The best choices are juices that contain just that - juice. The ingredients list should be short, with real fruit juice at the top. Here are our picks for the best and worst juice drink choices for kids.
(Prices vary according to location)


Apple & Eve FruitablesApple & Eve FruitablesBest: Apple & Eve Fruitables
$3.89 - 8 pack, 6.75-ounce juice
The name is a little strange but the concept makes sense. The drinks are a combination of 100-percent fruit and vegetable juices, creating a sweet drink that is lower in sugar than juices that only contain fruit. The apple flavor contains a third less sugar than traditional apple juice and 70 percent more vitamin C.




Tropicana Pure Premium Healthy Kids Orange JuiceTropicana Pure Premium Healthy Kids Orange JuiceBest: Tropicana Pure Premium Healthy Kids Orange Juice
$3.79 - 59-ounce bottle
Starting your day with a glass of orange juice is common practice, but the clever folks at Tropicana have taken ordinary, pure orange juice and loaded it with extra vitamins and minerals especially for kids. While this is part marketing ploy, what they have added is genuinely important for kids. Orange juice is a naturally good source of folic acid, potassium, and vitamin C. Added to that here is vitamin A, D, and E, important for bone, eye, and skin health. Whats more, one 6-ounce glass contains more calcium then a glass of milk.


Juicy JuiceJuicy JuiceBest: Juicy Juice
$2.39 - 8 pack, 4.23-ounce juice
Juicy Juice has always promoted itself as offering 100-percent fruit juice with no added sugar. These juices are simple and contain 120 percent of kids vitamin C needs. It is a straightforward product that is an easy choice among the clutter of juice options.





Sunny DelightSunny DelightWorst: Sunny Delight
$2.49 - 64-ounce bottle
The ingredients list on the back of a Sunny D bottle reads like a weird chemistry project. On top of many of the hardly pronounceable ingredients, the drink contains canola oil, artificial sweeteners, and other additives like modified cornstarch and gums. This translates into a Frankenstein of a juice.




Original Capri SunOriginal Capri SunWorst: Original Capri Sun
$3.49 - 10 pack, 6-ounce pouch
A favorite in kids lunch boxes, the second ingredient in Capri Sun juice drinks after water is high-fructose corn syrup. Fruit juice falls at the bottom of the list of ingredients. This "juice" is actually just a mix of water and high-fructose corn syrup, with a little added fruit juice for flavoring.





Snapple Juice DrinksSnapple Juice DrinksWorst: Snapple Juice Drinks
$11.99 - 12 pack, 16-ounce bottle
Snapple recently took the initiative to remove the high-fructose corn syrup in their drinks and replace it with real sugar. However, Snapple's juice drinks may still contain more sugar than a regular soda. One 16-ounce bottle can contain as much as 56 grams of sugar (almost 4 tablespoons), 4 grams more than the 52 grams of sugar found in a regular Coca-Cola of the same size. (The 16-ounce apple juice pictured contains 48 grams of sugar.)






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- Sheela Prakash, The Daily Meal

More from The Daily Meal:
Best Fruit and Vegetable Combinations for Juice Diets
9 Unhealthy Drinks to Avoid at the Supermarket