Babies & Juice.

Now that Dr. Oz has done not one, but two shows on arsenic in apple juice, I have to admit that i’m pretty paranoid. And if you’ve watched the shows and listened to Dr. Oz talk about it, along with his guests (the last guest was a representative from Consumer Reports), I became pretty intrigued. Most people are just assuming that there’s “arsenic in apple juice” and that’s that. But after watching the whole show, you get a bigger perspective on what there really is arsenic in. They only did the study on apple juice because that’s what today’s children drink the MOST of. It’s in apple and grape juices, but it’s in EVERYTHING — organic or NOT. Because it’s not in what they spray ON the foods, it’s in OUR DIRT that we grow the foods in. It’s in our water, and it’s in everything that’s grown. It’s also in our meat, because they use it in the feed that they give to the animals.

I don’t mean to sound preachy, but i think it’s scary. So obviously it doesn’t matter WHAT kind of juice you give your kids, there can be arsenic in it. I’ve been scanning the juice aisles lately, and even if you think you aren’t giving your children apple/grape juice, but you’re giving them another kind of juice — did you know that almost ALL juices have apple and/or grape juice or concentrate in them? It’s so hard to find a juice where the main ingredient isn’t apple or grape juice.

Now, let me back up some. I’ve never been one to believe in giving my baby juice. In fact, when someone said to me, after my baby just turned 6 months old — how come i don’t give him sippy cups or bottles of juice, i about exploded! Of course i wouldn’t be giving my little baby juice, with all of that sugar and unnecessary crap in it.

Then fast forward to 7 or 8 months, i started puree’ing watermelon, and giving him homemade watermelon juice. Pure watermelon, no added sugar or anything else in it. I was ok with that. But at that point, he hadn’t caught on to sippy cups yet, so i didn’t really push it on him, and he kept on going just as before, on just bottles of formula, and nursing.

Now that he’s 10 and a half months old, i’m getting ready for when he turns 1. We’ll be weaning off bottles of formula. Hopefully, he’ll still be nursing. But then comes the big debate — what will you give your baby to drink? Water, of course. But even as an adult, don’t you get bored of ONLY having water ALL the time? I know i do, and i drink a LOT of water. I know i can protect him from things, including all the unnecessary chemicals in many of our foods and drinks, added sugars and preservatives, etc. But am i going to be able to keep it ALL away from him? Probably not. While i don’t plan on pouring sodas down his throat at age 1, i don’t plan on keeping juice and other beverages away from him forever, either.

So i’ve been trying to find a happy medium, with all that i know about babies, drinks, juices, arsenic, etc. I’ve managed to find ONE juice that i’m happy with right now. It’s a cranberry juice. Or, i guess you could call it a “cocktail”, seeing as how it’s not 100% all natural juice. But i’m pretty satisfied with the ingredients in it. The ingredients are (in this order): filtered water, sugar, cranberry juice concentrate, natural flavors, citric acid and ascorbic acid (which is vitamin c). Then, the rest of the label reads: 27% juice, all natural, no high fructose corn syrup, no added colors, no preservatives, very low sodium, gluten free. That is one of the best juice labels i’ve found in the ENTIRE juice section of the grocery store. And trust me, Josh has helped me COMB every single label in that aisle! And of course, the bottle is BPA free.

So i bought two bottles, and i’ve been pouring about 2 ounces into a cup, and filling the rest of the cup with cold filtered water. And i’m quite surprised, he really likes it! I know a LOT of people don’t like cranberry, but i happen to really like it, and i’m glad he does, too. Now of course, he’s not totally into the sippy yet, so when i fill up his cup in the morning, he doesn’t even finish that one cup by bedtime. But i keep it around all day long, and let him sip off of it. Just in the past 2 days, he’s getting the whole “lean back” to get the juice out of it. It’s cute to watch him getting it a little more each day.

And during dinner, we usually give him a little cup of milk. Yes, regular milk. Boy, as if THAT isn’t quite a debate all over the internet! But at the moment, here in the house we drink regular milk, so we’ve decided that’s what he’ll be having, too. Of course i try to keep track of the hormones and everything on the milk labels. And it’s debatable what milk is best for humans (besides breastmilk, obviously): cow’s milk, almond milk, rice milk, soy milk, coconut milk, hemp milk… I like almond milk, but i cannot afford it on a regular basis. We will NOT be drinking soy milk, it’s not as good as people make it out to be, and it’s not good for babies, especially baby boys. We may try coconut milk, or maybe even rice milk, but i don’t know. For now, i’m ok with regular ol’ milk. If i could afford it, i’d just buy raw cow’s milk. But the only store anywhere near me that sells it is about 30 minutes away, and it’s almost $10/gallon. But like I said, the whole “milk debate” shall be left for another day.

So, what do you all think about these things?

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