Set Down The Juice And Reach For Real Fruit

Posted on Posted in DrDownload

Are you old enough to remember the TV commercials where smiling mothers stirred pitchers of KoolAid on the front porch in summer? They were serving liquid happiness to the children running around in the front yard with a giant singing pitcher of KoolAid. Or so it seemed.

The KoolAid craze gave way to Hi-C (which boasted 10% real fruit juice) and then eventually to the “best” option if you’re a really good parent: 100% Juicy Juice.

Well, it’s official. None of that stuff is good for kids. Even the juice.

Everybody knows KoolAid isn’t healthy for kids. But many moms buy juice thinking it is good for kids. It’s good for constipation, and pediatricians have been trying to convince parents to back away from the apple juice shelf for years. It’s an APPLE a day that keeps the doctor away.  This week the American Academy of Pediatrics has gone on record to say we need to re-think how and when we serve juice to our kids, and we’ve got to get the word out to parents.

The Empty Calories In Juice

There are lots of issues that science is unpacking for doctors when it comes to the empty calories in most juices and all soft drinks. In 1950, a juice glass was pretty small by today’s standards. A serving size was only 4 ounces, and for our toddlers, it still is! Our bodies are not hardwired to manage the glucose spikes that come with drinking a Big Gulp or even 12 oz cup of apple juice (if you are a 25-pound toddler) day after day. Now that we have lidded sippy cups, our kids are drinking more and more liquid sugar.  Watch:

Are You Serving Too Much Juice?

Try this: Use a measuring cup next time you serve your child something to drink. See just how much goes into that sippy cup. I like to tell parents, “If your kids drink it, it should nourish the body, and that list of choices is pretty short.”

  • Milk
  • Water
  • Yep, that’s pretty much it… Everything else is a treat.

When I was a child, my grandmother mixed castor oil into morning OJ mostly to prevent constipation. To this day, I cannot enjoy a glass of orange juice without thinking about how bad those omega-3-fatty acids tasted in my morning juice when I’d spend the night at her house. Fast forward fifty years:

“It’s 100% Juicy Juice,” Dr. Smith. “Therefore, it must be good for my child!?”

Uh, no.  I’m here today along with my friends at the American Academy of Pediatrics to say:

Slow and steady, boys. Slow and steady. Set down the juice boxes and back away from the shelf. The apple juices stays. You need to buy fruit, not fruit juice.  You’ll find the apples over on aisle one.

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