Should you let your child drink juice? 4 out of 5 experts said NO

Most parents will tell you their kids love juice. 

It tastes good, often comes in convenient and child-friendly packaging, and seems much healthier than soft drinks, sports drinks or other sweet beverages. It comes from fruit, after all. 

But we also know it's high in sugar, and so can contribute to obesity and dental problems.

We asked five experts in nutrition, dietetics, medicine and dentistry whether or not we should let our kids drink juice:

While juice may seem healthier than soda, experts warn it can be deceptively unhealthy

YES - Bec Reynolds (nutritionist)

Juice is ok sometimes, although plain tap water is the best drink for most children. 

But if you're giving your child something other than water, and milk isn't an option; then it's better to give kids fruit juice instead of drinks that are 'worse', such as soft drinks. 

Juice can be a good way to get more vegetables into a child's diet, Reynolds says

Juice can be a good way to get more vegetables into a child's diet, Reynolds says

Even though both fruit juice and soft drinks are acidic and sugary (two bad factors for teeth), and provide calories but not as much fullness as other drinks or foods (bad for body weight regulation); at least fruit juice contains some micronutrients (such as vitamin C) and other plant antioxidants.

What would be even better, though, is to give children juices that comprise all (or mainly) vegetables, such as carrot, celery and apple juice (my personal fave). 

This is because fewer than one in 100 children consume enough vegetables, which are great provisors of healthy nutrients and don't have many kilojoules or much sugar.

Even better still is juice that is mostly vegetable juice with pulp (fibre) - but the challenge here is actually getting a child to drink it!

Bec Reynolds is a lecturer in nutrition at the University of New South Wales 

NO - Clare Collins (nutritionist)

Keep fruit juice as the exception, not the rule. 

While the Guide to Health Eating specifies a serve of fruit can be quantified as 125 mLs juice, it recommends whole fruit is primarily eaten, rather than drinking juice.

Collins warns fruit juice lacks fibre

Collins warns fruit juice lacks fibre

This is because whole fruit is more filling, and better for your teeth.

Fruit juice is low in fibre and so it is easy to drink too much, compared to eating the whole fruit. 

For example one medium orange contains about 285 kilojoules and four grams of fibre.

Meanwhile, one 250mL juice popper which contains closer to 300-500 kilojoules and less than one gram of fibre, depending on the brand.

Fruit juice is classified as a sugar-sweetened beverage, along with soft drink, sports drink and other sugar sweetened beverages.

In intervention studies in children and adolescents that replace sugary drinks with drinks lower in calories, they experience less weight gain.

Clare Collins is a professor in nutrition and dietetics at the University of Newcastle 

NO - David Manton (dentist)

There are two main problems with fruit juice and teeth.

Juice feeds bacteria and is full of acid that erodes the enamel of teeth, Manton warns

Juice feeds bacteria and is full of acid that erodes the enamel of teeth, Manton warns

First, the sugar (either from the fruit, or added) feeds bacteria in the plaque on the teeth, that make acid which causes dental decay. 

Nearly half of six-year-olds have at least

read more from dailymail.....

Get the latest news delivered to your inbox

Follow us on social media networks

NEXT Blood test can detect TEN types of cancer before someone becomes ill