Juice drinks

Juice drink buying guide

Last updated: February 2013

Getting started

When you see claims such as "100% juice," "lower sugar," "no sugar added," and "with vegetables," buying a kids' juice box or pouch isn't child's play. For our review we chose 10 popular drinks, checked their nutrition facts, and asked 35 children ages 6 to 17 for their preferences after blind taste-tests.

What we found

All products aren't the same. The amount of actual juice in tested products ranged from less than 10 percent to 100 percent; calories from fewer than 50 to more than 100; and sugar content from about 10 grams to 25. About those "100% juice" claims: Although the tested products with that label don't have added sugars, all are higher in calories and sugar than those with lower juice percentages.

As for taste, 79 percent of the kids said they'd drink the highest-rated juice drink again. It contained 10 percent juice and 60 calories, and at 30 cents per pouch, was also among the cheapest juice drinks tested. Our children's panel was least enthused about the juice drink that was a "blend of 100% pure fruit and vegetable juices" with a carrot/veggie flavor.

Did you know?

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests limiting fruit juice to 4 to 6 ounces per day for kids 1 to 6 years old and 8 to 12 ounces for older children. That could help kids avoid calories and cavities.


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