SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Drinks marketed to kids often contain high amounts of unhealthy sugars and sweeteners, according to a recent report.
While a juice box may taste good, experts say it’s important to consider your child’s health first.
The sweet taste that many fruit juices or sodas offer can make it tough for kids to turn them down.
Sharlene Bajema says getting her kids to drink water instead wasn’t easy.
“Definitely hard because I guess, my kids way back awhile ago when I was raising them, kind of the popular option was juice. A lot of times once they start drinking juice, they like the sweetness and it’s really hard to get them to just plain water,” Bajema said.
Registered dietitian Tiffany Krogstad says even though it might taste good, it’s not always good for you.
“So a lot of these drinks will have a fruit picture maybe on it, but then you look in the ingredient list and there’s not even any juice in there. And even if it is 100 percent fruit juice we still recommend that parents limit the consumption for their children,” Krogstad said.
She says the best option for kids is just plain water, but when it’s not an option– look for drinks low in added sugar.
“The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than 25 grams of added sugar per day, so that’s about 6 teaspoons,” Krogstad said.
Recent reports find that many high-selling fruit drinks such as Capri Sun contain more than 50 percent of that amount.
“Whenever possible look at buying the item that is the smallest in portion sizes because even that 6 ounce can exceed their recommendations for added sugar in a day,” Krogstad said.
Some of these drinks aren’t just high in sugar but also the calories.
Krogstad says too many sugary beverages can lead to physical health problems like obesity. Luckily, finding healthier options will soon get a little easier.
“Big changes are coming January 1 of 2020. The label is going to have to change. Any manufacturer with over $10 million in sales is going to have to start listing the added sugars on the label,” Krogstad said.
If your kids aren’t big fans of water right away, Bajema suggests using flavor drops to make the transition easier.
“We started with just putting a little it of flavoring in the water, and then you kind of just dose down a little bit,” Bajema said.
Krogstad says another option for helping your child transition from sugary beverages to water, is diluting the beverage with water as you make the switch.