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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Rant Of The Week - Sunflower Oil and Salt in a Child's Drink

Would you give your child sunflower oil and salt to drink for their snack?

I've placed my finger over the brand name but the point of this post is to make us think.  I had the opportunity this weekend to read the ingredients on a boxed drink for children.  The front of the box read "Juice Drink - Fruit Punch from concentrate, one of the sides read contains 8% juice".  So of course, Ms Jennifer(me aka Fruitfulvine2) ever the curious one wanted to know what else was added to the 8% juice that was in the box.  Here are the ingredients as listed on the box:

Water, Sugar, Concentrated Juices of Pineapple, Orange and Passion Fruit (Jennifer: so far so good), Citric Acid, Gum Acacia, Natural and Artificial Flavours, Banana Puree(Jennifer: nice!), Potassium Citrate, Guar Gum, Strawberry Puree(Jennifer: cool!), Sunflower Oil,

Now when I got to this point I was stumped.  I looked at my husband and said "WHAT?!!!  You're joking right?!!!  Sunflower oil in a drink for children?"  I couldn't believe it.  I mean we all know the dangers of highly processed and refined oils, so we advise people to use olive oil, coconut oil, you know - the good oils instead.  Then you find out that there is oil and not one of the good ones either, in a boxed drink for a child that he/she goes to school with everyday?  So you avoid cooking with the not so good oil but your child gets a daily dose via his/her boxed drink?  Now if I was given to profanity it is at this point I would probably say "What the _______!".

Let's move on to the rest of the ingredients in the drink in question shall we?

Ascorbic acid(Vitamin C), Glycerol Ester of Wood Rosin, Salt,

Wait!  Hold up!  Did we just read salt?  In a drink?  Now who, show of hands please, adds salt when they make juice?  Who?  Yeah, it's like we're standing in the kitchen mixing up a batch of grapefruit, passionfruit, orange, cherry, whatever juice.  We taste it and think "Hmmm, I think this needs a little salt.  What do you think?"   Ha! Yeah right!  I don't think so!  We hear doctors, nurses and health professionals calling for less salt intake but here again our child goes to school and gets a daily dose of 10mg of sodium(translated salt, that's the amount on the boxed drink in question - name withheld).  Just think of you adding salt to your child's drink every day.  Again I say What?!!!

Moving along to the rest of the ingredients: 

Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Ethyl Maltol,  Vitamin A Palmitate,  FD & C Red #40, Yellow #5 and Blue #1.  That brings us to the end of the list of ingredients but not the end of my rant. 

Let's look at the last 3 items on the ingredient list shall we?  FD & C Red #40, Yellow #5 and Blue #1.  Sounds like a child's art project to me.  What do you think?  Again using the scenario of being at home making a batch of juice.  We're standing at the counter/table and we say to ourselves, "Hmmm, I think my child needs a little color added to his/her diet.  Let's see, I think I'll throw in a little red, a dash of yellow, hey how about some blue, that should make him/her healthier.  Yeah, let's do it!"   I. DON'T. THINK. SO. !!!

People read what you give your children please.  An occasional box of the drink in question may not be so bad but some children get that every day, several times a day in some cases.

I know life is busy for many parents and it is convenient and less of a hassle to give your child a boxed drink but choose wisely people.  Notice I'm not saying do not give your children boxed drinks.  What I am saying is choose wisely.  Is the convenience of that kind of boxed drink worth it?  Then the child falls sick because of a weakened immune system that came about from ingesting sunflower oil, salt and dyes and whatever else is in the packaged foods they eat.  What happens then?  The convenience of going to the doctor and paying $60 or more for the visit not counting the medicine or how about the convenience of going to the health centre saving you the $60 for the doctor's visit but missing out on a half or whole day's work and pay in some cases.  Really convenient isn't it?  Not!

Let's be more conscious as parents please people.  It is better for us and the little ones that God has blessed us with.  Thus ends my rant for the week unless something else comes on my radar.  Read my recommendations below.

  1. Make your juice from scratch.  So many fruits are available in season inexpensively.
  2. Read the labels carefully and buy those drinks that say juice.  Buy those that say 20% or 30% juice or preferably 100% juice and make sure there are no dyes, oils or salt in those that are not 100% juice.
Nice talking to you or at you whichever way you want to look at it.  Share your thoughts below.  I'd love to know what you have to say about this.  Agree or disagree say it in the comments, I'm listening.

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  1. Jo's Health CornerDecember 19, 2012 at 8:40 AM

    It is amazing how much things they put in the drinks.

    Check out new blog:

  2. Please Jennifer, continue ranting - it's incredible what manufacturers get away with. We as parents have to be aware and vigilant. Always best to make our own foods and drinks. Keep up the great work!


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