Do Your Kids Drink Juice?

Personally, I’m not a big fan of juice. I mean, I will drink apple juice or orange juice if someone gives it  to me, but I would never buy it for myself or choose to drink it if I had another option. My husband is the same way, although it’s safe to say he probably likes it a little more than me.

Because neither my hubby nor I are big juice drinkers, we never have juice in the house.

Because of that, Lucas never drinks juice either.

I don’t buy it specifically for him. I figure he is happy and fine drinking water and milk. About 85% of what he drinks is water. He has usually 1 cup of milk a day, sometimes more at dinner just depending.  However, if we did have juice in the house, I would be fine with him having it in moderation.  I do want to limit it to some degree, because I think it does have a lot of sugar in it, but I’m certainly not worried about him drinking it.

In his two years, he has probably had less than one full cup.

I know there are healthy kinds out there, and some that have more or less sugar than other’s. I really don’t know a whole lot about juice though, or even what kinds taste the best. Like I said, we never buy it!  Maybe I will start giving Lucas some juice… or maybe just stick to water. I’m not sure.

On a whim the other day, we bought some orange juice. Well, orange juice was the plan, but it was almost $5 for half a gallon! Yikes. So instead, I got this kind.

Updated: I am editing this post because several of you have told me that this is a beverage, not a juice and it only contains 25% juice. THANK YOU for pointing this out to me! I feel so silly and stupid that I bought this thinking it was juice. 🙂 This will teach me to look more carefully next time. I obviously was in a hurry and bought this late and night and didn’t see the thing that said it was ONLY 25% juice! Ha!

I haven’t tried it – I can already tell you I wouldn’t like it- but Lucas seemed to enjoy it!

I guess I don’t really have a strong opinion either way. Except I do believe that water is the best and if a kid is happy drinking that then there is no reason to introduce another liquid.

You probably think I’m depriving my toddler, huh? I feel like I am in the minority of families who have a toddler who doesn’t drink juice every day.

Do you think kids need juice for any of the vitamins that might be in it?

  • When did you start giving your kids juice?
  • What kind do you like?
  • Do you feel like it’s healthy or un-healthy?

Published by Samantha Mellen

Certified personal trainer & health coach helping women transform their lives through fitness, abundant mindset coaching and internal peace. Mom of two boys, living life in Alaska.

15 thoughts on “Do Your Kids Drink Juice?

  1. Since you basically only buy organic, there's not much I can help you with. I didn't give my daughter any until she was a lot older than most other kids. Plenty of parents were giving juice at 6 months or so. I know we waited at least a year, and longer, and even then it was WAY watered down. I don't think she got full strength until she was 1.5 or 2 and even then, it was only 1/3 of a glass or so, and slowly she's gotten a little more, but generally not more than 1/2 glass a day (and I don't mean a sippy but a small, small glass). She drinks a lot more milk and I try and get her to drink some water, too. Generally, she has to finish what's in her glass before she gets anything else, so if she wants more milk, she has to drink the water in there, and etc. This spring I finally gave her some lemonade, and some koolaid a couple of days ago. She obviously doesn't get much 'drink crap' so to speak. I see no point in giving her calories in her drinks too much.

    I don't think there's any 'meanness' or inherent bad intent behind not giving your kid juice, he has the rest of his life to drink it if he's going to. Some things just aren't a big deal.

    Do kids need juice for the vitamins in it? No, not if they get it other places.

    We drink cheap juice, like we have cheap everything.

    I don't think giving kids unlimited juice is a good idea, it's bad for their teeth if they're not brushing their teeth all the time. I think a serving size is appropriate on a daily basis, to fill out the requirements that a kid needs, if they're not getting them another way.

  2. Only my 5 year old drinks juice. My 3 and 2 year old don't like it (which I actually love – it makes things so much easier!). My husband and I don't really drink juice and we started off my 5 year old w/ only diluted juice around 2. We really limit what he can drink – he has 1 small glass w/ breakfast each morning (usually OJ). I always make sure it's 100% juice. My kids love fruit & eat plenty of it, so I don't think juice is necessary at all. It drives me crazy though to go to relatives houses and seeing kids just drinking juice ALL DAY long! And then of course when my son sees all other kids drinking a ton of juice, he wants to do the same. So I've been trying very hard to teach him about healthy foods/drinks and how certain foods/juices we only drink every once in awhile. Obviously there will come a day when I will not be with him all the time and he will be making decisions on his own about what to eat/drink, so I'm hoping that by allowing it in moderation and also explaining why we don't drink it all the time, he can make good decisions on his own 🙂 Wishful thinking? So like I said, I LOVE that my other 2 kids don't like it all – only milk & water for them 🙂

  3. I had big issues with juice when my kids were babies. Everything I read was telling me about of all the added calories kids get from drinks alone. Up to 1000 or more daily. I couldn't see how that would benefit them, so I just couldn't do it.
    But, my kids were both allergic to milk, so they couldn't drink it either:(
    I ended up getting them the Wal-Mart brand Crystal Light, Apple flavor. It tasted just like regular apple juice and my kiddos never noticed the difference. I didn't mind them drinking it because it has 0 sugar, and 5 calories per glass… So basically it was like flavored water.
    But, like with everything else… Everyone always thought I was depriving them. I guess in Kentucky, if you aren't giving your kids sweet tea and Coke at 3 months old, from the dinner table, or in their bottle, you are a HORRIBLE parent! Around here, it is the thing to do. You are frowned upon for trying to teach them to eat healthy.

    My motto always was, “if they don't know what it is, how can they miss it?” But it was always an uphill battle with my inlaws, and my mother. They always would “sneak” and give my kids pop/french fries/and other bad foods when they would babysit, or when my back was turned. It has turned into quite the argument on several occasions:( People just don't understand that they are not hurting or spiting me when they do it, they are hurting my kids!
    My Mother even makes faces and noises when she saw my kids eating broccoli (which they love) cause she doesn't like it.

    I applaud you for trying to teach your kids healthy habits from birth. I wish it was more accepted from the people I am close to:(

  4. My kiddos have both NEVER had juice and they are 4 and nearly 3. My kids drink milk and water. I have nothing against juice but I just prefer them to get their calories from the real deal, actual fruit and veggies. I do not drink juice and my hubs only has oj in the morning. The kids have never asked to drink it but I'm sure they will sometime in the future! When they do ask for juice, I will water it down like crazy!

  5. We drink juice. Ingrid loves apple and orange juice. I just make sure it's 100% juice and she gets it if she wants it. We're totally not sticklers when it comes to food. Everything in moderation. I wouldn't give it to her all day, and frankly, she wouldn't ask for it all day. Like i like a good beer or diet coke, but I don't drink it all day long!

  6. I don't give my 1 1/2 year old juice. I also prefer that he get his calories from real fruit and veggies. The juice you bought only has 25% juice. What is the other 75%?!!!

  7. My girls don't drink juice. I agree that it's basically just sugar, and I prefer for them to get the vitamins and good stuff from fruit by actually eating fruit. They drink water and milk. I checked with my pediatrician to make sure I wasn't doing something wrong by not giving them juice, and he said there is no reason I need to give juice. Plus I'm not a juice drinker either, so like you, we rarely have it in the house.

  8. My children (3 & 2) get juice a few times a year as a treat- usually 100% orange juice. I do put apple juice into our smoothies we have twice a week though.

  9. I have been a total lurker to your blog (saw the link from Fifinator Life)and enjoy reading as I too am a transplant to AK from WA/OR and a Beav with two little boys (age 20 mos and 1 mos).

    Anyways, my oldest has been getting pretty much as much juice as he wants since he turned 1ish and started eating solid foods regularly. It's always been a challenge to get weight on him and his pedi, who was a nutritionist before becoming a PA, told us to give him juice and milk only. She recommended not watering down his juice and limiting his water intake. I just make sure we buy 100% juice.

    So I don't think juice is a bad thing, but should definitely be drank in moderation by kiddos who aren't challenged with gaining weight. Besides it is way expensive and teaching kids to drink mainly water is a great lifelong habit to develop early on.

  10. I think its great your kids like water. My daughter (now 4) got too much juice and is addicted to it! I limit her to 2 a day but can't help what others (cough cough grandparents) do. I'm trying to do better with the one year old and only giving him watered down juice to try to bribe him to use the sippy cup instead of the bottle…then we'll just do water and cut down to one glass of juice per day. I don't think kids NEED juice for vitamins – eat healthy foods!

  11. My kids get juice every once in awhile, but I agree that it isn't something they should expect or get too used to if at all possible. Same with too much milk or chocolate milk. Good old fashioned water is great :)!! A parent could do a lot worse than give their kid a lot of juice, but why start?

  12. You seem to be doing a perfect job with your kids. I agree that too much juice (or anything for that matter) will lead to bad eating habits when they're older. My youngest just turned 15 months and she still has not had carbonated drinks and even some juices. She likes water and tea and that's about it. (I buy caffeine free tea by the way. LOL) I have an extremely picky 8 year old that will only eat certain kinds of certain things (I call him my rain man child.) I get fussed at sometimes because I don't force him to eat different foods. I can't and won't force my son to eat fried and unhealthy foods. Yes I'll try to get him to open up to vegetables and fruits (when I say picky I mean EXTREMELY picky) but I can't make myself force him to eat junk foods. He won't even drink chocolate milk or eat any form of sweets. I love reading your posts because we're somewhat alike when it comes to trying to do well with the kids but have questions at the same time. 🙂

  13. My daughter started getting juice at around 10 months old. She's 4 now, she has about a cup a week and I STILL dilute it 50/50 with water. I buy 100% apple juice only for her.
    I'm a HUGE juice drinker so I have apple in the house at all times, but I also drink water.
    She mainly drinks water and she actually prefers it to juice.
    Plus juice fills up their belly so much.

    I pay about $3.99 a gallon for our juice and it's good here. The one I buy is made with our Michigan apples here! YUM
    I need to get to the store though because we're out.

  14. We don't juice. It's something else I don't need to buy at the store. Drinking is for hydration so we focus on water. He drinks one cup of milk in the morning and that is a struggle to get in him.

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