Juice comes from fruit, so it should be healthy. But juice ends up being a concentrated source of sugar. Although it is all-natural and not added sugar, it can still be a lot of sugar and simply is not needed in a real food diet. Juice should be a once-in-a-while treat, not an everyday beverage.
100% real fruit juice, like orange juice, has ~ 21 grams of sugar per cup, that equals just over 5 teaspoons of sugar. A suggested serving of juice for kids 6 and under is 1/2 cup per day, which is still over 2.5 teaspoons of sugar.
Teaching kids nutrition is not easy. It is important to make it fun and not seem like a lecture. To help teach kids why eating a whole piece of fruit is healthier than drinking juice, consider this juicing activity.
This is an easy activity you can do with kids to teach them the difference between whole fruit and juice. It is a hands on activity that they will love. You can even make it a race.
What you will need:
1 8-oz cup per child
3 - 4 oranges per child, cut in half by an adult
A hand juicer
Paper towels (it can get messy)
ActivityHave each child juice the oranges until their cup is completely full.
You can take turns, or if you have multiple juicers you can have it be a race.
Make sure that each child knows how many orange halves they used to fill up their cup. Do not throw any away until the end of the activity.
Questions to ask kids
- Ask each child how many full oranges they used to make their juice. Most times it takes at the very least 1 1/2 oranges, but many times it will take 2-3 oranges to fill one cup.
- Ask what would happen if they ate 2-3 oranges in one sitting. Would they feel full? Would they want to eat more?
- What happens when they drink a cup of juice?
- Are they full?
- Would they want to eat more or have another cup?
This is a great activity to actually show kids that drinking a cup of juice is not the same and eating a whole piece of fruit. Instead of just trying to tell them how whole fruit is healthier, you can show them and help them discover it themselves.
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