Last updated on July 5th, 2019
Juice Box Alternatives- Why My Daughters Don’t Drink Juice
Juice boxes are one of those things that just drive me bonkers. I see absolutely zero value in them. And now, there’s even mini versions of the traditional ones made for “toddlers”. But juice box alternatives are so simple and far healthier that it just makes sense to at least consider them.
Even before I was pregnant I knew I was going to be that mom. You know, the crazy health one who gives her babes kale (this is how you prep kale by the way), turmeric and bone broth. The truth is, one of my highest priorities is to keep my girls healthy. Not just through cold and flu season but truly healthy- to boost their gut bacteria and stay fueled.. and juice just doesn’t do this.
And while most moms know this, most of us are a bit confused as to what we can replace juice boxes with! So I thought I’d share four of my favorite juice alternatives.
Long before my health journey concentrated juice was pretty much my staple. I’d stock up on bunches of the frozen cans and that’s pretty much all I drank.
Once I started changing my habits and switching to drinking more water (here’s some tips on how to drink more water) I naturally cut back on my juice habit- with the exception of adding alcohol 😉
Now-a-days it’s a pretty rare occurrence for me to have a glass of juice. My taste buds have shifted so much that it tastes horribly unnatural to me. Top off the funny taste with the insane sweetness and it’s just not my thing.
Why You Should Eliminate Juice
The truth is, my girls really have no need for juice. It provides absolutely no function to them. Juice is simply excess sugar- and the last thing little ones need is sugar! (here’s a few tips to cut your sugar habit fyi!)
[clickToTweet tweet=”The truth is, juice is simply excess sugar- and the last thing toddlers need is sugar!” quote=”The truth is, juice is simply excess sugar- and the last thing toddlers need is sugar!”]
There’s a reason that dentists don’t advocate for juice boxes and it’s because it rots their teeth. Sucking a straw full of sugar directly into the tooth pockets doesn’t exactly help build strong enamel.
From my perspective, juice (the excessive sugar in juice) suppresses the flora in the gut and weakens the immune system. Thus, it’s pretty pointless to me.
I work damn hard to make sure my girls have very balanced meals and to prevent excess sugar crashes. Undoing this work with a juice box seems pretty silly.
Kids and excess sugar just don’t mix well. It gums up they’re system, alters their taste buds and fills them up slightly so they then don’t want legit snacks.
When it comes to school, giving kids a sugar hit and expecting them then to sit for an hour and focus is just impractical.
And while watering down your kids juice is obviously a much better option, to me, it’s still excess and unnecessary sugar.
I’ll be honest, my hubby and I differ a bit here. He would happily give the girls a quarter cup of his juice (he’s a sugar addict haha) watered down. I would rather them have a dash of kombucha with some fizzy water.
When people realize that my toddler s get get juice alternatives (fun fact: until she was 3.5 years old my daughter had no idea what a juice box was), many question how I keep her hydrated.
The honest answer is my daughters just drink water (seriously, they drink plain old water. Lots of it. Because they’re used to it). But there are a few other options and juice box alternatives!
Below are four juice box alternatives to focus on keeping your kids hydrated AND healthy!
Juice Alternative -Homemade Chilled Tea
My daughter refers to this as her “special tea”. Mainly, because I drink homemade kombucha which I told her was special for mommies.
Grab a bag of your favorite fruit-y tea and make some chilled. If you opt for loose leaf tea (here’s my favorite brand by the way) you’ll even get a bunch of health benefits (check out these benefits here).
My daughter adores her special tea and it’s come to be a “treat” for her.
She also loves it combined with a bit of perrier to make it “fancy”. She gets so excited for it and to me, it’s a killer juice alternative.
My two year old actually has coconut water every morning. She loves the stuff! This is my favorite, non-juice option in the summer months because it replenishes electrolyte balance also.
Fair warning though- coconut water, when not used to it, can have a laxative effect. So start off small (like half a cup) before downing a whole carton. I like the brand Thirsty Buddha (which you can get at Well.ca) because others for some reason unknown to me, add in sugar! <– anger face
Flavored Water In Place Of Juice
Of course this made the list! It’s so simple and easy to customize to what your toddler likes. Grab a huge jug and add in fruits and herbs (I love strawberry mint, pineapple cucumber or straight up blueberry).
Let it sit for a day or so and enjoy. Not only does it keep your little one hydrated but it can be as potent as you want it to!
I am a sucker for green smoothies (check out this mango orange one). Not only do they keep you hydrated but you can fill them with so many awesome nutrients. They’re perfect in the summer because they taste delicious (like this amazing watermelon slushie!) and they’re nice and cold to stop you from overheating.
Smoothie are amazing juice box alternatives because you can customize them however you like!
Not only do they look awesome but they’re also better for the environment too.
The truth is, juice boxes are simply not necessary for kids. I’ll be the first to admit that they’re easy, but it doesn’t have to be your go-to. There are much better (healthier) ways to hydrate your little ones than sugar water.
Don’t forget to pin these juice box alternatives!
While juice boxes are convenient they’re not exactly health promoting (yes, even the organic ones!). instead of plying your toddler with sugar, opt for these healthy, delicious and simple juice box alternatives to keep them hydrated.