I think that a lot of parents realize that too much juice is a bad thing. So if you catch yourself saying wondering how to reduce the amount of juice your toddler drinks, I’ve got an idea that works really well in my household, and I’m happy to share it with you.
Why Should I be Worried That My Toddler Drinks Too Much Juice?
If you’re not already convinced that drinking too much juice is a bad thing, you need to stop and simply think about how much fruit is required in order to make a glass of juice. It actually takes about 4 oranges to get this amount of juice. Fruit is great, but cramming such a hefty amount of it into your stomach all at once is not such a good idea.
Not only is your child consuming far too much fruit at one time, but when you drink juice (rather than eat fruit), the sugar passes to the intestines and is absorbed into the bloodstream much faster than if you just sat down and ate some fruit.
The sugar in fruit juice is called fructose, and just because it comes from a fruit doesn’t make it “healthy”. Sugar causes the body to release a massive surge of insulin, and the insulin works to remove sugar from the bloodstream. The sugar goes away, the insulin lingers, and you’re left with a not-so good feeling in your body. Ever wonder if this contributes to toddler behavior problems?
Simply put, I sincerely believe that fruit juice consumption should be limited to a half glass per day in kids. If they want more, give them actual fruit. Cut up apples, pears, or other fruit and have them snack on that along with fresh vegetables such as celery, carrots, etc.
A Great Fruit Juice Replacement
It’s called … WATER. Yes I’m serious, but I think there’s a great way to “spruce it up” so that it is more interesting for your child. You can show them this “treat” and make it exciting for them so they ask for it.
Here’s what you do. Take about a teaspoonful of lemon juice from concentrate. That’s about a cap full if you buy it by the bottle. Mix the lemon juice with a splash of fruit juice such as OJ or Apple Juice. I mean just a splash for flavor. Then, add a couple of ice cubes and top up the cup with fresh cold water.
Regular water is great – and you should encourage your kids to drink plenty of it. But for something special, this easy recipe adds some natural flavor to the water while severely limiting the amount of sugar in the drink.