As Springtime nears us, and in Texas, it's feeling especially near, since we have basically skipped our winter, it's making me really crave some fruity stuff! Like Watermelon, Cantaloupe, and fruit drinks.
It's also this time of year that we tend to lean more towards giving our children fruit juice to drink more often than we normally do.
Drinking fruit juice isn't all it's cracked up to be though. Even though our food industry really sales fruit drinks as healthy, and attractive for kids, I'm here to tell you why we shouldn't give our kids juice.
Don't worry though, I won't leave you hanging. I'm also going to give you my 5 Favorite Fruit Drink Recipes that you can try instead!
Let's start by chatting about the lame store bought juices that are full of stuff other than just juice! Most store bought juices will have added things to them, sugar or high fructose corn syrup being some of the worst and most frequent ingredients found in them. So obviously you can tell that is no good!
So how about freshly juiced juice from your own juicer at home! You know, I used to think...I won't buy store bought juice for my son, I will make him fresh juice from home! That is until I"met" JJ Virgin. When sharing my NO Sugar Journey with you all, which started in January of 2015, I mentioned that a lot of it was triggered by JJ's book The Virgin Diet. In that book, and in many of her podcasts she talks about why apple juice is worse for you than soda! (you can read a full post about it here, but I will summarize some of the info below).
Here's how JJ describes drinking juice in her article,"Consider the difference between a carrot and carrot juice, an orange and orange juice. You wouldn’t sit down and eat four oranges, but you could easily consume that amount in a glass of OJ."
Doesn't that make total sense!! And why does it matter you ask?
Because when you juice fruit, you are taking out all of the fiber from the fruit, and so basically all you are getting is fructose, or sugar, and a lot of it! Even if it's the good kind of sugar, too much of a good thing isn't always good. Especially in this case.
So imagine, we are giving our children a big hit of sugar every time we give them a glass of fruit juice! And for many parents, that's their go-to drink! And they think they are doing the right thing by getting the all natural juice, but either way, it's not good.
Still not sure if it matters enough, here's why JJ Virgin claims that drinking apple juice is worse for you than a can of soda....
"Let’s look at the numbers. A 12-ounce glass of apple juice contains 39 grams or almost 8 teaspoons of sugar. A 12-ounce can of cola, by contrast, contains 33 grams (6.6 teaspoons) of sugar."
HOLY SMOKES! Now if that doesn't put it into perspective than I don't know what will.
Somewhere along the way, someone decided that the official kids drink needed to be juice. Not sure why, but the way I see it, my kid doesn't need juice. He's never had it, so he doesn't even know about it. Now, if you child is "hooked" on fruit juice, don't fret. I've got the perfect solution to help you gradually ween them off the sugary stuff, and on to tasty, fruit drinks that won't harm their system.
My 5 Favorite Healthy Fruit Drink Recipes!
Let me preface, these are all fruit infused water drinks, but some great blends! So try them out and give them a chance. It might take a while to get used to them because they won't be as sweet as what you are used to!
- Lemon & Mint
- Strawberry Basil
- Watermelon & Cucumber
- Lemon Balm & Raspberry
- Grapefruit & Mint
Just add the ingredients to water and let it sit for a few minutes to infuse the taste, then enjoy! Or make a big batch in a water pitcher and have it ready to pore and share with the family!
Get more info about how fruit juice is digested in our body by watching my quick video: