Is There a Good Juice for Toddlers?

Updated on March 19, 2013
C.C. asks from Fort Worth, TX
19 answers

My almost 3 year old has recently decided he LOVES apple juice. I haven't really given him much juice because I've always heard of the high sugar content. He has always been happy with milk or water - which I love that he prefers that. So - I guess my question for all you mamas is - what kind of juice do you give your toddlers? Is there a "good" juice choice?

Thank you!

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answers from Minneapolis on

My son used to call it "water-juice" because we watered it down :). I think it's nice for a treat every now and then but best kept that way. I do like the fruit/veggie combo drinks or the juice pouches that already water it down.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We use Simply Orange or Simply Apple. If it is orange juice we do half juice and half water. If it is apple juice it is 1 part apple juice and 3 parts water. It can be pricy but is SUPER TASTY!! That is my favorite orange juice! We always get no pulp with calcium and vitamin D.

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answers from Washington DC on

Our pediatrician, the mom of three very healthy and happy boys, always consistently says:

"The only things any child should be drinking are water, milk and calcium-fortified orange juice.

"Apple juice is trash juice. Have your child EAT an apple instead."

There you have it. Apple juice is super-sweet-tasting. Don't let him develop a taste for it. The amount of nutrients it contains is not worth the calories and the sweet tooth it develops in a kid. Eating an apple includes a ton of healthy fiber but juice is worthless. Orange juice has vitamin C and fortified juice is a good source of calcium and vitamin D. Be sure to try pulp-free juice as many kids dislike the "bits" in OJ that has pulp.

Water, milk (especially skim, which is not only less fatty but helps the body absorb more calcium than full-fat milk), and fortified OJ. That's all they need, period.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

yes, i think the rush to cut out all juice is a little extreme. fruit juice is naturally high in natural sugars, but if you get real organic juice (ie no added sugars) and cut it with water, i think it's a perfectly acceptable choice to give to toddlers in sensible increments.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Wichita Falls on

The big no-no about juice is the high sugar but no fiber. If likes apple juice, use apple sauce as a treat (be sure it's no sugar added). Or go with high pulp juices. If you can, try a juicer and make your own and explore different combinations.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

We give our daughter a small 4.23 ounce juice box every once and awhile. it's from "fruitables". some of them are 100% juice, while the one I'm holding is 66% juice. However, the remaining 44% is just water, I'm reading the ingredients on this particular one. "Juice from apple, pear, sweet potato, beet, purple carrot, raspberry, banana, tomato and butternut squash juice, filtered water" They have several in the store... we got these small ones at big lots! :)

In a perfect world, she would drink water and soy milk 100% of the time. Which she drinks a ton of. But sometimes, a little 4.23 oz juice box is just the right size for her. :) And it's healthy. I have no issues giving it to her... we're raising her vegan and for the most part, healthy. We eat veggies from a local garden, whole grains, nuts and berries... she's ok with a little juice box every now and then. :)

Oh yeah, and my daughter is almost 3 too! :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

I gave my kids juice only as a treat and I looked for pure juice, not beverages or coctails. Orange juice is a better choice than apple.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

This might not be reasonable for your family, but I juice pears, apples, carrots for my little one. It really doesn't take much effort--peel, cut into three or four pieces, run through the juicer. It takes no more than MAYBE 10 minutes. I do not cut it with water.

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answers from New London on

As a parenting teacher, I do address eating ! Juice is a treat ! It is loaded with sugar and not really all that natural ! Keep it to a minimum--and it water it down !!

Apples are very high in pesticides. Buy organic apple juice!

I was in Miami for a week in January. There was a great juice place there !
The lady took a fresh orange, a few chunks of fresh pineapple and a slice of mango and juiced them in a juicer !!! That is real juice! It was not pastureized, either ! When it goes through that process the enzymes, minerals and vitamins are ZAPPED !

I agree w/ Victoria !

A very little bit of juice is fine. It's really a "treat" drink !

Do NOT give a child aspartame. Beware of all the diet juices (see to read about the 90+ side effects).

Is it a healthy choice? No, unless it is made from a juicer !

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Juice is fine in moderation. Make sure it is 100% juice and not "fruit drink" that isn't really juice. Find one that doesn't have added sugar on top of the natural sugars in the fruit. The natural sugars are not that bad for you, especially if you are diligent about brushing your child's teeth.

One cup of juice a day isn't going to hurt. Water it down if you want to lower the sugar content but keep the flavor.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Well you got a lot of opinions but only a couple answers to your question. I like Mots for Tots. It's a reduced sugar drink. My 6 year old loves it and I will put half juice half water for my almost 2 year old. I noticed they just came out with some new flavors - not just apple juice.
Hope that helps.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

Nope - there really is no good juice choice. Juice just isn't a healthy choice for children. But if you look at juice as an alternative to candy -- any brand that is 100% juice will do. Even V-8 is mostly processed sugars even though they say it's a "full serving". And yeah, it contains minerals and vitamins so it counts as a fruit -but hand over a vitamin instead, and save the extra sugars for real treats.


answers from Rochester on

Let me put it to you this way. Do you know how many apples it takes to produce that one cup of juice? Six to eight whole apples. Now, tell me who would sit down and eat six to eight apples in one setting.

And even worse, juice has none of the fiber of the whole fruit, none of the satisfaction...just the calories and sugar.

Is there a GOOD juice choice? Probably not. Even those who say orange juice is, no. Look up how it's made. I am so horrified by orange juice I won't let my children drink it unless I juice it myself.

Do I ban juice? Nope. I let my older child have four ounces a day of 100% fruit/vegetable juice, cut 50/50 with water, with breakfast. It's not a treat, it's not a snack, etc. It's an addition to breakfast. And I think that's okay...sort of. I'm not even proud of that, but she likes juice, so I let her have that small amount each day.

My toddler drinks NO juice. She likes water, and I haven't bothered pushing juice on her at all. I wouldn't have pushed it on my older child, either, but 8 years ago WIC was telling you how great juice was for children. They still supply it, which I find odd.

All in all, that piece of whole fruit is a lot better. ;) I know, it's tough when they like it...but that's the truth.



answers from St. Louis on

Try V-8 Fusion. 8 oz = 1 serving of fruit AND veggies (or something close to that). My kids love apple and orange juice, too. We give it to them for breakfast and usually water it down. I think as long as it's 100% and usually if you can get one with lower sugar content, that is best. However, be wary of the really low calorie ones because of the Aspartame.


answers from Jacksonville on

Kids don't need juice. Adults don't either. I would offer whole fruit instead. If he loves apple juice offer him apple slices instead. Or orange juice, offer orange slices.

There is almost nil nutritional value in ANY juices you buy. Ignore the front of the packaging and read the actual nutrition label and ingredients list.

Stick with the water and milk and offer healthy snacks or treats instead. That is what juice is... a junky type snack. Only it is liquid, so they'll consume more than you would probably otherwise allow them to have in a junky snack.



answers from New York on

Not a great choice but if he must have 1 oz juice to 3 oz water.



answers from Oklahoma City on

You know what? I think this stuff about juice being bad for kids is a fad. Truly I do. It is served in child care and it's served at schools. If it was "that" bad for kids they would not be allowed to have it in the building. I also think that WIC would not provide it in their vouchers for low income parents.

With all the government funding where they are providing 100% juice who do you believe. If juice is bad for you then my goodness ALL FRUIT is bad for you too. So take it all away.

If you want your child to have juice then by all means give that child some juice. Make sure it's 100% juice though and not a flavored drink.

Also, a serving of juice for a toddler is 4 ounces once or twice per day, not 8 ounces two or three times per day.



answers from Wausau on

All fruit juices have a high sugar content. Fruit is nature's candy, and a glass of juice requires several pieces of fruit to make.

It is a treat drink, not an everyday thing. Stick with any 100% juice for those times. Other than avoiding fake juice drinks, there really is no particularly 'good' kind.



answers from Savannah on

If you are worried about the sugar, you just need to water it down! Any 100% juice is fine, half juice, half water . . . then you have half the sugar!

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