How much juice can children drink?
Although various specialist societies have issued vigorous warnings in the past about the possible health disadvantages of high fruit juice consumption among children, many parents still consider fruit juices to be perfectly healthy drinks that are well suited for children. In a recent press release, the medical director of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program, Dr. Donald Hensrud, how much fruit juice is maximum suitable for children.
Fruit juice drinks for children are often advertised by the manufacturers with health benefits and are always presented in new variants, which are aimed specifically at toddlers, for example. The fruit juice drinks are only suitable for children in a very limited dose, warns Dr. Hensrud. In addition, the nutritional value is often very low and the drinks contain a lot of sugar.
"Sugar water without many nutrients"
Even if the label says "100% juice", there are good reasons to limit consumption, reports the Mayo Clinic. "I order fruit juice, when it is highly processed, in the same category as sugar-sweetened drinks," emphasized Dr. Donald Hensrud. For example, apple juice is basically “sugar water without many nutrients.” Orange juice with pulp contains a little more nutrients, but eating an orange and drinking a glass of water is still the much healthier way.
Strictly limit juice consumption
According to the Mayo Clinic, small children should drink a maximum of around 180 milliliters of juice per day, older children a maximum of around 240 milliliters. It seems "we are doing our children a favor by giving them fruit juice, but basically we have to limit the consumption of all juice drinks because they are extra calories," said Dr. Hensrud.
Negative effects of fruit juice consumption
In previous studies, researchers had already shown various negative health consequences of high fruit juice consumption. These extend so far that a study in May of this year also recently associated an increased risk of premature death with high fruit juice consumption. Overall, fruit juices are rather unsuitable for covering the daily fluid requirement, but in small quantities they can certainly be an enrichment in the sense of a healthy diet. (fp)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Dipl. Geogr. Fabian Peters
- Mayo Clinic: Mayo Clinic Minute: Is fruit juice a good drink for children? (published October 18, 2019), mayoclinic.org