Wednesday, July 11th, 2012
“Jewish?” asks my son Jack every Saturday and Sunday morning. His pronunciation of the word “juice” is still a little off.
Be glad you’re not my kid. In the economy of food at our house, juice is just one notch down from holy and sanctified.
When can Jack have juice? Only on the weekends, in the kitchen. And it’s 100% organic juice, which we water down greatly.
(He can drink a little bit of juice when he’s sick, like right now.)
Why am I so weird about my letting my kid drink juice? At least it’s not soda, right? Or some sugary, food-dyed cocktail.
People across the world and throughout time have wondered why we’re all here; as in, what’s the meaning of life?
Similarly, everyday thousands of people are looking for an answer to help get rid of their kid’s eczema.
Well, I have an answer.
For nearly a decade, I suffered from excruciating eczema; in particular, dyshidrosis.
Mine is completely in remission now, but only because I radically changed my diet and lifestyle. About three years ago when I starting experimenting with ways to get my “Freddy Krueger hands” to stop oozing, I discovered that if I stopped drinking juice for a couple of days, my skin condition improved.
So I stopped drinking juice all together.
While my son may look nothing like me, he did inherit my sensitive skin condition and he is prone to eczema.
And sure enough, if he drinks more than one serving of juice for more than one day in a row, the back of his neck and his thighs break out.
This didn’t happen just one time. It happens every time. In fact, I’m pretty sure his eczema will bad tomorrow with how much juice I’ve let him drink since he got sick a few days ago.
But why does 100% organic juice make eczema worse?
Because it’s a processed food.
The vitamin-packed juice of the fruit is separated from the healthy fiber of the fruit. Together, the juice and fiber digest properly in our bodies.
But apart, it’s messin’ with nature and stuff.
That’s why we feed Jack actual fruits and veggies, even if we have to puree them and mix them together. So he gets all the nutrition he needs from the whole fruit or veggie.
And that’s why he thinks prunes and broccoli taste good.
Jack’s dentist, Dr. Snodgrass, even warns against giving kids juice regularly, in his brochures. The high consistency of sugar in juice, especially when the child sleeps with a sippy cup full of juice, can lead to cavities.
This is taken from the guidelines of The American Academy of Pediatrics in regards to the subject:
- Babies and toddlers should not drink fruit juice at bedtime.
- For children ages 1 to 6, intake of fruit juice should be limited to 4 to 6 ounces per day (about a half to three-quarters of a cup).
- Drinking too much juice can lead to poor nutrition, diarrhea, gas, abdominal pain, bloating, and tooth decay.
- All children should be encouraged to eat whole fruits.
So am I really that weird after all when it comes to being extremely conservative about my kid drinking juice?
I invite you to read a blog by Lisa Leake, who is not okay with juice either. Her blog is 100 Days of Real Food.
Here’s what she had to say today on her Facebook wall:
“A few readers have asked what my kids drink besides milk and water…and I hate to say it, but the answer is not much! They occasionally have juice (which is usually store-bought 1-ingredient organic apple juice) and by occasional I mean 1 – 2 cups per week on average and it’s diluted with water.”
The way I see it, a kid drinking juice is like an adult drinking alcohol. It is to be consumed in moderation.
So that’s how it’s treated in our house:
Juice is “baby booze.”