Juice Vs. Fruit: An Open Letter To @HealthCanada

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Juice is not fruit - open letter to Health Canada | Healthy Living | Healthy Kids | Healthy Eating, Clean Eating | MapleandMarigold.comMy children think they they know everything. Advice from me usually goes unheeded unless it’s followed by a countdown. “3-2-1. Time out!” On rare occasions they are right…as  they were in this case, and resoundingly so!

Dear Health Canada,

My kids and I have had a lot of free time on our hands recently. Summer holidays will do that to you when it’s slow mornings and even slower days, and that’s when we like to read and eat at the same time. It was one of those days when my younger one disappeared from the breakfast table searching for her favourite book, and my oldest started to read the side of the juice carton.

Juice is not fruit - open letter to Health Canada | Healthy Living | Healthy Kids | Healthy Eating, Clean Eating | MapleandMarigold.com

I am shocked! Did you know this, Health Canada?

Of course you did! This helpful tip isn’t a matter of false marketing by big bad corporations, it’s based on Canada’s Food Guide where it states that a 1/2 cup of juice is the same as a serving of fruit.

Drink juice and there’s no need to eat fruit?! Even my kids know that’s nonsense.

It boggles my mind that no one objected to this when the scientists, nutritionists and politicians were designing Canada’s Food Guide. At least some of you were parents I assume, and if there were doubts your kids would have told you.

Juice is NOT the same as fruit. My kids say it does not come from nature so it can’t be the same. Sounds simple enough but that’s not what Canada’s Food Guide states.

Juice is not fruit - open letter to Health Canada | Healthy Living | Healthy Kids | Healthy Eating, Clean Eating | MapleandMarigold.com

Independent research says that juice is infact a far less healthy option than a fresh piece of fruit. While regular boxed orange juice may contain the same number of calories as fresh oranges, it doesn’t have any of the fibre that will help one feel full. Drinking juice doesn’t give that feeling of satiety nor does it have any of the vitamins or the nutritional value that is naturally present in an orange.

This is serious because schools are teaching health and nutrition based on the recommendations in Canada’s Food Guide. Kids in my daughter’s Grade 5 class learnt in school this year that instead of eating fruit one can drink juice. And they laughed because 10 year olds know when adults are just making stuff up. Is that what happened here?

Menus in daycares and after-school programs are designed around Canada’s Food Guide. Did you know toddlers are drinking juice instead of eating fruit? These institutions are following recommendations laid in Canada’s Food Guide after all.

I don’t want my kids growing up thinking that calories is the only significant comparison in food. An orange is more than it’s juice even when the juicing is done at home. Science has proven again and again the value of fresh fruit. I know I’m repeating myself but this is important. Not only does the juicing process destroy a number of fruits’ beneficial compounds and antioxidants, it removes nearly all of the natural fibre.

All of the sugar with very little of the nutrition. No, thanks!

Health Canada, everybody makes mistakes and it’s time to correct this one.

Juice is not the same as fruit. I would like you to tell my kids that. They don’t believe me any more.

Sincerely and with hope,

Puneeta

Juice is not fruit - open letter to Health Canada | Juice vs Fruit | Healthy Living | Healthy Kids | Healthy Eating, Clean Eating | MapleandMarigold.com

Puneeta Chhitwal-Varma<br/><small>Photo by Tanvi Madkaiker</small>
Puneeta Chhitwal-Varma
Photo by Tanvi Madkaiker

About Puneeta

Author, Educator, Speaker

Puneeta is a writer, food advocate and guide for those who seek earth-friendly, delicious solutions that work for real life.

2 Comments

  • Huh??? That is a surprise! I would never give juice to little ones and would be quite upset if someone else gave it to my toddler- it’s milk or water here, or what my son calls “mummy’s special water” that’s a crisp cold vino!

    Reply
    • It boggles my mind that juice and fruit could be considered similar. After school programs and daycares are offering juice to replace fruit and are still “following Canada’s Food Guide.”

      Reply

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