Should You Give Your Children Fruit Juice?

When you are a parent, keeping your young child as healthy and happy as possible is your number one priority. But when you have to focus on education processes, healthy eating, bedtime rituals, habits at the dinner table, and a thousand other things, it can be extremely difficult to know if you are doing the best thing for your child or not.

But at least you can know that when you are giving your child a healthy glass of fruit juice you are do something right. Well, actually, that might not be the case.

Why fruit juice might not benefit your child after all

Sugar, sugar, sugar. Sugar is the primary reason why a glass of fruit juice might be harmful for your child. In fact, recent studies have shown that fruit juice could have the same amount of sugar as carbonated soft drinks like cola. Consider the guilt you feel when you give your child a sugary cola drink, and then consider that the effect of a glass of orange juice might be the same.

Acid plus sugar. Not only are fruit juices sugar filled, but the citric fruit juices like orange juice also have a high acid content. This means that your child's teeth will face a double whammy of erosion. The sugar and acid will work in combination to form a destructive layer of plaque that will work the protective layer of enamel away. And don't think that by brushing your child's teeth after drinking juice will help. Actually, the newly softened enamel will become easier to brush away straight after consuming juice.

What can you do about this?

First of all, if your child has been drinking juice and you are worried for their oral health, ensure that they are registered with a local dental clinic. If they have a fear of the dentist, register them with a family dentist or paediatric dentist so that dentists who have specific training in working with children are looking after their teeth. Book them in for appointments at least every six months and have your dentist give advice about alternatives to sugary fruit juices, and ways to practice dental hygiene following the consumption of fruit juices.

The good news about sugar addiction is that it's far easier to break than many other food addictions. Switch your child's diet to sugar-free foods for ten days, and you can lift them out of their desire to keep drinking sugary fruit juices. Switch to milk and water to keep them healthy, or switch to sugar-free options in your supermarket if your child still wants that juice taste.