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What is the Best Brand of Juice for Kids?

on June 21, 2009

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On a recent trip to the supermarket, I found myself flabbergasted by rows and rows of commercially processed orange juice.  I found myself reading all the labels and coming across terms like orange concentrate, orange pulp, natural orange flavor,  artificial flavors which are pretty common.

But I found myself coming across cheap juice brands that didn’t have any orange concentrate at all, the word “artificial flavor”  jumps out at you or the terms ” high fructose sugar, fd & c #6 e 110, sodium benzoate, potassium benzoate,   acesulfame potassium”.

Believe it or not, I was shocked to find aspartame as part of an ingredient in a children’s juice drink.  Aspartame is at the center of a raging controversial debate that links aspartame to a multitude of health problems .

I  am not usually in the habit of buying packaged orange juice for my kids since we’re into juicing as a lifestyle ( We like our oranges freshly squeezed).   But sometimes, I do end up stopping by these shelves wondering what drinks to buy for a party.

So what are the things I look for when buying orange juice:

1). Orange Concentrate-  this basically tells you if the juice contains pasteurized orange juice.

2). Natural Orange Flavor- I’d choose this over, artificial flavors any day.

3). Orange Pulp- contains orange flavonoids and fiber .

4). Vitamins – some juices are fortified with Vit C, Vit A and Beta Carotene.

As a rule, I only buy what I understand.  So the less ingredients you see on the box, the better it is for you as long as you can understand what you’re reading is what you’ll be drinking.  The more unfamiliar chemical sounding names you read on the label, the more I suggest you drop that box of juice and get a another brand that contains less chemical additives.

Ingredients I Avoid Like the Plague when Buying Juice Drinks:

1). Artificial Flavors

2). Aspartame

3). FD&C YELLOW #6 110-  Sunset yellow a color found in squashes.  It has capacity to produce allergic reactions.  It is linked to hyperactivity in children.  It is set to be phased out in the UK year 2009.

3). High Fructose Corn Syrup- a cheap sweetener that is found to have mercury contamination.

4). Potassium Benzoate- preservative, mold and yeast inhibitor.  Said to be safe and non-irritating.

5). Sodium Benzoate (e112) – a preservative  In the UK, this is set to be phased out in year 2009

The less additives we give our children, the better for them.

The connection between food additives and children’s behavior was noted more than 30 years ago by Ben Feingold (allergist).  He hypothesized that certain children are sensitive to food with salicyclates (compounds similar to aspirin).  He recommended an elimination diet and documented hundreds of test cases where behaviors improved.

He is father of a diet called the Feingold diet which is made up of  preservative free and food coloring free food.

We’ve decided to post juice drinks  we’ve tried that met some of our qualifications:

ZESTO

Zesto uses orange concentrate, and natural orange flavors.  We also like the fact that they use refined sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup .They put in Vit C, Vit A , Beta Carotene. We’re happy with the fact that they don’t use food coloring. Unfortunately, they use both sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate to extend the product’s shelf life stability.  Pricing : Php 5.20 (varies from supermarket chain)

SUNKIST ORANGE

We like the fact that Sunkist Orange has orange concentrate and uses natural orange flavors.  We like the fact that they use refined sugar instead of high fructose.  corn syrup.  The vitamin C is a plus.  We  just wish they’d lose the FD & C Yellow#6 food additive that they put in. Price: Php 5.50 (price varies from supermarket chains)

DEL MONTE FRUITINI

Del Monte Fruitini uses natural orange flavors, contains vitamin C.  It comes in a tetra pak box and at Php  19.75 (price varies from supermarket chains)  with 70% real fruit and vegetable juice.  What we particularly  like about this juice is that it doesn’t contain a lot of additives or preservatives.

EARTH’S BEST ORGANIC TOTS

Earth’s Best Tots uses organic fruit juices, has calcium, lactate and ascorbic acid.  It’s smaller than the Frutini tetra packs and costs around php 29 .  It has a variety of flavors from organic apple juice, organic apple, peach, banana juice and i think a pear flavor.  This product  only available at Healthy Options.

I like this brand best because it ‘s USDA organic and contains no artificial flavors or preservatives. Although, this brand of juice doesn’t have “orange juice” in its line of flavors.

Although nothing will ever beat the taste of freshly squeezed oranges. : )

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9 responses to “What is the Best Brand of Juice for Kids?

  1. Pinky Endaya says:

    hi,hirap maghanap ng local brand juices na walang harmful food additives.Fruitini din yung binibili ko for my kids.I was able to buy Hansen’s fruit juice sa healthy options medyo mahal nga lang.hanapin ko yung earths best tots sa next visit ko dun.
    Ask ko pla if its ok to start giving gfcf foods to my son kahit di pa ko nag consult sa DAN doctor.GFCF snacks palang naman.Worry ko kasi baka may bad effect yun sa health nya.I tried to inquire sa isang DAN doc thru phone,ask agad ng kung afford namin magpatreatment abroad.Would you know kung gano kaexpensive magpaconsult sa isang DAN doc?

    thanks….
    Pinky

  2. mymikhaela says:

    Yes, you can start with the milk. If you remove the milk, make sure that your child eats lots of fruits and green vegetables to replenish his calcium supply.

    If you do gfcf diet, yes, you will need supplements. There ‘s a local one here I think you can check out about gfcf diets and doctors through http://www.autismpinoy.com/forums.

    Check it out . Happy reading.

  3. grandma's place says:

    Hi, a good article–have you ever found any juices that don’t contain Vit C?
    I don’t like the Vit C in my juices, but it seems they are putting it in all the juices now. Yes, fresh is best–I have lots of fruit trees and really the best way is to eat the whole fruit. You are getting all the goodness out of the fruit when you eat the whole thing. I like to leave a little of the white pulp on my citrus, and eat it some right along with the fruit. I like your blog a lot. Keep up the good work.
    http://freeinformationhealthdiet.wordpress.com

    • mymikhaela says:

      Hi Jeanie,

      There are a number of juices in my country that don’t have vitamin c, but then these are cheap local juices that I’d rather stay away from with all the chemical additives and flavorings added to them.

      I think they add Vitamin C as a come on to parents, to let them think that buying something with Vitamin C is good for their kids.

      Although I only resorted to buying juice boxes, when my kids started complaining how come they didn’t have juices in their lunch box.

      Otherwise, it’s fresh juice for them. I do agree with you about getting the all the goodness out of the fruit- I like eating some of the white pulp along with oranges I eat : ). Can’t say the same for the kids though.

      By the way, I visited your site and I liked your articles on fruits and jams.

      Thanks for dropping by.

      • kayenneso says:

        this is quite a few years late.. but i followed a link from a friend…

        this article echoes my thoughts exactly on the additives added to fruit juices, especially those geared for kids. i’m especially concerned with the artificial sweeteners, be it aspartame or sucralose or another. i can’t recall the last time i hadn’t been disgusted by powdered juice drinks’ list of ingredients… even my old favorites have fallen off to resorting to artificial sweeteners.

        the last few years though, we’ve discovered the world of 100% juices. with a one-liter carton costing around php60 for the cheapest brands… my family has become quite the fan. the Ceres brand has even lately come out with single-serve bric boxes for kids’ lunch bags. plenty of choices out there now from a single fruit juice to a variety of combinations of fruits and/or vegetables.

        one way you can send fresh juices to school with your kids though is by using a thermos. good quality ones like Tiger brand can keep drinks hot or cold for hours (Tiger keeps my hot drink very hot overnight… cold stays cold even longer. two other brands that i heard are good are “Thermos” and “Zojirushi” – but i’ve never actually tried.) Squeeze the fruits the night before or chill the fresh fruit overnight. fill thermos with plenty of ice and water about 20 minutes before filling it with the already very cold juice.

        happy juicing!

  4. Mafio says:

    My son has ADHD he takes concerta tablet. After that does not feel hunger for about 8 hours he skip breakfast and and every thing from morning to evening. I want for him some calcium tab and he does not like fruit his health is very poor give some advise

    • mymikhaela says:

      Dear Mafio,

      I have a child with behavioral issues as well. I was advised previously by a doctor to give a drug similar to Concerta. I turned down the doctor and I do not regret it to this day. I have a friend who tried taking Concerta herself- just to know what the effects of the drug were to her son (her son is non verbal), she did not feel really well after taking it and firmly decided not to give it to her son.

      If you can stop giving your child processed foods (meaning foods that are canned, or preserved or meant for fastfood) and stay away from things with food coloring and additives it will help. Check out gluten free cassein free diet. It can be done on a local perspective. Change your soy sauce to Tamari or Braggs aminos. Don’t use all purpose flour for frying. NO breads or cakes. You can visit autismpinoy.com/forums for more info on recipes. I would prioritize your child’s health, not the “controlled” medical behavior- once you’re off the drug- the bad behavior goes back.

      I would put my money on hiring a therapist to help handle him modify his behavior on the long term like a good ABA VB or I would encourage you to let your child try yoga everyday or engage in some sort of sport like taekwondo or swimming if he or she likes- instead of enriching these pharmaceutical companies. I know that Concerta doesn’t come cheap. When my child was younger, I invested in a trampoline and I would let him jump on the trampoline 100 x everday before I would send him to school. You also might want to find out if he’s hypersensitive to certain sounds, that could cause him to very much distracted in class. Once you address the hypersensitivity, your child becomes a little bit more focused. You can also look for sitting wedges so that he doesn’t fidget so much in his seat. Good luck to you.

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