Is Fruit Juice a Healthy Drink for Children?

This might come as a surprise to some parents: fruit juice isn’t the healthiest beverage for your child. It lacks the fibre from whole fruits. It’s healthier for your child to eat fresh fruit and drink more water instead.

Related: Early Childhood Nutrition

How Do Sugary Drinks Affect Your Child’s Teeth?

Too much sugary juice or fruit drinks for your child may result in tooth decay. While baby teeth do get replaced by adult teeth eventually, they are equally important for eating and speech and play a part in permanent teeth alignment. Your child will only lose his baby molars when he’s about 10 to 12 years old.

Serious and untreated decay on milk teeth can cause pain for your child and may even affect the developing permanent tooth.

What Can You Do to Prevent Tooth Decay in Children?

Exercise good dental care for your child to prevent tooth decay and to ensure that your child has a beautiful smile for life!

Do's and Don'ts

  • Avoid putting sugary drinks into your baby's sippy cup or milk bottle, e.g. apple juice, soft drinks, as this encourages prolonged, frequent consumption of sugary drinks throughout the day. 

  • By the time your child turns 1, offer your toddler water when he is thirsty. Avoid offering formula milk on-demand throughout the whole day as that can cause tooth decay. 

  • Formula milk is sweet. Frequent consumption of sugary beverages can cause tooth decay.

  • By the time your child turns 1, offer him full-cream milk instead of formula milk as full-cream milk is less sweet.

  • If the little one is a fussy drinker who's used to drinking only juice or cannot stop drinking sugary drinks immediately, try giving your child less juice by diluting your child's juice with water. Start with 50% juice and 50% water, and slowly reduce the amount of juice over time. Your baby will be drinking water before you know it! Fruit juice is extremely sweet. Offer your child whole fruits instead.

  • Don't let your child take a sippy cup of juice or formula milk in a milk bottle to bed. Always ensure that you brush your child's teeth after his last feed/milk, before bed. Liquids with sugars in them will stay on your child's teeth overnight and cause decay, when not being brushed off.

So remember, mummies and daddies—protect your toddler's pearly whites. Keep juice and other sugary beverages out of your junior's sippy cup or milk bottle!

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  1. Sippy Cup Do's and Don'ts. Retrieved November 2018 from