22 February 2012

going juiceless

I love juice, and so do my kids. I was having one particular problem with it though. My 4 year old would drink so much juice throughout the day, she would get a lot of calories from it, and not be hungry when it came to meals.

I've read before, "don't drink your calories". It's true, if you consider an average juice contains about 110 calories per cup, and how often do we only drink one cup? Even the real fruit juice (we would never buy artificial juice) is basically sugar water (natural or added) with a few vitamins and preservatives, minus all of the good fiber and volatile vitamins of the fruit it came from.

Over the past couple years I've been mixing juice, half with water so that we wouldn't be drinking so many calories. This was okay, but I still had to deal with the daily battle about why my daughter should choose to drink something other than juice. This continued until a couple of months ago.

I simply stopped buying juice. It was that easy. I just stopped putting it in the grocery cart. I anticipated the girls would whine and cry for juice until I finally gave in and bought it. The complaints lasted only about a week, while I offered water, lemon water or milk.

The next time my daughter asked for juice, she worded it like this: "We never have any juice. Wouldn't it be neat if we could make juice ourselves?" So I grabbed an orange from the fruit bowl, and the citrus juicer from the cupboard. She was content with the cup she ended up with, and was excited about how it was made.

I was reminded of our honeymoon in Peru, when we went into a restaurant for a papaya juice with our friend / tour guide. It was definitely just papaya, from a blender. We told him about how in Canada, we get our juice packaged in boxes or bottles,  and it's usually apple or orange. Either that, or sugar and chemicals used to flavor water. We told him that people don't really make juice. He thought that was really strange.

It's not that we don't drink ANY juice now. There is still the odd bit, like when we're out shopping, or a freshly squeezed orange. Since then, I've noticed that everyone in our family is eating WAY more fresh fruit. Right now, my 4 year old is in love with grapefruit, and doesn't ask for juice anymore. She's quite content with her choices. As for me, I know I didn't drink enough water. I'm honestly not crazy about it, unless it's really cold, or I'm really thirsty. I have been managing though, adding lemon. I've also been drinking much more tea, and my coffee consumption is about the same. As a bonus with not buying juice, we've reduced our waste from all of those juice boxes and bottles.

** As I'm writing this, my 2 year old brought me an orange she'd like cut. She saw the picture above :) **

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