What To Look Out for When Buying Juice for Your Kids

When it comes to buying juice for our kids, we all try our best to make healthy picks. But, “Danger, Will Robinson!” You need to pay careful attention to the ingredients, because many juices for kids contain ingredients that take it out of the healthy column.

You might be saying, “Bobby, no, I'm a great parent. I buy the best for my kid! I buy organic juice!”

Well, have you read the ingredients? Let’s take a quick peek at this label:

It's great to have organic fruits, because some of them are on the dirty dozen. However, if you look closely you’ll notice not one, but two doses of “natural” flavors. My friends, what is wrong with apples, grapes, strawberries, and cranberries that require adding a double dose of “natural” flavors?

As we talk about often, a “natural” flavor is basically just another word for artificial flavors; there's nothing natural about them. The FDA only says you need to start with a real ingredient like a grape or a strawberry, then you can take it to a lab and use up to one hundred synthetic chemicals to manipulate the flavor any way you want. It's the biggest lie in the grocery store.

You're much better off just going for real juice.

“You're much better off just going for real juice.”

A great example of real juice is Martinelli’s Apple Juice. Do I wish it was organic? Yes. But this is apple juice, not from concentrate, and it's from apples grown in the United States.

You may not think this is a big deal, but it really is, because a lot of juice makers use concentrate, and many use foreign apples.  It’s really hard to spot it; let me show you.

For example, this brand doesn’t specify. They do say that they’re from concentrate, which is a problem I'll tell you about, but they make it really difficult to find out what country’s apples have been used. 

If you look carefully, the source country of the apples is printed in almost unreadable type on the side of the container.

Tricky trick, there it is! Concentrate from the USA, Poland, Moldova, and Turkey. Sometimes it's from other countries like China. 

Some countries have inferior farming practices. That’s why it matters where your juice comes from. In some cases, foreign apple juice concentrates have been known to have high levels of lead and other heavy metals. 

Concentrate juices are garbage; they go through significant processing in order to get it to a concentrate and then another significant process to reconstitute it.

Instead, always choose juice that is never from concentrate. For apple juice, US grown apples are the way to go. Avoid the other types of juice drinks that are designed to appeal to kids, because while they look healthy, they’re not.