The first time my daughter ever had juice was a few weeks before
her 2nd birthday. We were at the Dells and my husband came back
with "Elmo" juice. Her eyes lit up when she saw it. (Darn those
To this day, we treat juice as a
special occasion treat and we allow one juice box at kid's birthday
parties. Kind of like a glass of champagne for us (or maybe not).
And to this day, neither of my kids have had a single sip of pop.
In case you didn't read my bio, I grew up on pop and had ill
effects as an adult from drinking it in my youth. Neither my
husband or I care to drink pop so it is a no brainer that it is not
in our home.
So what do my kids drink? Water and
non-dairy milk, green smoothies and my daughter loves Kombucha
(fermented tea which is high in probiotics).
No matter what you think, I firmly
stand by my opinion that kids just flat out do not need juice; not
in their lunch boxes, after school or even in the morning.
"Fruitables" are my preferred source
of "juice." But they are still considered empty calories that
metabolize the same as pop in kids' bodies. Yes, let me repeat,
juice metabolizes just like soda pop in the body. Companies will do
a lot of creative marketing to have parents believe they are
getting a serving of fruits and vegetables in their drinks. But
nothing compares to eating the real thing.
But what if I dilute it? Nope, don't
care, kids still don't need the excess sugar and processed fruit
But...nope. You are feeding them
sugar water, check your label. Does it contain high-fructose corn
syrup, sucralose or fructose? Don't even get me started on the food
Fructose? Isn't that fruit? Yes and
no, in fact
a recent study by the Journal of American Medicine
(JAMA) found fructose consumption might be more likely to
stimulate rather than curb appetite. So it is tricking our brains
to eat more, and most likely to crave more empty carbs.
Also high 'fructose' consumption is
leading to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in kids as young as
14. Another study found that too much fructose consumption is a
possible link to pancreatic cancer. I am not saying eating fruit
will cause cancer, it is the fake stuff we put into our bodies.
Questions to ask yourself if juice
is affecting their wellbeing:
I challenge you, if you are giving
your child juice on a daily basis, why are you giving it to them?
Do you feel they need variety? Kids are fine not having juice, in
fact if you don't buy it, they won't miss it or know any better. We
are truly fortunate to have access to good, clean water.
Sure they will whine, beg, ask,
maybe even throw themselves on the ground, when you are persistent
and consistent in what you feed and give them to drink, but they
will not miss it and will eventually get use to it.
Jasmine blogs to inspire you to make positive, healthy changes.
See more of Jasmine's stories here.
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