100% fruit juice is not as innocent as it seem
Fruit juices are healthy for children, but next time you offer your child a healthy smoothie instead of water you may want to remember that a glass of smoothie could contain as much as 2.5 teaspoon of sugar.
Children aged 4-18 get around 15% of their daily energy intake from added sugar. A big portion of it comes from fizzy and soft drinks which can be high in sugar and have very little nutrients. Some fizzy drinks can contain as much as 8 heaped teaspoons of sugar.
The recommended maximum amount of sugar children should have each day is:
- 4-6 years old: 19g -5 sugar cubes
- 7-10 years old: 24g -6 sugar cubes
- 11 years and up: 30g -7 cubes
Children who have a lot of sugary drinks are more likely to put on weight and be overweight or obese.
Remember that children can get used to the sweet taste of drinks at very young age.
- cutting out your child’s soft and fizzy drinks
- watering down soft drinks
- to reduce the number of sugary drinks they have.
- to swap sugary drinks like squash and fizzy drinks for water, lower-fat milks, diet, sugar-free and no-added-sugar drinks instead.
You should also:
- limit fruit juice and smoothies to one small glass a day.
- limit fruit juices to mealtimes, as they can cause tooth decay.
- watch out for drinks that say “juice drink” on the pack. They usually don’t count towards your 5 A DAY and can be very high in sugar.
Drinks between meals
The best drink for children to have at any time is water. It has no acid and no sugar.
Water doesn’t contain added sugar and has no acid which can damage your child’s teeth.
Have your child’s teeth checked regularly by dentist