Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Juicy Advice From Our One Sassy Doctor

When it comes to juice, I draw a line in the sand. I am not the perfect parent (believe me!) and faced some juice challenges when my sons’ daycare served juice. So, this advice is not coming from someone who never gave her kids juice. My kids are heavy water drinkers, but have tasted juice (preferably watered down) at birthday parties and at daycare during meals only (and I limited it to once a day). However, none of them had a dose of juice until they were three years old. Not a taste. We made sure to stick to breast milk, formula, whole milk, lower fat milk and water at the appropriate ages.

Juice is not good for kids. Period. Although I’ll offer some “if you must give some juice” advice at the end of this post, I’m coming on Sassy Strong with this one. Here’s why I don’t recommend juice for your little ones:
  1. There is very little nutritive value in juice. Although some juices add vitamins, such as Vitamin C, it is preferable for little ones to acquire a rainbow palate and get the necessary nutritive elements from food. 
  2. Juice can give your child diarrhea when taken in excess volumes. Also, if you can call it juice, some colorful “fake” juices (that will remain nameless in this post) can give your child colorful poopies – like blue and purple. I’m all for color, but not in poop. 
  3. When kiddos drink juice, they may become full and eat less. This creates a pattern of filling on non-nutritive calories, and dissuades kids from eating the rainbow foods One Sassy Doctor promotes. 
  4. Finally: teeth. We’ll write more about this in future postings. Avoiding juice in bottles or sippy cups is a must for healthy dental development. 
So, if you must give juice—as I described above, at a birthday party where your child really wants a special treat—give it sparingly, make sure it is watered down when you can, and absolutely stress breast milk, formula, whole milk, lower fat milk and water at the appropriate ages. Your babies and toddlers learn their eating habits from you, and we want them to grow up sassy, right?

One Sassy Doctor Suggests: