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Reader Tip: Fruit Juice Alternative

Fruit juice alternative

Tip from Alyssa:

As a health-conscious mom of four small kids, I really wanted to avoid serving my kids fruit juice on a regular basis. Not only was it expensive, I was concerned about the effect on my kids’ teeth (dental work is a real budget-killer!) and overall health from consuming so much fructose (read: sugar) for relatively little nutrition in return.

However, there are times I really need them to drink more fluids, like when they have fevers, when it’s hot outside or when I notice my oldest son having a hard time focusing. I have tried watering down fruit juice, which works most of the time, but it was hard to keep on hand for just those times when they don’t want to drink a large amount of plain water.

My Affordable Solution?

Tea!

Supermarkets typically run boxes of herbal fruit tea on sale two for $4 in my area. I use two bags per liter of cold herbal fruit tea, putting each liter at $0.10. Pretty cheap to me! Bonus: The dry tea is easy to keep on hand. If there are weeks we don’t need flavored drinks, it’s just fine waiting in our cupboard!

How We Make Our Tea:

  1. Boil two cups of water in a small pan, tea kettle or microwave.
  2. Place two tea bags of your choice, in a heat-safe (preferably glass) container.
  3. Pour boiling water over the tea bags and let steep for 10 minutes. Remove the tea bags.
  4. Pour steeped tea into a one-liter/quart pitcher and fill with cold water.

To make a gallon to keep on hand in the refrigerator, I find that six bags are plenty to make adequate tea. This even increases your savings!

About Sweetening

My kids will drink most of the fruit teas unsweetened, but if it’s a hard sell, then you might try sweetening it.

  • Stevia is a natural herb which can be used for sweetening. Stevia extract comes in bottles, powder and packets from brands such as Truvia, Stevia in the Raw or Purevia. Be careful! A little stevia goes a long way so just use a drop or pinch and sweeten to taste. If you add too much, it will be sickening sweet and have a funny aftertaste.
  • Sugar (honey, turbinado, sucanat cane, etc.) To dissolve the sugar in your tea, stir in while it is still hot or take a little of your plain hot water and dissolve your sugar in a separate measuring cup. This will make your own sugar syrup that you can blend in with your tea to taste. (Isn’t this defeating the purpose? Well, in a way, no. You will be in control of how much you put in, and if you’re conscientious, then it will most likely be far less than average fruit juices.)

Alyssa is a happy (if not slightly insane at times) navy wife, and homeschooling mom to four kids, ages 6, 5, 2 and 5 months. She dreams of starting a blog one day, then quickly jerks back to reality where the mountain of laundry beckons, someone needs their shoes tied (again), and someone else begs her to turn the house upside down to find his toy hippo he hasn’t seen in three days.

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109 Comments

  • Elizabeth says:

    Just remember peppermint is not safe for kids younger than two or three as it can cause breathing problems. This is usually more of a problem with the oil, but I wouldn’t give a toddler peppermint tea either, just to be safe.

    • Milehimama says:

      Peppermint oil (or rather, peppermint essential oil) is very, very strong and shouldn’t be taken internally.

      Peppermint tea is made from peppermint leaves and does not contain any near the menthol levels of peppermint oil. Peppermint tea probably has fewer volatile compounds than a candy cane made with food-grade peppermint oil.

      I use peppermint tea with honey because peppermint is an anti-spasmodic that helps calm the diaphragm, the honey helps the throat and has antibacterial properties, and it makes it easy to get fluids into a sick kid.

  • Jenni says:

    We don’t always give it to the kids, but Jamaican hibiscus flower tea, sold at herbal stores online and in the Mexican food section (it’s considered a “spice”) is not only beautiful and tasty when it’s sweetened, it also is said to have lots of Vitamin C, lower blood pressure, and even reduce cholesterol.

  • Oh, I love it!! We don’t usually give the kids juice, but they always get so excited when we have a special occasion and they get to drink it. I love this alternative idea!

    And as long as they don’t see me make it I bet they wouldn’t even notice the difference! 🙂

  • Sarah says:

    We don’t serve juice to our kids. They have 2 choices, Milk or Water. The only time they get Orange Juice is if they are sick and I am giving them a treat to sneak in more fluid and vitamins. Growing up I also drank milk or water and I still enjoy both. I find it to be a healthy alternative to juice or soda.

  • Lauren says:

    another addition to plain water is an orange or lemon slice (would be good with the tea, too)

    • Laura says:

      I do that too! One lemon (or lime) goes a long way. I refill my “lemon” pitcher several times and it has the same great flavor. Freezing the unused slices helps too. This helps me drink more water & is a satisfying beverage with meals.

    • Dreya says:

      I always keep lemon slices in the fridge for our water. I really like it. So does our four year old. She calls it lemonade. 🙂

    • Charity says:

      We do the same thing, and our three littles love it! Our children will drink up just plain ol’ water too though, I guess becuase that’s what they’re given and they see daddy and mommy drinking it all the time too, so they think nothing of it and don’t really expect something “special”.

  • Kelly says:

    Most teas do contain caffeine though. Just a tip to make sure that the tea is decaffinated. 🙂

  • Melissa says:

    thanks for this post. love this idea.

    i give my daughter motts light apple juice which only has about 14 (i think) grams of sugar which is still a lot.

    this would mean i could some tea that is pink which would be a huge bonus for my daughter to be able to drink something pink. =)

    • sherri says:

      I had bought the motts light apple juice a couple times but i am pretty sure it is just diluted apple juice, (Although I couldnt tell exactly from reading the label) so why pay for water? We buy motts sometimes now but just the reg kind. Last time i bought it and the store brand of juice, they were made from concentrate from China!!! Dont we grow apples in the U.S.? 🙂

      We water down juice probably 3/4 water and 1/4 juice to save money and get the kids to drink more fluids.

      • Joy says:

        Sherri,
        Juice concentrate from China and Argentina is my biggest pet peeve. My late grandfather helped plant many of the apple trees in my region and he is probably rolling over in his grave right now.

        I refuse to buy any juice with concentrate that comes from foreign country. I will pay more $ just to have juice from USA/Canada. Unfortunately, not all juice companies disclose it. The Wegman’s regular 100% apple juice (but not the calcium fortified one) is from USA/Canada and I believe Langer’s juices are as well.

        I know companies get their concentrate from foreign countries as a cost cutting measure, but honestly juice is still expensive in my opinion.

        We water our boys juice down, too. But now that they are older we don’t buy it as much.

        • Michelle says:

          My hubby works in food distribution. By law any food imported to the USA must state where it is from! If it doesn’t list another country on the packaging, it is from the USA.

        • Amina says:

          Murray’s apple cider (available at Harris Teeter and maybe other stores too) is made in my hometown from apples grown in the mountain orchards there (southwest Virginia). I love the taste and it is not very expensive compared to the bigger brands — about $2.50 for a half-gallon glass jar.

          • Jen says:

            You should only buy 100% juice with no added sugar and water it down, thats what docs will tell you. Also light juices are just watered down and they charge you extra. You will save more using real juice and watering it down yourself. My mom never bought juice always milk or water, she would give us kool aid as a treat when we would go hiking, knowing my mom she used less sugar and watered it down.

  • sarah says:

    Interesting idea – thanks! My little boy started kindergarten this year and, all of sudden, has lost interest in milk and is either looking for something sweet to drink or just not drinking. I believe it’s d/t seeing what other kids are drinking at school.

  • eli says:

    If you’re concerned about the shelf life of opened juice, another alternative would be to freeze the leftover juice in ice cube trays then transfer to a freezer bag. Then they can be popped into cold water for a treat.

    • nancy says:

      What a great idea!!!! My husband loves to us V8 Fusion in his smoothies, but he goes through a bottles in a week,so it gets to be awfully expensive! Freezer, here we come. 🙂

  • Candice says:

    Is there a particular flavor or brand that the smaller kids like? My 2 year old has stopped drinking milk entirely and switched to watered down white grape varieties, and it is getting quite costly as she drinks all day long! This would be a great alternative if I could satisfy her sweet tooth and cut out the sugar at the same time…

    • DeAnn says:

      I had a little one that refused milk too, and the Dr suggested orange juice with calcium. Buy the “not from concentrate” no pulp variety. It’s pricey too, so we watered it down quite a bit. But heck- milk costs just as much!

  • amy says:

    I do this too! I buy stevia at Trader Joes. Get the one for $9.99 it’ll last forever! Kids love it!

  • Milehimama says:

    Strawberry tea and Red Zinger tea are light and dark pink. We do tea sometimes but mostly we just drink water. Cheap, healthful, won’t stain the carpet. I think it’s good for kids to be used to drinking water to slake thirst and learn to drink flavored beverages as “extras”.

  • Vanessa says:

    I’m not a tea drinker but, I really like this idea. I’m a little concerned about the caffeine. I think there is caffeine in tea?

  • Erin says:

    Question: I always heard that tea actually dehydrated you. Is this just a certain type of tea or am I wrong? Which I hope I AM! 🙂 I love tea and so does my daughter (who only gets sips right now), and this would be a great alternative to water on those days she refuses it 🙂

    • The caffeine in tea can dehydrate you. But herbal teas generally do not have tea leaves (which naturally contain caffeine). If they have any caffeine, you could water it down and use it as a treat.

    • Wendi S says:

      This was my first thought too. Maybe if the tea is made from fruit instead of green/white/black tea leaves, maybe it doesn’t dehydrate?? I hope someone will answer who knows.

    • brookeb says:

      Caffeine can be dehydrating, so that’s probably where that comes from. Herbal teas typically don’t have caffeine, so no worries there.

  • Heather says:

    I’m not a fan of apples juice for kids (and most juice blends are mostly apple). Seems like there is little nutrition – if there is Vit. C, it’s because it’s added.

    However, I think that one glass of 100 percent orange or grapefruit juice per day is an excellent source of nutrition. I like that the vit. C is in it naturally, as well as some other vitamins. I think the medical establishment is throwing the baby out with the bathwater when they tell parents not to give their kids juice — they are saying that because sadly a lot of people aren’t educated enough to know the difference between real 100 % oj and sunny D, and it’s just easier to make blanket statements for the media that say “don’t give your kids juice.”
    Fortunately, I have a grocery outlet which often has Tropicana juice for 99cents a half gallon.

  • abbie says:

    Okay, I’m confused. Why is drinking 100% juice bad for kids? I let my children have a cup (or 1/2 cup) of juice in the mornings with their breakfast. The juice the fridge right now has apple and water as ingredients. What would be the difference between drinking apple juice and eating an apple. They both have natural sugar in them. Or am I way off?

    • Shannon says:

      I’ve heard that it’s the amount of juice that some kids drink that is the problem. The fruits naturally have sugar in them and when kids drink too much of it, they get too much sugar. I wouldn’t think that serving it every day at breakfast, like you do, would be a problem. I think the sugar could become a problem if juice was all they drank all day.

    • Wendi S says:

      One of the differences between eating an apple and drinking the juice is that, when eating the apple, your kids get fiber that helps them fill up. They consume less calories before feeling full this way. With juice it is easy to over-consume calories because you’re drinking them.

      My pediatrician says whenever he has an overweight patient, he never starts by asking about or making recommendations for what they eat; he starts with what they drink. He gave me an example of 1 patient who they found, after keeping a log for a few days, was consuming his entire quota of daily needed calories in just what he drank, and fairly healthy drinks at that (milk, fruit juice, fruit smoothies); that was completely in addition to the calories he ate. So you can see why it could be a problem.

      There is nothing wrong with 100% fruit juice. But there’s also no need for it. It doesn’t add anything to your diet that you wouldn’;t be better off gettiung from whole fruit. We don’t buy juice at all, opting for whole fruit instead. It saves us money on juice and saves unneccessary calories. But again there’s nothing wrong with kids drinking it in moderation.

      • Rachael says:

        I love juice, but limit myself and kids to one small glass in the morning–always 100% juice and never Kool-aid or soda.

    • Holly says:

      From what I have read in many different resources is that fruit has fiber, juice does not. The amount of calories in an apple, for example, is much less than that in a small amount of juice (one serving) because it takes many more than one apple to make that one serving of juice.

    • Sharon says:

      Abbie, I totally agree. I grew up drinking fruit juices, mostly orange juice, and I couldn’t be more fit today. I can’t stand milk, never could, and plain water is boring. As long as the juice isn’t full of chemicals, there’s nothing wrong with it.

    • anu says:

      If 100% juice is ‘from concentrate’, then you can be sure it has added sugar and is recostituted. On the other hand, if its 100% juice ‘not from concentrate’, then its the real thing. Make sure you check the ingredient list. Whole fruit or freshly made fruit juice (without dicarding the pulp) is the best bet. IMO.

    • siobhan says:

      The issue with juice is the sugar they add to them, or with juice like orange or apple its the acid in them that eat away at kids teeth causing cavities and such. I give a cup of water with a large splash of juice in the morning and the rest of the day its just water. Has nothing to do with saving money. Just that the juice can be too strong and nutritionally does not do much for the kids! 🙂

  • Shannon says:

    Celestial Seasonings does make a couple of teas that are sweetened with stevia. My mom gave me a couple of tea bags to try (Raspberry Zinger with Stevia) and it was really sweet, but I bet it would make great iced tea.

    • Katherine says:

      We love Celestial seasonings tea!!! Our whole family had a blast at their factory tour (in Boulder, CO) when visiting my parents over Christmas. It is free, AND they give you unlimited free samples of any of their teas in their little cafe. My kids liked all the flavors of the new stevia-sweetened herbal teas. They are meant to be served iced, BTW. Plus we discovered several other new herbal teas we all love. I highly recommend it for any herbal tea-lovers living near or passing through the area.

  • Pam Smith says:

    Elizabeth – this pepermint thing is news to me, can you tell me more?

    • Elizabeth says:

      There isn’t a ton of research around it, so it is hard to find a lot of evidence-based guidelines. According the the University of Maryland: “Do not give peppermint to an infant or small child. Peppermint oil applied to the face of infants can cause life-threatening breathing problems. In addition, peppermint tea may cause a burning sensation in the mouth. “http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/peppermint-000269.htm

      I think this is probably a “better safe than sorry” situation, but a lot of people think think that just because something is “natural” it is safe. Arsenic is natural– but not safe! 🙂 I’d steer clear of peppermint teas until the kids are a bit bigger… other than that, I think the mainstream herbal teas (not the medicinal ones) are a great idea for kids– though, I think we should also get them used to drinking plain water, too!

  • Chelsea says:

    I love this idea! I drink herbal tea all the time, but never thought of making it for the kids. I’ll definitely try this.

    Alyssa- your description at the bottom made me laugh out loud!!

  • Laura says:

    @ Abbie,
    Drinking juice is “ok” for a special treat or for hydration purposes. Everyday drinking of juice can lead to cavaties, too many calories, and a spike in blood sugar levels. My pediatrician recommends no fruit juice–water is the best to drink. However, it is important to give your kids the whole fruits such as apples, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, oranges or what ever fruit they enjoy eating. The whole fruit not only gives you the vitamins but also fiber and fills up your stomach. This is far better than the empty calories in fruit juice.

  • Caitlin says:

    I give my son tea sometimes, but my sister has kidney stones and tea is closely linked to them. If you have kidney problems in your family, tea is not a good idea.

    • Laura says:

      I didn’t know that about tea, but my husband had kidney stones and the doctor said to drink plenty of water and stay away from cola.

      • Elle B. says:

        Caffeinated tea may be a problem for kidney stones (because any type of caffeine will dehydrate-soda, coffee, tea, etc.) But caffeine-free, herbal tea should not be a problem. It’s basically just water!

  • Celena says:

    My 2 year old likes her watered down juice. I freeze juice in ice cubes and store in a baggie in the freezer. She gets juice a couple times a week, so when she wants some I pull out 2 ice cubes and put them in about 8-10 ounces of water and voila! Each ice cube is about an ounce of juice. So two ounces of juice to that much water is pretty much just juice flavored water, but she loves it!

  • denise says:

    tea can stain your teeth over time which would result in having to get your teeth whitened later. Not sure how this really would save on dental bills in the long run. I have friends from the South that have had sweet tea all their life and their teeth are stained because of it.

  • Red Zinger herbal tea is a favorite in our household! It has a punch-like flavor, no sweetener really needed.

    Mary Ellen
    The Working Home Keeper

  • Laura says:

    When my son was a (terrible) two, I served him plenty of apple juice & yogurt, thinking both were healthy foods. When he was older was shocked when I calculated how much sugar was in those two foods, especially together. He had a difficult time controlling his behavior at age two, and I’m sure the sugar high didn’t help!

    We just discovered by accident that my daughter enjoys my red rooibos tea, a naturally decaffeinated and healthy tea. I add milk and she drinks it up, although she has a hard time drinking much water. This is a great idea!

    • Kerrie says:

      The rooibos tea is very good, my kids and I like it. I started drinking it during pregnancies because it has NO caffeine and it has so many healthy benefits. It was nice to have something besides water to drink that I knew was beneficial as well as tasty! Now we all drink it when our tastebuds crave something more than water.

  • Kris says:

    My daughter loves blueberry tea.

  • Elle B. says:

    It’s also caffeine free! Kids are not only drinking far too much sugar, but too much caffeine in today’s world. This is a great alternative! I like peppermint, in addition to the fruitier varieties of herbal “tea” (which is actually not tea at all, for those of you who posted comments about the caffeine content). Herbal “teas” do not contain any actual tea leaves, and therefore do not have caffeine.

  • Heather says:

    I’ve used tea for years to help my picky son drink milk! He is thrilled to drink a decaf chai loaded up with milk at the end of the day while I drink mine. He feels very grown up 🙂 I like to add local honey on occasions as well to help with allergies. But the dental hygienist in me cannot make that a habit! Plus, did you know that a lot of teas have fluoride in them?! Yay!

    • Lana says:

      Flouride is a by-product of the phosphate fertilizer industry and we have all been decieved into thinking it is a good thing. Studies showing how it makes our bones brittle are a nasty little secret.

      • Haila says:

        OK, so our dentist treats our kids’ teeth with fluoride at every checkup. Are you saying they’re deceiving us? Confused.

        • Jennifer says:

          there are a lot of studies on flouride you may want to check out but my understanding is while flouride might be good on your teeth(as the dentist will do when you visit) It does nothing for your teeth when you ingest it(as you would in teas or water that has been treated) and it fact can harm you in other ways.

        • Elizabeth says:

          There is a dedicated “anti-floride” element in this country, and you should feel free to investigate their claims. But let me also direct you to the CDC’s Oral Health page. http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/

          What Lana is referring to is a condition called skeletal flourosis.
          Excessive consumption of fluoride over a lifetime may increase the likelihood of bone fractures. Severe skeletal fluorosis is a very rare condition in the United States. The EPA exposure analysis suggests that the effects on bone in adults are of greatest concern for those living in areas with high natural background levels of fluoride and favoring beverages, such as tea, that are high in fluoride. CDC has just recommended lowering the level of fluoride in municipal water systems to account for the fact that people are now getting fluoride in greater concentrations and to account for the fact that the regional differences that used to exist in exposure are now less common. Anyway, the bottom line is that fluoride is an important contributor to improving oral health, but like anything, too much is too much.

  • carrie atkinson says:

    My boys love plain water with True Lemon in it- you can purchase packages of it at the store in a box- but it is a bit pricey- and as for sweetening tea, Ideal brand sweetener (which is xylitol) makes a really yummy cup of tea- I use one small packet in a huge travel mug each morning and it is delicious!

  • April says:

    My 2 year old loves the Tazo passion tea. It’s awesome, sugar free, no caffeine and no calories. It’s bright pink so I think its probably fun for her to drink. When I make it at home I make it weak and when I buy it at starbucks I have them water it down so it’s basically just pink flavored water. She gets enough sugar during the day so she only has juice maybe once a week. To me, this tea is a very easy, healthy alternative.

  • Bree says:

    Thanks, Alyssa! I agree, juice is little more than liquid sugar. But you’re brilliant – I think my kids WOULD like this! I hopped over to Amazon and found that they have the “Wild Berry Zinger” by Celestial Seasonings on sale. Six boxes for under $10! They have “vanilla honey”, also herbal, for the same price.

  • September says:

    This sounds good in theory, but I would have serious concerns about staining their teeth.

    • Eli says:

      Agreed. My dentist has told me that tea (even green tea) is one of the worst teeth stainers out there. He told me kids are especially susceptible because their stains will resist whitening treatments. Might be ok if it’s really watered down though?

  • Sharon says:

    I do this all the time. You don’t even have to boil the water. If you put two tea bags in the pitcher of water overnight in the fridge, by morning they will have steeped. You can also find sources of loose teas – both real tea and herbal which can even save more than the bagged teas.

    At our house there is also basically water and milk, with juice a very occassional item, and soda never. We do use some sparkling water, which you can then add lemon or some juice too for festive occassions.

  • Jennifer says:

    never heard of peppermint being a concern.
    I’m a pediatric nurse practitioner…

  • Jamie says:

    I think some people are confused about the tea recommended here. Black tea (and a few others) have caffeine and may stain teeth over time, but certainly not a moderate amount of the herbal tea recommended in this post.

  • Christine says:

    This is a unique idea but I agree with some posts that you may not want to serve tea on a frequent basis and any kind of sweetened drink should be a treat as opposed to a daily source of fluid. Water should be their go-to drink most of the day. My kids (11, 8 & 4) have been raised on mainly water and some milk and now by habit they always drink water. I am not a big fan of any artificial sweeteners myself. I would stick to pure sugar, honey and agave nectar. Dr. Oz often says it’s better to have pure sugar than sweeteners, just don’t overdo it. Here’s another alternative to commercial fruit juice:

    Boil red grapes, cubed apples and cubed pears until soft. While boiling, add 4 cloves and sugar to taste (within reason) to the water. The result is a red-hued (from the grapes) homemade fruit cup. My kids love the juice and drink it in a glass, and still eat up the fruit. You can also add a cinnamon stick and whole nutmeg if you like. You can use quince as well. Yummy and healthy. It’s a common Turkish food known as “composto”.

  • Gayatri says:

    I sun dry the mint leaves in the summer from our garden. keep them in a air tight container. I need not worry about caffeine. I just boil the water and infuse it with mint leaves. Great taste. You can add pure honey to sweeten it.

    • Holly says:

      This sounds amazing! I usually grow basil in the summer, but I am adding mint just to try this. Thank you so much!

      • Tanya G says:

        I grow Spearmint and Peppermint for a nice blend and also Chamomile. I combine them with bulk herbs from the Health food store, for a more healthy effect. Cooking Hrebs (Rosemary,Basil etc..) I grow year round. But the Mint and Chamomile I harvest and dry throughout the summer to use during the winter.

  • Tanya G says:

    I have done this for years!!! And soooo much better for you too!!!
    I also grow some of my own herbs and make myself an nice calming / Woman Tea for before bed or when stress hits!!!! I make it a couple times a week that way it’s ready whenever I need it!!! Also the staining is caused by the “regular” Teas. Herbal Teas don’t stain your teeth like that …… I have been drinking Herbal Fruit Teas for years and have never had a problem with it!!

  • anu says:

    Whole fruit would be the best alternative to tea or juice simply because its buzzing with life, vitality and nutrients. You could liquify the fruit(with the pulp) in a blender to make a satisfying drink. Highly detoxifying. The practice of giving whole fruits to children sets them up with great health for life. Just my opinion.

  • Sara says:

    Not sure if this has been mentioned in a comment or not but I enjoy cranberry juice mixed with water. It leaves you with a propel-type taste. It still has juice in it but not as much. You have to buy a good kind though. The best deals I find on that is at Publix when they mark their big jugs BOGO.

  • Michelle says:

    I think some of you are freaking out just a little too much about juice. 100% juice is fine in moderation, in fact a small glass a day can serve as one serving of fruit. The concern is to ONLY serve juice or juice “flavored” drinks all day. Overconsumption of juice is just like Overconsumption of anything. Kids that are drinking more than 2 glasses a day along with other highly sweetened foods are the ones that need to be watched. Don’t think that I am suggesting that there is anything wrong with unsweetened tea or water. In fact my 4 year old will actually order her own water at a restaurant even when given the option of juice. And after her daily “allowance” of juice she knows it’s only water for the rest of the day. My point is that it should not be categorized with processed sugar beverages ie soda or artificially flavored “fruit drinks”. Read the following article from Dr. Sears:
    http://www.askdrsears.com/html/4/t043200.asp

    • Rachel says:

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels this way. 🙂 I make sure my daughter always has her glasses of water and at least one glass of fortified soy milk (she can’t have regular dairy) a day, but I don’t worry about giving her a glass of juice almost every day either. It’s not her main source of liquid, and I don’t see any need to freak out about it. She’s not drinking soda or KoolAid or anything like that, just fruit juice. I know it bothers some people, but for me there are a lot bigger health concerns out there to focus on. 🙂

    • Heather says:

      I agree!

    • abbie says:

      I agree too! 🙂

    • Marlesa says:

      Thanks soo much for mentioning this. I totally agree with you and am glad that you mentioned this. My son doesn’t like plain water very much so I fill his cup up with over three quarters with water and then the rest juice. Equals out to about 6 oz of juice a day. Which is a completely acceptable amount for a 2 year old.

      • jennifer says:

        American academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than 4 oz of juice daily. Juice is ok in moderation but does not equate to a serving of fruit, nor is it healthy.
        You cant go wring with whole fruit.

  • Jacqui_G says:

    My kids always get a cup of juice (watered down for my 3 year old) at dinner, so this will be a fun experiment in finding a cheaper version. Juice can get expensive!

  • Kate says:

    I noticed that you used Celestial Seasonings for your juice. Just a word of warning for any of you with soy sensitivities or allergies – I’ve noticed that quite a few of their herbal teas now include soy lecithin.

    • Katherine says:

      Most people with soy allergies are fine with soy lecithin, since it doesn’t contain any of the protein. My son was allergic to soy until about a year and a half ago, but his allergist let him try soy lecithin, and he never had a problem with it. Some Celestial Seasonings teas DO contain gluten, though, which my son still can’t have. Each of their boxes is clearly labeled either “Gluten Free” or “Contains Gluten” (and they are one of the companies whose labeling I fully trust!)

  • AMBER says:

    My son attended a Feeding Team for swallowing difficulties at our local Childrens Hospital from age 2 to 4. We discussed what my son was eating and drinking at home on a daily basis while they observed him having a meal. I do not recall any concerns with him drinking apple juice on a daily basis. I have always prepared it 3/4 apple juice 1/4 water. (He is almost six years old now and that is still how I fix it.) He was also taking RX Prevacid (“solu-tablets” that melted with liquid) and we would dilute them occasionally with apple juice per their recommendation.

  • AMBER says:

    If your child takes medication on a daily basis, please consult with their Pediatrician first to rule out any possible interactions with herbal teas.

  • Gaby says:

    Cucumber slices in water is delicious too! I’ve had it a couple of times, mainly at hotels but always forget to make it at home. This inspired me to do it! It’s so crisp and fresh tasting! Great during the summer!

  • Candice says:

    Has anyone ever used Chamomile tea for a toddler who doesn’t want to sleep? Just wondering if this is acceptable to give a child. My kids never want to drink plain water, so it’s always good to get ideas for making it more inticing to them, and not adding a lot of sugar.

    • Katherine says:

      I’ve never given it to my kids for that purpose, but they like a couple of varieties that contain chamomile and have never suffered any ill effects. I think it would be safe to try. In me it seems to have more of a calming effect that a sleep-inducing one, but even the warm liquid is soothing at the end of a busy day. Warm milk is supposed to help, too.

  • Heather says:

    Lana,

    I don’t agree with you, but you can very much control what amounts of fluoride you and your family ingest. Your best bet is to use reverse osmosis, buy bottled water without Fl2, and use toothpaste without fluoride. I will leave it at that, as this was a comment on replacing sugary drinks with tea. There are lots of forums elsewhere about the pros and cons of fluoride.

  • Kimberly says:

    Sounds like a great idea. I love tea myself, and my daughter loves unsweetened ice tea. I give her that when we go out to eat. We try to only heat organic, so I avoid high fructose corn syrup and such. I might try this when she asks for juice now. Thanks for the idea.

  • stephanie says:

    THis is a fantastic idea. My son has a fructose mal-absorption issue & cannot have most fruits/veg (especially apple, grapes & pears), which seems to be in ALL juices/juice boxes. I have struggled to find healthy alternatives to send in his lunchbox. LOVE this idea & can’t wait to head to the store to look at the varieties. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!

  • vicki says:

    i am not a fan of tea, however when i drink juice, i dilute it.. 1/2 water and 1/2 juice (its almost always the 100% cranberry or grape). sometimes, ill use seltzer water instead of regular water to make it carbonated like soda.. diluting the juice is also better for your stomach because almost all juices (especially apple and orange) are high in acid. anyone suffering from acid reflux knows that drinking juice aggravates their symptoms. Diluting the juices have helped a lot! juice shouldn’t be completely taken out of your diet.. it contains a lot of vitamin C

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