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Family Matters: Juice, Juice, Juice!


How much juice should you give to your baby, and when? Mothers and pediatricians have debated this for ages. Interestingly, opinion is shifting on the matter. While fruit juice is extremely healthy, it’s also extremely sweet, so should actually be given in moderation. After all, it takes a good 10 oranges to make a cup of orange juice. That’s a lot of oranges to be consuming—and a lot of calories!

Pediatricians generally agree that before age 6 months, babies should only receive breast milk or formula, because those are complete foods. (source: American Academy of Pediatrics) After 6 months, if your baby is drinking from a cup, you can introduce some juice into his or her diet. Don’t give juice in a bottle and never put your baby to bed with a bottle of juice. The natural sugars can lead to cavities. Four to six ounces a day is plenty. An option to juice is mashed or pureed whole fruits and vegetables.

As your baby gets older, his or her needs will change. Fruit juice is sweet and many toddlers will overindulge if given the chance. Don’t give your toddler a sippy cup full of juice, or a juice box, to walk around with all day. The prolonged exposure to natural sugars can cause dental problems. Use juice, instead, as a treat or a snack.

When it comes to beverages, babies and toddlers do just fine when introduced to water as the drink of choice. And as always, discuss food concerns with your family doctor or pediatrician.



Family Matters: Compromise, Not Sacrifice!


My kids are much older now, but when they were little, I was a real fanatic about serving only the most-healthy foods possible. Compromise was out of the question. In the years since then, I’ve softened my position, and while my family still eats healthier than most, sometimes you have to give a little here and there. And it’s compromise, not sacrifice. We stay true to the most important aspects of our food plan, but there are some areas where a little splurge now and then can be a good thing!

For instance, in their lunch boxes, or in the snack bag when we went to visit friends, I used to insist on ultra-healthy, ultra-natural foods. And I’m still not going to put cookies and chips in the bag, but I have decided that some of the pre-packaged items I’d always boycotted weren’t really that bad! Crust-less sandwiches, frozen yogurt tubes and juice boxes were still a lot cheaper than buying fast food, and they weren’t as pure as foods I prepared myself, but you know what? They’ll still work just fine. Kids do like to fit in with their friends, and the convenience of ready-to-use items is really handy. At home, they’re happy to eat what they’ve always eaten, but when it’s a special time, the food can be special, too.

We saved these items for play dates and lunch boxes, and it turned out to be a compromise that worked.



Product Talk: School Supplies


Now that school is well underway, you and your children have most likely settled into a routine. It’s amazing how that routine flows pretty smoothly until a sudden disruption throws life into chaos. How often do you get the last-minute news that your child needs to turn in a special project the next day? Maybe it’s the science club volcano or the map of Peru….but regardless, when that call goes out for the super-duper project, it’s the parents who snap to attention and make it all happen. 

The next time you’re on special-project alert, stop by our stores and see what materials we have to help you and your child come out on top. And to get the jump on those last-minute assignments, you can stock up while you’re picking up groceries. A pair of scissors, some poster board, colored pencils and report folders….they’re all right here. Won’t your young student be surprised when you calmly pull out the supplies, instead of panicking? Hey, that’s what parents are for!

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Family Matters: Take ‘Em Along!


Do you dread taking your kids along to the grocery store? I have to admit, it’s always easier when I’m alone, and I definitely stick to my list better when there’s nobody else along to sneak forbidden foods into the buggy. But what about when there’s no choice and the kid(s) will be joining you? Don’t groan; you CAN make this work!

And of course, the key element is to plan ahead. Sometime, totally unrelated to the shopping trip, gather a few tools that will make grocery trips more do-able. Depending on the age of your children, maybe you can make up a bingo card of items to spot in the store; maybe you can have your child match up coupons with products; younger children can help make veggie choices—like broccoli over carrots, or red grapes instead of green. Kids are great at matching colors—even the youngest child can help you look for the reddest bell pepper, or the largest beet.

Does your child pester for treats and candy? How about making a coupon, one per child; once they find what they want, they redeem their coupon to you, and that’s it. Whenever they see a great potential snack item, you can ask your children if they feel this is the best choice for their coupon….often they’ll reconsider!

In short, the success of your shopping trip will depend on a positive attitude all around, as brief a trip as possible, and if you know of any trouble areas (the candy aisle, perhaps?), discuss them before you ever enter the store.

Grocery shopping with kids is a great educational opportunity. You can learn about fractions, budgets, prioritizing, nutrition and making change. It really is worth it!



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The products mentioned in “Share, the Brookshire’s Blog” are sold by Brookshire Grocery Company, DBA Brookshire’s . Some products may be mentioned as part of a relationship between its manufacturer and Brookshire’s.

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