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Let's talk juice: why do -or don't- you give it to your child?

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 

I know lots of mamas don't give their kids juice, and as far as I understand their reasoning is because fruit sugar is still sugar. Cavities, hyperactivity, sugar addiction/sweet tooth, calories, etc... That all makes sense. But, OTOH, we snack on fruit all day long and I am not worried about those things. DS is 13 months. I brush his teeth twice a day. So far he only drinks water (and my milk, lol), but DH and I drink very diluted juice (organic no sugar added) all the time. TBH I know I wouldn't drink enough water otherwise ~it really helps me get it down. We water it down a lot, maybe 1:8. DS is now starting to insist on eating and drinking everything we do, so I have given him a couple sips of my juice water here and there. I am not ready to start adding juice to his sippy cups, and would rather keep them just water as long as possible. But I know sooner or later he will be able to directly ask for juice when he sees us drinking it. Is it really that bad if I dilute down like 10:1? BTW we do not keep sweets in the house but maybe once or twice a week have cake or ice cream or whatever when we're out or have guests. DS has had no sugar yet and I even avoid agave syrup, rice syrup, etc. Eventually I would like him to eat like us: sugar as a treat maybe once a week or so.

 

Please tell me why you do or do not give your child juice. I could be convinced either way at this point. If you have any links to further information / studies which prove juice leads to something bad or not, I would be grateful.

 

TIA! love.gif

post #2 of 42

I do.  I watered it down until recently, but they only get a cup a day with breakfast.  I think most things are fine in moderation and as long as it's actual juice, I don't worry about the amount my kids have.

post #3 of 42

I give cranberry juice because of its health benefits and to boost vit C intake. Otherwise, no juice because its so sugary. If they want sweet they can eat the whole fruit and reap all the benefits (fiber etc) not just the juice

post #4 of 42

Hi P.J.!  We have only given our LO juice one time, and it was on a huge car trip (8 hours).  I brought along a little box of apple juice and a little straw in case of emergency.  I will admit that it absolutely did the trick at a critical screaming point when car nursing just didn't cut it.  That said...

 

I think you are doing an awesome job with your child's nutrition.  In no way would a 10:1 ratio be "bad" by anyone's standards, I don't think.  We steer clear of juice mostly because it's just not needed and I don't want to train our son to get a huge sweet tooth (like I have).  I have heard that avoiding juice early in life helps with that. 

 

Gotta go, baby's up...

 

 

post #5 of 42

I give my DS juice in part to help him stay hydrated. He is really weird about water, and always, always has been. As a result, he was drinking a LOT of milk (cow's milk) and it was really hard on his digestive system. So I started giving him juice diluted with water to help him get water and stay hydrated. I dilute it about 4:1 and use cranberry as a PP mentioned. He is much older though (34 months) - as a 1 year old, I diluted it about 8:1. Like aurora skys said, my biggest issue with juice is that it doesn't carry the benefits of whole fruit - the fiber! So I try to limit it... however I don't feel particularly anti-juice or pro-juice, I just don't think it should be a staple of a child's diet.

 

Sounds like your DS is a well-fed little guy, and I don't think adding some diluted juice here and there will turn him into a sugar junkie. 

post #6 of 42

I give my kids juice, but very limited. At the beach, at a restaurant, etc. I also limit their fruit intake. I used to let them eat fruit all the time because I figured it was healthy, but after reading Good Calories, Bad Calories (incredible book if you haven't read it!) I don't believe that anymore. We have a history of weight problems in our family (including both DH and I who struggled with weight as children long before the childhood obesity problem!) and there is a lot in the book about how people are programmed to handled insulin differently (which is what causes obesity...not overeating and sitting around eyesroll.gif). Anyway, I'm digressing - but my point is that fruit juice, fruit, anything processed, refined carbs, etc. are a recipe for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, in many, many people. So, yeah, we heavily limit that stuff. Our kids eat some blueberries or strawberries with their breakfast and an apple or something later for a snack, but it's not the fruit free for all that it used to be!

post #7 of 42

we DO juice - only organic and mostly homemade

 

there are just certain things - ex sour grapes that are easy as juice vs picking through little mucus balls for a one year old-juicing is easier

 

we do cranberry, grapes, tomato (end product of seeding for paste) lemon/lime and orange, we mostly do end up eating the left-over from the juicing in other forms (exceptions of lime and lemons and some oranges)

 

we eat fruit - we weight the pro and cons and decide what is best for us---we like what we get and it can not be all made up with other foods for us-we don't give synthetic supplements to make up the difference either

 

I have seen the disastrous results of withholding sugar from a child (I married a sugar hoarder- thanks to his mother's fear of sugar)---moderation is the key for us.

post #8 of 42

Nope, no juice. Dd loves water and I don't want to mess with that. We do give unlimited access to fruit, since we believe fruit is healthy for many reasons. But juice loses too many of those benefits and is more of a treat, so we never saw a reason to start.

 

post #9 of 42

My 6yo gets maybe an apple juice box a day.  We don't dilute it anymore, and only give the no sugar added juice (no HFCS).

 

My 2yo occasionally gets apple juice, when we go out to eat.  She doesn't drink very much of it, so I don't worry about diluting it.

 

The rest of the time, they both drink water and only ever ask for water at home.  The 6yo will occasionally drink cows' milk, but the 2yo has never liked milk other than my own!

 

They eat a lot of fruit and get a pretty varied diet, so I don't worry about them not getting anything in particular by drinking mostly water.

post #10 of 42

We don't regularly do juice for any age because I don't think it is healthy and its nutritional benefits do not justify the cost.  (Since our well-fed children don't need the extra sugar and there isn't much else to the juices I see there to be nearly no nutritional value--so why would I pay the price and use the excessive packaging required for transporting liquid?)

 

So first it seems a waste of money and packaging.  Second, I consider the natural sugar to be too concentrated, and especially for a child who ALSO eats fruit regularly that is just way to much total sugar.  If your child is too young to eat fruit regularly, then I think they are definitely too young to be getting fruit's sugars in a more concentrated form.  I am also against getting extra carbohydrate calories slipped in whenever your body needs hydration.  It creates confusion in our relationship to food by turning water into food.

 

I think the main function of juice is for pleasure/entertainment due to its sweetness, to get the happy "like it" reaction from our children, and IMO that's okay for an occasional treat but not for daily consumption.  The habit of flavored drinks is what makes people resistant to drinking water, along with the bad flavor of most tap water.  I put my money into my water filter rather than alternative beverages, and the filter makes a huge difference for flavor and every single person in our family drinks water constantly.  Over five gallons a day are drunk straight in our house at this time of year.  I can''t imagine a desire for a certain flavor making me resistant to drinking water to meet my body's needs and I would do what I could to keep my child from establishing that kind of pattern. 

 

Naturally, thirst should lead to water.  That's the pattern I teach.

 

 

post #11 of 42
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by littlest birds View Post

We don't regularly do juice for any age because I don't think it is healthy and its nutritional benefits do not justify the cost.  (Since our well-fed children don't need the extra sugar and there isn't much else to the juices I see there to be nearly no nutritional value--so why would I pay the price and use the excessive packaging required for transporting liquid?)

 

So first it seems a waste of money and packaging.  Second, I consider the natural sugar to be too concentrated, and especially for a child who ALSO eats fruit regularly that is just way to much total sugar.  If your child is too young to eat fruit regularly, then I think they are definitely too young to be getting fruit's sugars in a more concentrated form.  I am also against getting extra carbohydrate calories slipped in whenever your body needs hydration.  It creates confusion in our relationship to food by turning water into food.

 

I think the main function of juice is for pleasure/entertainment due to its sweetness, to get the happy "like it" reaction from our children, and IMO that's okay for an occasional treat but not for daily consumption.  The habit of flavored drinks is what makes people resistant to drinking water, along with the bad flavor of most tap water.  I put my money into my water filter rather than alternative beverages, and the filter makes a huge difference for flavor and every single person in our family drinks water constantly.  Over five gallons a day are drunk straight in our house at this time of year.  I can''t imagine a desire for a certain flavor making me resistant to drinking water to meet my body's needs and I would do what I could to keep my child from establishing that kind of pattern. 

 

Naturally, thirst should lead to water.  That's the pattern I teach.

 

 


I think this is the direction we are going with our son. As I mentioned in my OP, both DH and I have a real hard time getting enough water. I feel like I have to add a little juice for flavor or else I won't drink water...unless it's really hot out. I know DS is learning all our habits, but if possible I don't want him to get into our habit of drinking water with something and not craving just plain old water. I suppose if my parents had done the same with me I wouldn't struggle with daily water consumption the way I do. As it was, we didn't drink much water when I was a kid, I just remember juice. Hmmmm....

 

post #12 of 42

 

 

Quote:
both DH and I have a real hard time getting enough water. 

 

 

you might want to research the benefits of drinking nettles and raspberry leaf and (red clover and the like) and start upping your water intake with them--not all bad to "add" to water!

post #13 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by P.J. View Post


 


I think this is the direction we are going with our son. As I mentioned in my OP, both DH and I have a real hard time getting enough water. I feel like I have to add a little juice for flavor or else I won't drink water...unless it's really hot out. I know DS is learning all our habits, but if possible I don't want him to get into our habit of drinking water with something and not craving just plain old water. I suppose if my parents had done the same with me I wouldn't struggle with daily water consumption the way I do. As it was, we didn't drink much water when I was a kid, I just remember juice. Hmmmm....

 


This was the point I was going to make.  My DD LOVES water.  She drinks it all day long.  I figure why mess with that by teaching her to expect her liquids to be sugary or sweet? 

 

For you, maybe try switching to drinking water with just a little lemon?  You could even do fresh lemon slices in a pitcher of water in the fridge.  It might help you transition away from juice-water since it's less sweet.

 

post #14 of 42

we don't have juice at home. i think it's expensive and either goes to waste (OJ that no one drinks fast enough) or gets chugged (every other kind!). i personally love juice though... i have a sweet tooth and just love the flavour, but juice is a treat to me, not a regular part of our diet. so anyway, my dd (16 mo) has had juice before... she has a sip or two of whatever i'm having unless i manage to sneak it (including, bad mama badge here, coffee, tea and pop!). occasionally, especially on a hot, long day of errands or travelling, i will buy juice specifically to share, but aim for 100% pure juice (like the smoothie juices that coffee shops have). that is a rare, stop-gap measure for me though. we both like water and happily drink all kinds of fluids so i don't worry about "ruining" her! 

 

as for fruit, i think fruit is awesome. we eat a lot of it, and a huge variety. i have always loved fruit since i was a tiny kid and no one in my family has any problems with obesity, diabetes, etc, so i really don't worry about that. fruit is one of the easiest, most natural things for a person, especially a small kid to eat... sweet, soft, delicious flavours, and plenty of nutritional benefits. 

post #15 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by P.J. View Post

Please tell me why you do or do not give your child juice. I could be convinced either way at this point. If you have any links to further information / studies which prove juice leads to something bad or not, I would be grateful.

 

TIA! love.gif

 

Dd is 11 so she drinks a lot of different things including juice.

We almost always have juice on hand for her because I feel a moderate amount regularly helps her to not be constipated- which she had problems with in the past.

I worry more about keeping things in balance than totally eliminating one type of drink.
 

 

post #16 of 42

my kids dont get fruit or fruit juice except some strawberries once in a while or lemon flavored water. but they are all fructose intolerant. so it will give them diarrhea. i have read that too much fructose is what causes all the obesity and diabetes and whatnot. and that the primary sources of fructose is high fructose corn syrup, table sugar, and juice. the amount of fructose in juice is like giving kids a soda. but diluted down to 10:1, that is just flavored water.

post #17 of 42

I gave my little kids diluted white grape juice, or diluted apple juice, until they just didn't want it anymore.  So for a few years I didn't bother having juice in the house. The above comment is right, it's just a glass of sugar. 

 

However I started serving it occasionally because it's a convenient, quick shot of sugar energy.  I still don't keep juice stocked like it's a staple. We go through a bottle of pink grapefruit juice in about a week. 

 

 

 

post #18 of 42

I dont give juice because all store bought juice is pasturized, killing pretty much everything in it that is beneficial.  It is also filtered.  In a piece of fruit you get all the beneficial stuff, vitamins, etc, so I dont have any problem with the fruit sugars, but if I am getting nothing but the sugar and liquid, no thanks.  also, synthetic chemical isolates that they refer to as vitamins are added to the juice to try to replace what all the processing has taken away from it, but in reality your body absorbs almost none of these synthetic vitamins because they are not whole foods based, and they are actually bad for your body.

post #19 of 42


thumbsup.gif  Yes, totally forgot to mention... when we are diluting and giving juice to DS, I just mean juice I got from juicing a piece of fruit. 1love4ever said this exactly right about store-bought juice...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1love4ever View Post

I dont give juice because all store bought juice is pasturized, killing pretty much everything in it that is beneficial.  It is also filtered.  In a piece of fruit you get all the beneficial stuff, vitamins, etc, so I dont have any problem with the fruit sugars, but if I am getting nothing but the sugar and liquid, no thanks.  also, synthetic chemical isolates that they refer to as vitamins are added to the juice to try to replace what all the processing has taken away from it, but in reality your body absorbs almost none of these synthetic vitamins because they are not whole foods based, and they are actually bad for your body.



 

post #20 of 42

I should have mentioned that I do sometimes give DD a pureed fruit smoothie sort of thing made out of whole pieces of fruits and some veggies.  The store bought juice is also so wasteful.  You are getting, what, probably about 1/50th of every piece of fruit used?  I view it like I view white flour- all the beneficial parts have been removed and only a fraction is left, and its not the good parts.

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