By: PLEZi Nutrition Team Read Time: 2 minutes

We’ve all stood in the kids’ drink aisle of the grocery store, confused, trying to spot the difference between all the products in front of us. We see  “100% Juice,” “Made From Concentrate,” “No Sugar Added” – How do you know what information to look for? Lucky for you, your nutritionist bestie next door (aka us!) is here to help. 

What is 100% juice

To bear the juice label, a product must be made from 100% fruit juice. Fruit juice is predominantly water and may naturally contain potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C, as well as naturally occuring sugars. 

Fruit juice may be made from-concentrate (fruit that has previously had its water content removed) or not-from-concentrate (juice that has been pasteurized to ensure safety). 

What are fruit drinks

Beverages labeled as fruit drinks, fruit beverages, or fruit cocktails are not made from 100% juice and can contain anywhere from 10% to 99% juice, as well as added nutrients, sugar, sweeteners, and/or flavors. 

Fruit drinks can vary in nutritional quality depending on what’s been added. For example, though both beverages would qualify as “fruit drinks,” drinks with added vitamins and minerals are typically healthier than drinks with added sugar. This is why it’s so important to check out the product’s label to determine each drink’s true nutritional value. 

What should I look for on the label? 

Here are a few key things to look for on the Nutrition Facts label of any fruit juice or drink package. 

  1. Percent juice: This will indicate if a beverage is a fruit juice (100% juice) or fruit drink (containing anything less than 100% juice). 
  2. Added sugar: This indicates how much sugar has been added to the drink during processing. Aim for drinks with no added sugar. 
  3. Fiber: Check to see if there is any fiber. Fiber can be found in whole fruits and vegetables and helps support both gut and overall health for kids and adults. Unfortunately, fiber often isn’t found in juice, even 100% juice. 
  4. Ingredient list: Look out for high fructose corn syrup; artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, sucralose, and acesulfame potassium; and artificial colors, and try to avoid those. 

So break it down for me – are fruit juices healthy?

While 100% fruit juice doesn’t contain the added sugar or artificial sweeteners that can be found in some fruit drinks, it contains high amounts of naturally occuring sugar. That sugar comes from the fruit, but it’s also more than kids would get if they just ate a piece of fruit. Take, for example, an 8oz serving of grape juice. In just one glass, you’re consuming approximately 80 grapes worth of sugar! 100% juice also rarely contains any fiber.

With PLEZi, we’ve created a new option that has 75% less sugar than average leading 100% fruit juices, no added sugar, and that also has fiber to support kids’ growing bodies.

We still believe water is the best drink for kids, and whole fruits, vegetables, and grains are the best way to get your fiber, but we also know that’s not always a reality.

Do you have any other questions about juice or kids’ drinks? Reach out below or DM us @plezinutrition!