How much Juice is too much, and….wait, maybe I should just drink water!?

Fruit juice seems like a healthy option right? But how much juice is too much? If we are supposed to be drinking 8 glasses of WATER a day…..where are fitting that in with all of that juice being consumed?

To be certain, there are obviously larger issues to consider when it comes to your health and your children’s health, but believe it or not, the American Academy of Pediatrics has issue d a policy statement about ‘The Use and Misuse of Fruit Juice in Pediatrics’.

According to the AAP, drinking too much juice can “contribute to obesity, the development of cavities, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal problems, such as excessive gas, bloating and abdominal pain.” Yikes! Maybe we need to really consider how much juice we are drinking and what other beverage alternatives could be since water still seams safe!

Here are the reccomendations given on juice by the AAP:

  • when you give your child juice, it should be 100% pasteurized fruit juice and not fruit drinks.
  • infants under 6 months of age should not be given juice, although many Pediatricians do recommend small amounts of juice for children that are constipated
  • infants between 6 and 12 months can drink up to 4 to 6 ounces of juice a day, but should do it only in a cup, not a bottle
  • younger children aged 1 to 6 years should have only 4 to 6 ounces of juice a day
  • older children should be limited to 8 to 12 ounces of juice a day
  • instead of juice, children should be encouraged to eat whole fruits

Well the best way to break or change an old habit is to start a new one! Here are some suggestions from a very cool and thrifty mom on just that!

1. Drink a glass of water before drinking something else. This way you’re quenching your thirst with water, and then you can enjoy your flavored drink.

2. Dilute the juice. We often dilute a glass of apple juice to be about half water. I find that grape juice is too strong to drink by itself, but I like to add a little grape or blueberry juice to my glass of water for refreshing flavor.

3. Make iced tea. Tea bags are convenient and economical since you add your own water. If you don’t want to make a big pitcher of iced tea, you can makeindividual servings in jars like Katie does, or make an iced tea concentrate à la Angry Chicken.

4. Train your brain. My body needs water, but my brain doesn’t always think so. I’ve noticed that I tend to crave whatever liquid I’ve been drinking the most of lately. If I can just make myself drink more water for a couple of days, then my brain starts recognizing that craving for water, instead of soda or milk or juice.

5. Make a fruit cordial. If you want something sweet, try making your own fruit cordial with juice, simple syrup, and water at home.