3 reasons a Father is so sorry he brought his kids up on fruit juice

My three monkeys are now 6, 10 and 12.  When they were under 5s I found it annoying that the dentist recommended my kids should avoid fruit juice and drink water or milk. It felt like they didn’t live in the real world. Water was boring and fruit juice was a healthy and more delicious way to hydrate. I now realise I was wrong.

When you go to someone with a hammer, their solution will be to bang it. A nutritionist will tell you not to put sun tan lotion on so that you get your vitamin D, whilst your dermatologist will tell you to put on sun cream an hour before your go outside. It felt like dentists were just focusing on teeth and ignoring the nutritional benefits of a natural drink. Dentists are also hypocrites, telling us to drink water whilst they kept making tea rounds for all the staff. I was drinking fruit juice at home, and I didn’t think it was fair that my kids should go without. I knew it was better for you than a cordial with all its e-numbers and stabilisers. Even 50% water and 50% juice didn’t taste any good to me, so I gave fruit juice to my kids pure.

Here are three reasons I really regret bringing my kids up on fruit juice:

1. We now have clear limits on sugar

The current guidance about sugar is a lot more clear. Adults should only have 7 spoons of sugar a day and children less. The most recent ‘eat well’ guide from the NHS and Food Standards Agency tells us to limit our fruit juice to 150ml a day. That’s one glass. Fruit juice can only count as one of your five a day.
This all still seems a little bit mean and nanny state-ish though doesn’t it?

2. You never eat 5 apples in one sitting

The person who put it most clearly to me was Mo from @CleanNaturalCo. He had given up sugar for a while and had a very clear explanation of why it was wrong to guzzle fruit juice by the glassful. He said that in one glass of apple juice there were five large apples. He asked me, when in normal living would you eat five apples all in one go, you might manage two, three would be a struggle. The sugar from those five apples will be around 7 spoons worth. That also means your whole daily sugar allowance is in one drink.

3. We have cultivated fruit to be unhealthy

There’s something else to say about the state of humanity here. We have cultivated fruit to choose varieties that are high in sugar and we have become used to a very sweet diet. Zoos don’t give bananas to monkeys because they are too high in sugar, they get sweet potatoes instead. The vet tells you not to give your rabbit a whole carrot as the sugar hit is too high. Compare this to the human addiction to sugar. It has become normal now for school children to have a can of energy drink through the day. This is a drink with a higher sugar content than coke. Even coke isn’t sugary enough for us anymore!!

So where does this leave us? I now realise that the monkeys in zoos are brought up in a more healthy way than my monkeys at home. The dentist wasn’t just hitting the sugar nail with a hammer, they were right after all. We need to wean ourselves off the sugar we have become used to.

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