Juice Boxes

As a lot of my friends begin their journeys into parenthood it’s a great time to talk about juice. We can all think back to our childhood days and having juice boxes at lunch, during sporting events or maybe at a picnic or party. Juice boxes were a rarity in my house but I always relished in the times we had them. Little did I realize the parent have to do all the hard work in figuring out what kind to buy.  While my husband would be shocked to hear me write about juice since I often say adults don’t need it (not that we can’t enjoy it) I do think it is a good option for kids when the right kind is bought and the right serving is poured. Juice lacks the fiber and nutrients of real fruit but it is still a good source of Vitamin C and a way for picky kids to get a serving of fruit (if you buy the 100% juices). Before you go crazy buying juice for your kids beware of some downsides to juice. First, drinking too much of it can cause children to get to full for meals and also load them up on calories. According to theAmericanAcademy of Pediatrics, drinking too much juice can lead to obesity, tooth decay or cavities, diarrhea or other GI issues such as bloating or gas. It’s important to know how much juice children should have each day. Most people agree that infants under six months of age are not recommended to have juice unless it is prescribed by a doctor to help with constipation. Once a child is six months old through the time they are six years of age juice should be limited to 4-6 ounces per day and not given to children in bottles or sippy cups. It’s best to give it at a meal or set snack so the kids don’t suck on it all day and cause more damage to their teeth. Older children should limit juice intake to 8-12 ounces or less per day and adults should limit their juice to 4-6 ounces per day. One way to make juice go farther is to dilute it with water. I also recommend buying “juice” glasses that range from 4-6 ounces to help with portion control. In addition to juice, another newer option on the market is coconut water. While my friends reminded this weekend that it isn’t cheap it is a good alternative to juice. It is lower in calories and sugar than juice and rich in electrolytes for rehydrating. Most products I’ve seen are 100% pure coconut water and have no other ingredients added. One Coconut water at Trader Joe’s (11 ounces) contained 60 calories.
Now, what to look for when picking out juices boxes for your kids. First, make sure you pick a juice that is made from 100% fruit juice. Next, take a peak at the ingredients to make sure it doesn’t have a lot of added sugar or high fructose corn syrup. I did some research on some of the main brands on the market and broke them down into three categories for you.

Good Name Brand Choices

Juicy Juice

  • All Juicy Juice products are 100% juice
  • All Natural, no high fructose corn syrup
  • 6.75 ounce slim juice boxes (apple) = 100 calories
  • 4.23 ounce fun size juice box (apple) = 60 calories

Juicy Juice Sparkling Fruit Juice

  • Lower in sugar (20 grams per can) than regular juicy juice
  • 1 can = ~8.26 ounces = 90 calories and 1 serving of fruit

Minute Maid

  • All natural, 100% juice
  • 1 juice box = 100 calories

Capri Sun 100% Juice Pouches

  • All natural, no artificial color, flavors or preservatives, 100% Juice
  • 1 pouch = 80 calories = 1 full serving of fruit

Next, Tier of choices

Not as good as the ones listed above but still better than some of the options on the market. While these products have added juice they don’t use high fructose corn syrup.

Capri Sun

  • Sugar added as second ingredient behind water and before juice

CapriSun 25% less sugar

  • Sugar is the second ingredient. Less sugar but not 100% fruit juice.1 pouch = 60 calories,  16g Sugar

CapriSun Sunrise

  • 2nd ingredients is sugar (before juice concentrates
  • 1 pouch = 60 calories

Juice Boxes I wouldn’t recommend

These juices used high fructose corn syrup as a sweetener and had more added sugar

Capri Sun  Roarin’ Waters

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup and splenda added
  • 1 pouch = 30 calories

Sunny D Orange Juice and blends

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup added to sweeten it. Listed as the second ingredient
  • 8 ounces = 100 calories


  • Use High Fructose Corn syrup and sugar to sweeten
  • Juice from concentrate
  • 1 bottle = 6.75 fluid ounces = 90 calories
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