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Juice Box Warning

ts.tv takes a look at juice box labels and which ones are the best for your child.

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-Do you know how much sugar is in just one juice box? They look pretty small so it couldn't be that much, right? Well you would be surprised, I was. Here to share some of the biggest mistakes that parents make when they read the labels and which juice boxes are best, is dietitian Shera Iran. Thank you so much for coming in. -Nice to meet you. -It's nice to meet you too. Let's start with exactly how much sugar is in a typical juice box that's [unk] grams and I think that's confusing to some people. -It can be. So, just to give you an idea, a gram of sugar is 1/4 teaspoon of sugar so you're not talking about that much so for every 4 grams is equal to 1 teaspoon. -So, what's in a typical juice box? And if you're just having 1. -In a typical juice box you could find anywhere around 25 grams of sugar. -It's a lot. -It's a lot of sugar, that's 60 teaspoons of sugar so that's quite a lot, and most of the time kids don't drink just one juice box necessarily in a day. -So, if they're having say three juice boxes? -Then they're getting somewhere around that much sugar, you're getting into the half [unk] of sugar. -And this is how many teaspoons we're talking here? -Eighteen teaspoons. -Eighteen teaspoons, that's crazy, just in three juice boxes. -Three juice boxes. -Okay. Now, this is what's really disturbing. You're showing us here 8.6 pounds of sugar, that's what you get in how many juice boxes? -That's three per week, if you do it every week of the year that's how much sugar they would get in the course of one year, just 3 a week. -So, this make me want to switch to water now. -Yes. -Okay. So, when you look at the front of a juice box, it says 100% juice or it says, you know, Vitamin C packed with it. It can be pretty deceiving and you're recommending that we ignore the front altogether. -Exactly. What should we be looking at? -Exactly. When you look at the front of the packaging that is the marketing so that's what the company wants to tell you about. What you need to do is turn it over or turn it to the side in this case and look at the ingredient label. You wanna look at what the ingredients are, is it 100% juice, is it-- does it contain added sugars, you wanna look at those ingredients and higher up the ingredient is on that list the more that's in there. -So, let's talk about sugar because it always doesn't just say sugar, there are a lot of code words that you need to know. Tell us some of them. -Right. The biggest one you're gonna find is high fructose corn syrup, that's found in quite a lot of drinks, beverages on the market in every category but you'll find other words also; there's dextrose, there's corn syrup, there's other words that contain the word syrup that really is a clue that that's sugar, so you wanna look at what that first or second ingredient is and that really helps you. -Now, tell me why you say that even if you're-- the front of the juice box says 110% of your daily recommended, you know, value of Vitamin C even if it says that it's not necessarily good. -Well, the reason why is really because they can add all kinds of vitamins and minerals and make things look better than-- and they're not naturally occurring, they're added in there. What I would prefer as a dietitian is to have it come from the actual fruit. So, whatever fruit it is, is providing that natural nutrient rather than adding lots of things into it. If you go down to the bottom of the list you might see all kinds of names, of vitamins and minerals that have been added to it and it's not coming from the juice, it's coming from added. -But you're definitely not saying forget juice all together? Because there are some out there, and you've brought some today that are okay. -Absolutely. -Let's go through these. -Absolutely. So, what we have here, just starting out is this is one of my favorites because it's just water. It's a 100% water so getting your kids to actually enjoy the taste of water is really my preference. -And some of them comes flavored? -And they do come flavored but there's still no sugar in them. It's just that kind of hint or aftertaste of flavor so if you can get your child to enjoy it and the nice thing about this one in particular, water [unk] is because there's a character on it and they almost equate it similar to juice drinks. My kids happen to really like them because they feel like they're drinking a juice box. -Now the four in the middle are in the same category? -Exactly, but if your child is not want to drink water or has, you know, wants the flavor or juice or even on occasion it's fine also. These four, the Mott's for Totts and the Sensible Sippers and the others that we have here all are blends of juice and water. So, they're basically water down juices. So, maybe what you would already be doing at home, this is prepared for you and you can send it with your child. -Half the sugar of a regular juice box? Are we talking about 3 teaspoons? -Yes. About half, some of them have less depending on the size but yes for the same, about the same size it's about half the sugar but some of them are smaller like this one so you'd be getting even less sugar. -And this says 100% juice. -And 100% juice, again there's nothing wrong with 100% juice. The American Academy of Pediatrics allows 4 to 6 ounces of juice per day. What I would just say is whenever it comes to juice you just need to moderate it. They can have one of these a day and that counts as their fruit serving and you're not going above and beyond the recommendations, but again, you know, we have to moderate everything and get them to enjoy water because that's really where they should be getting the bulk of their hydration from. -I'm gonna stick to water now myself. Shera, thank you so much. Great advice. And there's a new website that helps parents figure out which juice boxes are actually best so you can check out www.drinklesssugar.com for more information. Thanks for watching Parents TV. We will see you next time.