There are two answers to this question:
1. Answer #1: No, it’s not good for your kids, or for you.
2. Answer #2: Yes, it’s bad for your kids, and for you.
These are fascinating and challenging times we live in. Simply knowing what to eat and not is no small thing. So many conflicting opinions flying around in our 24-hour news cycle. One day something is good for you, the next day not! Who to believe?
The current news tempest is about arsenic in Apple Juice. Dr Oz started a ruckus some weeks back with his claim that various apple juices he had tested showed troublesome amounts of arsenic. http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/arsenic-apple-juice
The FDA was quick to try to calm things down by saying yes, there is arsenic in apple juice but it isn’t bad for you at these levels. The FDA also said the kind of arsenic Oz found in apple juice was organic (naturally occuring) and not inorganic (contaminated heavy metal).
Low and behold Consumer Reports now is saying their own independent tests show that inorganic (bad for you!) arsenic is in many samples of apple juice. http://news.consumerreports.org/safety/2011/11/consumer-reports-tests-juices-for-arsenic-and-lead.html
The main reason to limit apple juice in your diet is not just because of arsenic, though that should get your attention! Apples are #1 on the Dirty Dozen list of most contaminated foods http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/ and worth buying organic.
However, fruit juices of all kinds are full of sugar and upset the body’s natural balance. There is little nutrtion in processed fruit juice. That’s why many of them have vitamins added, to appear like a healthy food. Fruit juice is a sugar bomb and to be avoided.
Kids of all ages up to 99 become used to what they eat and drink, and consuming fruit juice is not a healthy habit. Keep an herb tea in the refrigerator and after a couple of days this sugar free drink will become a habit.
Organic apples themselves are a solid nutritional plus, and contain all kinds of nutrients that offset the sugar in the apple. That is not true at all for apple juice (organic or not) or any other fruit juice, as many of the nutrients are lost in processing and what is left is a sugar cocktail.
This apple juice story is a good example of what to watch out for as a consumer.
1. Not every story is worth acting on, though every story is worth checking out.
2. Any story that puts food safety in question is going to bring a polished pseudo-respone from agribusiness.
3. Government agencies are slow to react, and also in the crosshairs of the food lobby’s public relations smoothies.
My own perspective? “If in doubt, leave it out.”