Mohave County WIC

What's in Your Juice?



By the end of this lesson you will:

Identify risks associated with an excessive intake of juice.
Recognize the difference between 100% fruit juices and other juices.
List three benefits of eating fruit compared to drinking juice.


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Activity 1:  

How much juice should your child be limited to daily?.


Have you ever wondered just how much sugar is in the drinks your child drinks everyday?  This lesson might give you a better idea of what is really in your child’s favorite beverages.


The fruit juice you receive from WIC can provide your child with good nutrients such as vitamin C, but an excessive amount of juice can cause problems.  If a child drinks more than 12 ounces of fruit juice a day they may be at risk for the following: 


Children who drink more than 12 ounces of fruit juice a day are getting too many calories from non nutrient dense foods.  These children are at risk of obesity.  If a child is drinking an excessive amount of juice they are also getting an excessive amount of calories.  This juice may make them feel full and lead them to refuse nutrient dense foods essential for growth and development. 

Click here to learn more about obesity...


Tooth Decay

Children who eat or drink excessive amounts of sugar are at high risk for tooth decay.

Click here to learn more about tooth decay...



If your child is drinking too much fruit juice, more than 12 ounces, he may experience loose stools. 

What is the difference between 100% fruit juice and the other types of fruit juice?

If the juice does not contain 100 % real fruit juice it probably has more sugar added to the beverage.

On the food label, look for the statement “contains 100% real fruit juice”.  If the item contains only 10% of real fruit juice, you might consider choosing another beverage.

For example: The juice provided to you by WIC is 100% real fruit juice such as Seneca Apple Juice, Welchs Grape Juice, and all Dole products like Pineapple Juice.  Drinks such as Capri Son and Hawaiian Punch only contain 10% and 5% real fruit juice consecutively.  Those drinks will have extra sugar added for flavoring and add no additional vitamins or minerals.

100% fruit juice is okay to give your child sometimes, but he will receive more vitamins and minerals if he eats the actual fruit.  He will also benefit from the fiber provided in fruit.  Fiber helps keep your “food tube” clean and keeps you regular.

Click here to learn more about fiber...

Reading the Food Label:

Before we go any further about determining how much sugar is in our juice, we need to learn about reading the food label.  The package might show off “sugar free” but it’s the nutrition information label that’s going to tell you whether the product has just as many grams of sugar or just as many calories as regular products. Most packages now have a label called “Nutrition Facts”. This label tells you what you’re really eating. By comparing the labels on products, you can plan a balanced diet and cut down on fat, salt, and sugar for better health.

 Finding Sugar on Food Labels

Sugar can be found on the food label under total carbohydrate.

You can find different types of sugar under the ingredient list.  Here is a list of common sugars:  Sucrose, Fructose, Glucose, High fructose corn syrup, Lactose, Maltose

Other refined sugars such as confectioners sugar, powdered sugar, dextrose, maple syrup turbinado sugar and mannitol sugar can be found on the ingredient list.

picture of new food label imagemap--links to text in document



Sugar Content Comparison in Different Drinks

100% Orange Juice
(8 fl oz)
Sunny Delight
(8 fl oz)
100% Grape Juice
(8 fl oz)
100% Apple Juice
(8 fl oz)
Kool Aid
(8 fl oz)
Crystal Light
(8 fl oz)
(8 fl oz)
V-8 Juice
(8 fl oz)
V-8 Splash
(8 fl oz)
(8 fl oz)
Diet Pepsi
(12 fl oz)
Mountain Dew
(12 fl oz)
(12 fl oz)

Sugar (sucrose and/or fructose, 5 g/tsp) content based on typical or usual serving size.

You may notice that orange juice is quite high in sugar.  Orange juice that is 100% real fruit juice contains natural sugars while the sugar in Kool Aid, for example, was added.  Orange juice would be the better choice over Kool Aid, BUT, an orange would be even better!

Activity 2:

1. Excessive intake of juice may lead to which of following?
Stronger teeth


2. Which of the following is the best source of vitamin C?
Sunny Delight


3. What is the difference between 100% Pineapple Juice and Hawaiian Punch?.

Here are some fun activities you can do with your children. Just click on this picture to begin!
Remember to click on the "Back" button on the top of your screen to return to this lesson.


Now let's review!

Activity 3:

1. Children should not be forced to drink juice. True False 
2. Drinking excessive amounts of juice may cause diarrhea. True  False 
3. If your child is thirsty, choose water or small amounts of fruit juice that are 100% real fruit juice (no more than 12 oz/day). True  False 


4. List three benefits of eating fruit rather than drinking juice.



Which WIC Office do you go to?

Bullhead City
Lake Havasu City

Where are you taking today's lesson?




You have completed the lesson on “What's in Your Juice”.  If you have any questions or comments, please e-mail one of our nutritionists.  We’ll be glad to answer any of your questions.

In Kingman you may contact a Nutritionist at
In Bullhead City you may contact a Nutritionist at
In Lake Havasu City you may contact a Nutritionist at

* If you have an extra minute, please fill out our survey on the WIC home page (where you chose this class) so we can better serve you.  Thank You.


Activity 1: No more than 12 oz of fruit juice should be given to your child each day.
Activity 2: 1. Obesity
2. Orange
3. The Pineapple juice contains more vitamins and minerals and less added sugar than the Hawaiian punch.
Activity 3: 

1. True
2. True
3. True
4. Fruit contains fiber, keeping the food tube clean, less calories in fruit reducing risk of obesity, drinking juice frequently may lead to tooth decay.

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Revised: August 25, 2004
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