By Tracy Poizner, Holiopathic Medicine
If you are like me and most other parents, you have a bottle or carton of juice in the fridge pretty much all the time. Perhaps you also save a few precious minutes in the morning and at dishwashing time by buying those handy little juice boxes to go in the lunch. What's wrong with that?
Well, once in a while, juice is OK but it's a treat, and like all other treats you give your kids it should be reserved for special treat times. Unsweetened fruit juice is a much healthier choice than cola or root beer, but from a sugar point of view, they are surprisingly almost equal! The problem with fruit juice on its own is that it lacks the fibre present in the whole fruit to slow down how fast the simple fruit sugar is digested. Here's an article that explains this in more detail:
I enjoyed reading a book called "You're Not Sick, You're Thirsty" by Dr. Batmanghelidj. I always like to learn more about a therapy that is easy to learn, readily accessible, can't be patented and doesn't cost any money! I encourage you to read one of the author's many books on this subject. He explains why it's important to drink, even if you don't feel thirsty. The feeling of thirst only comes on well after dehydration has started to shrink your brain away from your skull. One important thing that happens in the earlier stages of dehydration is that our body makes "histamine". That means that any number of allergy symptoms can start to be felt, including asthma. Many children become more hyperactive after using a bronchodilator (puffer), so imagine how many kids could benefit from just drinking more water!
You can encourage your child to develop the habit of drinking water through the day by offering it very often. A fun cup, straw or special bottle can make this a bit easier. Throw in a couple of frozen strawberries or grapes. You can't be hovering with a water bottle all the time, so make sure your child's teacher is aware of how important for their students to drink water regularly during the school day. Suggest installing a water refill station inside the classroom where possible. School water fountains are notoriously unpleasant to drink from and may harbour germs because young children often touch the spout with their lips. Some "green" schools teach respect for the environment by keeping track of how many plastic water bottles they save each year by refilling everyone's re-usable personal water bottles at a water station. Great idea!
Feel free to pass this article and references along to your teacher or school administrator.