Infused water. It's delicious and refreshing – and you can make it with anything. Vegetables, fruits, and herbs, in any combination you come up with, make a fun and tasty infused water drink.
So what's wrong with juice?
Juice is not a whole food (obviously), it's only the sugary part of the fruit without all of the fiber and other good nutrients. Fiber helps to slow down the absorption of sugar so when you eat a whole piece of fruit there is less of a blood sugar spike. With juice, there is nothing to slow it down, so it's pretty much like drinking sugar water. Serving juice trains a child's taste buds to always expect and crave sweets.
Drinking juice on a regular basis can contribute to childhood obesity, tooth decay, diabetes, and hyperactivity. It's not a healthy practice to continue. If you have been giving your children juice regularly and are afraid your children already expect that sweet taste – don't worry you can still turn things around. Slowly. Coming up with some fun and delicious alternatives is the key.
My experience with Juice
My daughter never had juice. She drank water, breast milk, and the occasional chamomile tea (no sweetner). When she was about 2 years old, we were out at a restaurant with friends and the topic of juice came up. She wanted it. I decided to just let her try it, and not much of it. Within 10 minutes of drinking juice, it was full melt down mode. Crying, kicking, screaming, running around the restaurant. Boy did I regret that! She was only 2 at the time so she was probably too young to handle it at all.
I still don't give my kids juice at home. That experience totally proved the juice theory to me so I stay away from it. I will admit though – I'm not perfect – once in a while if we are at a birthday party or social event I do let my 4 year old have a juice box as a treat (against my better judgement).
There are some things you can start serving as a replacement to juice. These are even good options if you don't do juice at all and just want something different once in a while.
Infused Water Combination Ideas
Infused water is super simple to make. Just cut up your fruits and veggies, add to a glass container, and pour in the water! Always use filtered water or spring water (why? read this post on tap water). Within 30 minutes it's ready to drink. The longer it sits the more the flavors develop. Here are some combinations to try.
- Cucumber, Mint
- Cucumber, Lemon (pictured)
- Strawberry, Lemon, Basil
- Watermelon, Mint
- Watermelon, cucumber
- Strawberry, Lime
- Blueberry, Lavender
- Blueberry, Mint (pictured)
- Raspberry, Vanilla
- Pineapple, Mint
- Orange, Cucumber