Thursday, October 28, 2010

Juice is now on the shit list

It's Red Ribbon this week at dash1's school, this week is used to bring awareness to being drug free.  Dash1 came home on Monday and told me with great gusto that he is drug free. 

I should hope.... he's 5. 

But I'm guessing that, since he's in Kindergarten, they are also discussing making healthy choices.  Ok, this doesn't sound too bad. 


Until my 5 year old told me that soda is bad for you, as bad as a drug.  And that juice is also very unhealthy, just like chocolate milk.

What just a damn cotton pickin minute.

I get that soda isn't great for you, trust me, I got it, that stuff isn't going to cross my kids lips for years because well, it doesn't hold any nutritional benefit so why get em liking it?  Most days I have one so its not like I'm sucking down a 12 pack in a day, and I don't smoke, I don't drink alcholol.  Soda is my vice.  We all have one.

But I don't like my child being under the impression that soda is somehow on par with crack. 

And in that same vein of thought, what's really so bad about juice?  When we were kids we drank juice and chocolate milk and we all turned out just fine.

Well most of us.

But I don't think chocolate milk is to blame for the serial killers out there.

So I pressed the point, what's so bad about juice and chocolate milk?  He didn't know.  He just knew they were unhealthy. 

I'm guessing the hubbub is about the sugar content.  I get that.  But first off my kids drink only 100% juice {usually apple and white grape}, with the occasional exception made for watered down lemonade.  Second like I just mentioned, I still water down their juice.  Unless they are drinking a juice box, its watered down.  A lot.

And third, chocolate milk, dash2 likes chocolate or strawberry milk and if he's drinking either I'm just happy to see it!

Shoot I'd crush smarties and put it in milk if I thought dash1 would drink it.  I get that it has extra sugar in it, but in my mind the nutritional benefits of the vitamins and calcium far outweigh the added sugar from the chocolate.

And 100% juice does have anywhere from 1/2 to 1 serving of fruit in it. 

{Not that I have to count that as my kids fruits.  My kids eat so much damn fruit I buy in bulk at Sam's Club.  God help my food bill when they are older.}

Childhood obesity is way out of control, there are some kids in dash1s school who I'd be terrified to run into in a dark alley at night, but thankfully my kids don't have that problem.  Dash1 & 3 are long and lean, dash2 tends to take more after his father {read into that, the kid is a solid brick wall} but none of my kids are in a danger zone for being porkers.

Shoot dash1 is the only one of us who is wearing slim style pants and he probably drinks the most juice.

And they are all healthy and active.  Sometimes far more active than I'd like.

I'm cool with labeling candy as unhealthy, sadly m & m's don't have much nutritional perks to add to my diet,  teach my kid about moderation, about healthy snacks and blatantly unhealthy ones, but can we keep somethings, like chocolate milk and juice out of it? 

Or here's a better idea..... I'll teach my kid about nutrition and you teach him how to read. 


  1. While I absolutely agree with you that 100% juice (okay, confession time, I still hate juice that isn't watered down. clearly my mom was a lot like you, ha! and, clearly it stuck!) and that any kind of milk is preferable to a kiddo drinking pop...I am kind of glad to see this. Because, unfortunately, not everyone is as fantastic of a mom as you are. Not everyone polices their kids' diets to make sure they are getting enough fruits and veggies and not too many chips, cookies, etc. And I think that is super evident by the rising rate of childhood obesity. Some parents, quite frankly, don't give a damn.

    So, I am sort of glad to see that at least the schools are doing something and trying to teach them about nutrition. Even if it is a little over the top.

  2. what i don't understand is why the solution to obesity is the OTHER extreme.

    health and nutrition are all about MODERATION. moderation (temperance) is literally a virtue - and one that needs to be instilled in kids. extremism in food choices leads to problems in both directions...

  3. I have one child who will drink milk all day long, while the other two grew out of it by the time they were 10. The only way to get them to drink milk is by using the Carnation Instant Breakfast mix because they think it tastes like a milkshake. So after school snacks and possbily after dinner dessert usually consists of some type of altered milk drink because I just want them to drink the milk period! I get that there is added sugar in these things, but if I am deciding between no milk and milk with sugared flavor... well, I'm opting for the sugared milk. I don't think that makes me a bad mom, I think it's called "picking our battles". There is no way to change the taste of broccoli (which my kids don't like) so I will threaten them with losing TV time if they don't eat, but I can only threaten so much. At least the kids are getting milk in their bodies. Geesh.

  4. I don't think it's really his schools place to put them in the same category at smack. I think they were trying to address childhood obesity, but scared straight doesn't really work at any age. If my teacher had told me that I probably would have gone home and broken into the soda to see if I could get high. I've always been precocious like that.
    I will say it isn't sugar per se that is so worrisome any more; it's the damn HFCS. No matter what the corn industry says, it does not behave in the body the same way as sugar because it has a different molecular structure. And it is much sweeter than sugar and our bodies evolved to seek out sugar and fats back when we were nomadic and needed those extra stores of energy when we could get them. The danger is now we don't need them and so when we suck down regular soda and many juices, we are setting ourselves up to crave more and more sweets and thereby get ourselves into trouble. This is why a nuanced approach to nutrition is better. A bit of juice, no sugar added, is not bad for anyone, but this is too complex a message for a 5yr old.
    Look at it this way, you can provide that more nuanced viewpoint at home with the kiddos and help him learn the good from the bad and the ugly, but the schools job is more of a spaghetti approach. They have to throw things at the wall and see what sticks. Hopefully some of what they say sticks with some of these kids who probably don't have any adult to guide their choices outside of school. So many homes have parents who are completely absentee on nutrition and every other issue. It is these kids the schools have to be the nutritional guidance for unfortunately.
    And for the record, I only drink chocolate almond milk. I refuse to drink milk related products any other way.

  5. I agree with the ladies who already commented. What happened to everything in moderation? Why does a food or beverage (WITH nutritional value no less)have to be EVIL? There's no difference in the sugar content between 100% juice and a fruit- the difference is in the ration of sugar to fiber. As long as the kid is eating a healthy, overall balanced diet, a juice a day isn't going to make the kid obese. Why don't we SHOW our kids a healthy relationship with food instead of this crazy love/hate/if it tastes good it's bad for you crap.

  6. Bah. How stupid. Why can't schools just stick to reading and writing? Why do teachers have to undermine parents like this? Because that's what this does. The kid is taught that soda and juice and drugs are all on equal placement on the "evil" what does that make you for trying to give him juice?? I'd be having a few choice words with that teacher if it were me. More than a few.

  7. I think I would be glad about the soda thing. Not that I don't drink I do but I hope my kids don't figure it is yummy for a very long time.

    As for juice and chocolate milk. We drink both here. Usually juice when we are out and about and the boys love chocolate milk as much as I do. And maybe water would be better? But to compare it to crack?

  8. Neither of my kids is a big juice drinker. The boy likes it more than the girl. She'll OCCASIONALLY ask for orange juice. And I give it to her (full strength) because a: she's 9, b: she only drinks about 6 oz of it at a time, and c: I buy the calcium/vitamin D juice...thus leading to why I LOVE chocolate milk.

    Because the girl will not drink milk unless forced to (read: we make her drink a 6 oz cup every night for dinner, but we can not enforce milk at school if she gets school lunch). So chocolate milk IS a healthy alternative - hey, they give my kids a choice of PLAIN, Vanilla, Chocolate or Strawberry at school!

    I am with Mrs. 2LT up there - ALL things in moderation! It's not the juice or chocolate milk that causes the problem. It's the endless trips to BK/McD/Tacobell/'s the "giving your kid soda in their baby bottle"'s feeding your kid gallons of Southern-style sweet tea (y'all want a little tea water with your sugar???) "because they won't drink anything else"! When we let our kids dictate what they want and constantly give in, we lead them to the obesity pool.

    I'm not saying that giving in occasionally is wrong (we don't battle with my daughter on the cheese or other dairy front - we insist she drink that one cup of milk, but won't force her to eat cheese), but I'm saying that being consistent in giving our kids GOOD choices (if tea isn't offered, they can't have it, can they?) and being firm in your decisions is a big part of it.

  9. I LOVE reading your posts, I probably say that every time!

    It's funny when people start going to the other extremes. Yes there has been an increase in obesity over the past years. How many of those people understand the actual size of PORTIONS. Moderation is definitely important!

    Sports drinks have a fair amount of sugar in them, but in some ways that is the purpose of a drink to return some of your needs after working out. My FIL went through treatment for cancer and got sick of drinking the sports drinks they recommended, asked about it and they suggested Chocolate Milk, much better for him.

    There also needs to be a distinguished look between natural sugars that occur NATURALLY in the fruit and sugar that is ADDED.

    Good for you! I am trying to not drink soda anymore (esp with being pregnant) but I love the fizzies so I drink flavored seltzer water that has no calories at all!

  10. Hmm.... VERY interesting. Funny the things that they shove down kids throats at this age (whether good or not), but then later in life, when it's a SERIOUS deal, don't want to "offend" anyone with. ha...

  11. Hey! Wait a minute! Dark chocolate m&m's are prolly good for you.... ;)
    Eh, coffee's my vice. Only the good stuff, though, and most times no more than 3 cups a day.

  12. Time the F out.

    Ok, I'm of the school that I would actually be psyched if my (future) kids were taught NUTRITION (i.e. not sugar scare tactics) in school.

    HOWEVER, things are getting a little ridiculous when Red Ribbon week= how to save yourself from the dangers of...MILK!


  13. I agree!! I'm actually going to try watering down the cranberry-grape juice I bought the other day to get some cranberry in my diet. I just got over a nasty UTI and yeast infection and I HATE cranberries so I bought a juice mix instead :P It's all I can do to stomach it so I'm gonna try watering it down next time. lol!

  14. First, so with you on the soda as your vice. Totally there. Although I'm trying to give it up right now merely to drop a few pounds. Goodness knows I love a 12oz can of Dr. Pepper a day. That said (and I imagine this has come in other comments too), I'm sure the school is referring to the sugar content in the juice and chocolate milk. Sadly, there are some kids who are overweight and perhaps those drinks are a contributing factor to it. Like you, I let my son have some juice but it's always watered down. Heck, I usually stick to plain water with milk at mealtime since he's 15 months and doesn't know there are other choices. I'm sure the day will come though when I too will be serving up some chocolate milk. Just don't tell him it exists right now. ;)

  15. I wouldn't be happy about that either! Coke is not crack... I get that it's bad for you and unhealthy, but a five year old should think their mommy's and daddy's are doing "drugs" with dinner...

  16. I totally agree with you. It irks me to no end that they come home from school with such nonsense. Have any of the teachers heard the expression, "Everything in moderation"?

    As for chocolate milk and juice, my sidekicks don't have it because it's expensive and water's just fine. I make a homemade soda (frozen fruit juice and seltzer water) for Friday Night Pizza Night, and we have OJ with the waffles for Sunday. Outside of that, it's water, folks.

    I do restrict soda and flavored milk because of the sugar. Sidekick-3 is my wild child and the idea of him on sugar is enough to put me in the fetal position sucking my thumb.

  17. mmmmmmmm chocolate milk and juice and drugs....



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