One item that I try to avoid buying when grocery shopping for the family is fruit juice. When I DO buy it it has to be organic (to avoid excess pecticide exposure and gmos) but like so many other products, organic does NOT necessarily mean healthy.
Drinking juice, especially on an empty stomach, can totally contribute to long term health issues, particularly for children! *
When consumed on an empty stomach, fruit juice may cause what's called a "spike and crash syndrome." Juice is rated high on the glycemic index (measurement of the effect food and drink have on blood sugar levels) and will induce a quick rise on blood sugar levels, causing it to "spike." Followed by this short term spike there is a corresponding quick drop or "crash." Sometimes, this crash results in an even lower blood sugar level than before drinking it.
Children are especially vulnerable to this phenomenon! We've probably all witnessed this syndrome. Our child guzzles down a glass of juice and within a few minutes, sometimes seconds, they're bouncing off the walls. A few minutes later, they're fatigued, clumsy, grumpy, sometimes even shaky.
Why is this such an unhealthy pattern?
Because glucose spikes produce a surge in insulin and repetitive surges of insulin may set your child up for possible future health issues.
So while I try to not purchase fruit juice, I DO have to pick and choose my battles when it comes to what my kids get to buy at the grocery store. So with that said, this is how I make it "better than."
I add gelatin to it.
This is the brand I use.*
Hydrolysate Collagen is a minimally processed form of gelatin. It is a form of gelatin/protein that has been produced in a way so that the clumping nature found in gelatin is removed. It's tasteless, super easy to digest and completely dissolves without changing the texture or color of the liquid it's been added to. It is a clean source of protein (from grass fed cows) and this added protein blocks and prevents the spike and crash syndrome from occurring within the body.
By slowing down the absorption of fruit juice sugars into the blood stream. By adding this protein in, you're also benefiting growing bones, assisting in better absorption of other types of protein, and providing gut healing nutrition! Best of all, your kids will never be able to tell that it's there!
So while serving juice to my children is not one of my favorite activities (if they know we've bought it, they ask for it till it's gone) I can feel a little bit better about serving it if it has added gelatin to it.
*This does not include cold pressed fresh juices served for short term "medicinal" like purposes.
*This is NOT an affiliate link. Just sharing the product I love.
*Moderation matters. There is such thing as too much of a good thing. See here for more.