43 answers

Sugar Free Juice for kids....does It Exist?

Hi moms, I have been becoming more aware of how much sugar I feed my little boy. I do pretty well with meals and snacks as far as only feeding him low sugar foods. The problem I have been struggling with is juice. He loves his juice! He is NOT a fan of water (I have tried and tried). Juicy juice has 20-30 grams of sugar per serving! I have read the labels on the backs of every single juice bottle in the grocery store aisle, and that seems to be the norm. Kool-Aid only has 15 grams per serving, and Gatorade only has 5! So would I be better off to give him Kool-Aid or Gatorade? I do mix the juice with water (half and half), but I would like to find something perhaps sugar free if it exists. Anyone have any advice for me? Thanks.

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What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you to all the great responses! I tried the ice cold water with lemon slices in it and he actually drank some! I plan to throw all the juice out and go with just water or milk. He eats plenty of fruit so you guys are right, the juice is not needed! It will be a rough few days but we can do it. Thanks again!

Featured Answers

If he truly has a problem with water, try keeping a pitcher of water in the fridge with lemon slices in it. It will infuse the water with a little flavor.

1 mom found this helpful

Stay away from the sugar free, because it will be WAY more processed and have the fake sugar in it, which many kids are sensitive too; with headaches or stomach aches.

Try the water, and load it up with ice (don't know a kid who can resist the ice). As it melts have him drink. Also, make it an event, starting Monday, no more juice in the house, then stick to it. We only serve cranberry juice (rarely) and OJ, because there is some health benefit to both those, but my daughter loves water, and has since she was little. Lots of juice (apple juice, sunny d, fruit punch) is really just empty calories.

Do you best mom, even if you just reduce the juice intake, you are doing great! :)

1 mom found this helpful

hi -
i would not go the Kool-Aide or Gatorade route for a child. There is still too much sugar and corn syrup, etc. If you do "sugar free" it is filled with sugar substitute, which is also not good. I would stay with the all fruit juices and water them down. A good choice is V8 Fusion LIGHT. This is the only good for you juice that I have found out there -real juice-less real sugar (from fruit). I think it is already a bit watered down.
Good luck! And keep trying water. My daughter loves it ice cold!!

More Answers

My kids favorite was "bubble water". It's basically just club soda...water with bubbles. It has no calories, no sugar and very low sodium. (That's what they thought soda was). They liked it plain, or you can squeeze some fresh lime, lemon, or orange into it, or mix it with a little bit of cranberry juice or orange juice.
You can get 2-litre bottles of it at Winco for like 80 cents.
I'm always surprised at how many kids have never tried it, but that's what we have at my house instead of soda. They all like it.

2 moms found this helpful

All fruit has sugar. Natural sugar. If you give your children 100 percent juice, it will still have sugar. But. It will also have the other nutrients that you want them to have. Believe me. I have had this argument with my MIL. Not all sugar is bad. It depends on the source.

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Gatorade is basically flavored salt water. Koolaid has the most miniscule amount of vitamin C in it so they can say it's added. If you are really going to drop fruit juice be sure and add some vitamins to replace the nutreints the kids won't be getting.

Everyone of these links below are professional people who say 100% fruit juice is healthy. Fruit juice (100%) is a serving of fruit. It has nutrients and vitamins essential to healthy lifestyles. Please note the amounts should be age appropriate.

Mayo clinic says:

Dr. Sears says:

US Government Food Pyramid:

A food and nutrition Institute:




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Juicy Juice and others have no ADDED sugars, but as others have said; Fructose is naturally found in all fruits, and some veggies. Most juices have ADDED sugars (welches/etc.), and things like Gatorade have added sugars and added salts.

For truly sugar free you're looking at water. Because even blood and milk and potatoes have sugars in them. There are a gazillion different TYPES of sugars. Essentially anything that ends in an "ose". Sucrose, Galactose, Lactose, Fructose, etc. and we DO need those sugars in order to live and be healthy.

Usually when you hear people say "sugar-free" or "removing sugar from their diets"... they're not being accurate. They're removing "sucrose" from their diets.

And don't fork over cash for ANYTHING that has "evaporated cane juice" in it. Everyday sugar (sucrose) comes from the sugar-cane plant. Evaporated cane juice is just another way to say sugar/sucrose.

1 mom found this helpful

I didn't read all the answers. SOrry if this is a repeat.

Just read the ingredients. As I did see others say, it's natural sugars that the fruit makes. SO I say read the ingredients because you should see if it has Added sugars. If the ingredients say "Organic Grape Juice" then that means it's just squashed grapes. :)

But Koolaid is AWFUL, no nutritional value whatsoever. Gatorade is full of chemicals, lots of sodium, not what any kid needs. Not what people need, really, unless they're maraton runners or something.

You're a great mom to watch out for too much sugar. Stick with it. Reading ingredients is more important than reading the nutritional value charts, I think.

1 mom found this helpful

It is much more important for things to be natural than for things to be sugar free. Kool Aid and gatorade are loaded with artificial colors and chemicals which are VERY BAD for kids. Many sugar free products have harmful artificial sweeteners (some are neurotoxins) and sugar would be the healthier choice. Natural fruit juice is real natural sugar from fruit.

Yes, it is excessive, because one glass of juice is like 10 pieces of fruit with none of the fiber you get by eating the fruit. Watering it down is your best option, and it gives him lots of water.

I put 1/4 or 1/8 juice per full glass of water, and I don't sweat it, because my kids don't eat any sugar in food except for the occasional bite of birthday cake or lollipop once in a while if someone else gives it to them. No sugary cereals or anything. Maybe a square of dark chocolate once a week or so. I do give the occasional naturally sweetened breakfast bar if we're in a hurry.

Footnote on juicy juice: We've been drinking natural and organic juices for many many years, and when I tasted "juicy juice" for my kids, I was blown away by how much sweeter it is. It tastes like artificial fruit drink with sugar added. And why is it clear? I'm not sure I buy their claims that it's just natural juice. Though I have no proof. I do give my daughter a box of it in her daycare lunch, but just water the rest of the day on those days. At home we use normal natural juice watered way down.

Just make sure he's not eating sugar in his food AND drinking tons of juice. And continue to get him used to water-or at least cut the juice from 1/2 to 1/8 per glass-he won't notice.

1 mom found this helpful

The only sugar-free juice I know of is the kind with artificial sweeteners (i.e. aspartame). Those are much worse than sugar. Plus, juices with artificial sweeteners have other bad things like artificial colors or high fructose corn syrup (which is sugar with a different and worse name). Juice isn't necessary in a little person's life when there are fruits with enough sugar to sustain.

Instead of juice, perhaps you could cut up fresh fruit and put it in the blender with some ice and honey. The honey has a lower glycemic index than granulated sugar. We use frozen fruit, plain yogurt and honey all the time for smoothies... and we add other good stuff like ground flax seed and vegetables.

When we buy juice, we usually get Juicy Juice Harvest Surprise or orange juice. At least with those there are some health benefits to drinking it.

The best thing to do is stop buying juice so there will be no argument with your little guy. You will find that when he's thirsty, he'll drink water or milk. Start putting those in front of him at meals, and he'll drink it. Good luck with this... I imagine that juice can be a hard habit to break!

1 mom found this helpful

well, fruits have natural sugar, so it's doubtful you're going to find sugar free.

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