For the Love of Chicken Nuggets: Taste-bud Rejuvenation for Kids and Kids at Heart

A 5-Week Blog Series for Full House MOMs and Dads

By: Megan Roosevelt, RD, LD, Founder and CEO of Healthy Grocery Girl


It’s sweet, refreshing, and oh-the-colors! Apple and orange juice are two of the most popular juices purchased, however you may have noticed new flavors and flavor combinations emerging on the market over in the past few years. Orange-Mango, Cranberry-Grape, Cherry-Berry and then the health claims; fortified with calcium, high in antioxidants, and a great source of omega-3’s.

With juice being made from fruit and fortified with all these healthy add-in’s, it has to be a good choice to reach for when wanting to quench our thirst, right? And if not, what should we as shoppers and sippers look for in a juice to be more savvy consumers?

Let’s examine the traditional cup of OJ. One 8 ounce cup of orange juice can be the equivalent to consuming 6 oranges! You probably would not sit down to eat 6 oranges at breakfast, however you may find it easy to slurp 8 ounces of orange juice, before the toast has even toasted! Although oranges are healthy for us, too much of anything is not a good thing.

Alternately, be careful not to buy into the health hype that sugar-free or low-sugar juices are a healthier alternative. Less sugar and calories may be healthier for you, but not in exchange for chemicals consumed. Artificial sweeteners, which are often added to juice in place of sugar or to lower the overall sugar content of a beverage, have been known to cause many unpleasant side effects such as; headache, stomach upset, and even cancer. 

 Two Major Ingredients to Watch Out For in Juice:

 1. HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup): “High-fructose corn syrup is a corn syrup that has undergone enzymatic processing to convert some of its glucose into fructose to produce a desired level of sweetness. But because of its processing, some brands of HFCS may contain mercury, a known neurotoxin. Moreover, many studies have indicated that it suppresses the sensation of being full, causing people to eat more of it (1). ” Cancer and disease thrives in an acidic environment, sugar, once consumed yields a more acid pH level in our blood, therefore providing a welcoming environment for disease development, no matter our age.

 2. Splenda / Sucralose: Sucralose is produced by substituting three chlorine atoms for three hydroxyl groups (2). That means that Sucralose contains chlorine. We put chlorine in our pools, do we really want to put that at the breakfast table?


Healthy Kid Friendly Juice Alternatives:

 1. Peter Rabbit Organics have fruit  and vegetable juice purees free of artificial ingredients. Visit their website at http://www.peterrabbitorganics.com/

 2. Ella’s Portable Smoothie Fruits are adorable, delicious and healthy.Visit their website at http://www.ellaskitchen.co.uk/

 3. Have a juicer or blender? You can always make your own! A simple recipe (for older children and adults) is to blend a banana, with half a cup of fruit (orange, mango, raspberries, whatever you have available) with 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond or coconut milk, (sneak in a handful of spinach!) and add a few ice cubes. Add water for more desired consistency if need be.

4. Don’t forget about just plain ol’ water! You can spice up the flavor of water by adding slices of organic fruits such as; oranges, watermelon-cucumber, mint-cucumber, lemon-lime, strawberry-raspberry, the possibilities are endless.

5. There are also many generic, local and not brand name options for juice than can be a healthy choice. Key words that guarantee your beverage is safe for sipping is “Organic” and “100% real fruit juice”.

 Happy Healthy Sipping!

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For nutrition questions please contact Megan Roosevelt, RD, LD at info@healthygrocerygirl.com or visit http://www.healthygrocerygirl.com


Resources / For More Information:

1. http://www.naturalnews.com/031460_sugar_high-fructose_corn_syrup.html

2. http://www.naturalnews.com/033914_Splenda_Essentials_sweetener.html#ixzz1vjO0HUaW

3. http://www.naturalnews.com/029403_high_fructose_corn_syrup_liver_damage.html

4. http://www.naturalnews.com/031460_sugar_high-fructose_corn_syrup.html