Growing children require proper nutrition and hydration to grow strong and healthy bodies. Kids play hard and need plenty of energy to fuel their growing brains, as well. Fruit juices and drinks can be a terrific addition to their diet and help provide the kinds of vitamins and minerals they need to develop strong, healthy bodies. While whole fruits are often preferable, fruit juices and fruit-flavored waters all have their place in a good diet. We have gathered a variety of drinks to provide quick snacks or a tasty treat with a meal to delight any palate at any age.
Organic juices add an extra measure of assurance that we are giving our children the best possible nutrition. No added sugars and preservatives are great but, when the original fruits and vegetables are of an organic origin, we can be sure we’re not adding hidden toxins and by-products.
Our Top 3 Picks
- POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice
- No Added Sugars
- Tropicana 100% Juice 3-Flavor
- 160 Calories per Bottle
- Good2Grow Apple Juice Pack
- No Artificial Colors
Criteria Used in Evaluation of The Best Juice Boxes
Kid-sized juices are a favorite item for snacks and lunch boxes, they’re also a traditional treat and a good addition to childhood nutrition but modern manufacturing and the popular market have turned most of them into sugary waters with dozens of chemical preservatives and flavors that don’t exist in nature. Organic juice is the best and most nutritious drink to serve.
Supplying your kids with real fruit is ideal but not always practical, and organic juices with real flavors and no additives can be a great substitute or alternative. Active kids need hydration and juice can supply them with that, along with lots of vitamins and minerals, a little protein, fruit sugar for energy, and some fiber.
It is best to introduce juice in stages, too. For kids from 1 to 3 the recommended limit is 4 oz per day. From ages 4 – 6 they should be limited to 4 – 6 oz each day. An 8 oz. serving per day is plenty for kids from 7 – 18 years old. You can use pure water to dilute juices and make them last longer without losing the original nutritional value. Always make sure your children drink plenty of water.
While definitions of organic vary worldwide, we looked for products that can legitimately claim to be USDA certified organic, complying with standards of organic farming. Not all “natural” products are organic, but we looked for those that are non-GMO and free of pesticides or artificial flavorings, additives colors.
We looked for juices with lots of potassium and a little sodium because this is the right body fluid balance needed for active bodies in proper hydration. It’s a necessity for muscle and nerve functions and maintaining proper blood pressure as well. Most juices provide a good dose of Vitamin C which is important in developing a good immune system, healthy blood vessels and growing strong connective tissue, teeth, and bones. Some juices bring along Vitamin A, magnesium, folate, and calcium, too. A juice product with iron helps oxygenate tissues in a healthy body. Protein is also enormously beneficial, and we found a few juices with this, too.
Good Juices and Bad Juices
We already know that sugar-laden sodas and carbonated drinks are a poor choice for healthy kids. Avoiding these is tricky, and juice companies have capitalized on this awareness to make their products the “healthy” alternative, the “wise” choice for good parents to make. Sadly, many people fail to find a similar, but infinitely better product that their kids can enjoy without the additives and food coloring used to lure the unsuspecting.
The worst juices for kids contain the highest amount of added sugars and the least amount of real fruit. Companies spend millions of advertising dollars trying to draw kids to these products, and they’re enormously successful at it. Cartoon characters, cute names and kid-friendly packaging are all used to recruit your kid into the sugar water clan of quick tooth decay and poor nutrition.
Fruits are commonly higher in sugars than vegetables and other foods, but they’re paired with pectins and dietary fibers. This allows the human body to metabolize the fructose more slowly, releasing that energy evenly over time. When fruits are juiced, the fibers are often separated from the drinkable product.
For just that reason, dietary fiber is highly desirable and just a bit rare, but we found a few products that made the grade. Juices that are low carb, lower sugars are the best choices to make. Most of our selections were made with no sugar added though a few used a touch of organic cane sugar to boost the sweetness.
In all the products on our list are the cleanest, healthiest juices we could find with a variety of flavors that kids seem to enjoy. Because if they don’t like the juice, they aren’t likely to drink it and they would be missing a real treat and some terrific nutrition.
A Look at the Nutrients that Kids Need in Their Juices
Nutrition is very important for the survival of any organism, humans included. We won’t be here if not for these very small microscopic substances that form the very foundation of our existence. While grownups can derive their nutrition from a variety of sources, children are a different matter simply because they haven’t been exposed yet to a variety of tastes and flavors which can affect their nutrition. There are nutrients that all children must consume as these are considered to be the basic building blocks of their development. Understanding these nutrients for the growing years is essential to our caring for them. Here are some of them.
- Protein – All cells in our body require protein as this macronutrient is the fundamental building block of all things. Without it, cells will not be able to produce daughter cells and tissues will not be formed. That’s why it is always a good idea to get juices or any food item that is rich in this macronutrient to help ensure optimum growth.
- Calcium – Part of growing up is playing. Whether it is running or jumping or hopping or simply walking, we all need sturdy and strong bones to help minimize the effects of compression on these organs. We need a strong skeleton to support the muscles and the other organs of the body. And this is where calcium can be a very particularly great addition to our kids’ drinks. While milk is the best source of this mineral, there are now many juices that have been fortified with calcium.
- Iron – Not your Tony Stark kind of mineral but iron is a very essential mineral necessary for the synthesis of hemoglobin, a molecule that carries oxygen in the blood and brings this to the different cells. It is also the same molecule where carbon dioxide sits in on its way outside the body. All cells require oxygen. Without iron, it would be almost impossible to deliver oxygen to the cells.
- Vitamin A – Kids first learn about their world through their senses. And one of the most important senses is vision. It allows us to see everything around us so that our brains can try to interpret these visual cues. Vitamin A is thus crucial for the optimum development of children’s vision.
- Vitamin C – There are many benefits of Vitamin C. Aside from a boost in the immune system, it’s also important in strengthening the different cells of the body as well as in the establishment of stronger teeth and bones.
These are just some of the many nutrients that kids need to grow healthier and develop more optimally. It is our responsibility to make sure they obtain the right amounts of these nutrients on a daily basis.
The Bottom Line
Juices come in a variety of flavors and formulations. However, if we are to make sure our kids stay healthy while having a go at their favorite drinks, we might as well give then any of these 5 best juices for kids to drink in 2018.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why Do the Brands Repeat on This List?
A: Some brands, such as Apple & Eve, are well-known in the juice box industry. Thus, it makes sense that those brands would have a number of products that have been well raved about in the market. Our list strives to include all the best products in the market that have an easy reach.
Q: Where Can I Purchase These From?
A: All the products that are listed above can easily be purchased directly from Amazon. Most of the products price range is listed less on Amazon than it is elsewhere.
Q: Why Are Some of These So Expensive?
A: Some of these are pricier than others, however, some simply have a higher price because of the amount that is being offered. It’s important to check how many bottles/boxes are included in a product listing to avoid overspending or over-ordering.
Q: Where Can I Find the Best Prices?
A: The products on this list can easily be found on amazon.com. However, if you are searching online or in-stores for the best prices, it’s important to just research thoroughly to find those top prices.
Q: Why Do the Links Take Me Straight to Amazon?
A: For consistency purposes, we’ve limited the links to Amazon. This does not mean that they are not available anywhere else though. For simplicity and flow reasons, we have condensed some of the titles – the links help you better see the full names of the products.
Q: Are There More Flavors of Products Than Just the Ones Stated in The Titles of The Products?
A: Yes. For simplicity, straightforwardness and flow reasons, we have omitted the entire list of flavors that each product has in the titles. Most of them, however, do have it listed under their mini-reviews. The best option to find out more information is to click on the links to find a full product listing that is being offered.
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