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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Gin and Juice (if you even think about this for your kid, I am reporting you to CYS)

Ahhh, the "evils" of juice. So let me preface this with the fact that I am the most hypocritical parent in the world on this subject because I like juice. No, I LOVE juice. I am a juice-aholic. Hi, my name is Dr.BabyMamaDrama and I have an addiction to juice. And I am not talking about "the Juice", aka OJ Simpson. He is a hot mess. What I love is grape juice, apple juice, cranberry juice, orange juice. Heck, even drank prune juice in those dark days after I gave birth (mamas, you know what I am talking about, but that is another story for another day, folks). I would drink juice to the exclusion of most beverages if I could, but as I have learned the hard way, juice ain't all that great for you, especially as a kid.

I see absolutely nothing wrong with giving kids over 1 year juice that is watered down on occasion. I actually make most juice that I drink I home with extra water because I think they are too sweet, anyway. I wouldn't recommend any more than 8 oz of juice a day for anyone (I think lightning just struck behind me). Juice has tons of empty calories and although it can be a source of vitamin C and fiber, it is often ounce-for-ounce close to the same number of calories as soda. Although I have seen a 10 month old with 10 oz of Pepsi in their bottle before and I almost had a heart attack. Excessive juice, in addition to soda, is probably one of the biggest dietary culprits that contributes to obesity, tooth decay, decreased bone density in the US.

I look at it this way, if you want to give your kid juice, fine. I tend to think of juice for kids as a candy bar: okay as a treat a few times a week, but over 4-8 oz a day is pushing it. They have their whole lives to develop bad eating habits, so start them off on as good foot while they don't have much of a choice. Hey, all the good food habits I learned at home went down the toilet when I got to college and started mixing 3 types of soda from the cafeteria on a regular basis for maximum sugar and caffeine. My drug of choice freshman year was Mountain Dew, lemonade and Sprite mixed together. Mmmm....put that in a nice 20 oz cup with multiple refills, well, you see where I'm going.

Here is a great article on juice drinking in kids. Enjoy!

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