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Healthy beverages?  
Or drowning your money in trash drinks?


Suppose an advertising company widely and vigorously advertised an oil substitute for your car that was a lot cheaper than regular oil.  It smelled better, too.    Easy to pour, pretty containers.   You had a nearly new car that was your prize possession.  You wanted to keep it in top condition.  The oil substitute sounded like a good idea.  The only problem was that while it filled the lubricating system, it had very little lubricating properties.  In other words, down the line your engine was going to be in big doo-doo.  You continue to use it, though.   Smart move? 

How long do you think this company would stay in business?   How long before bunches of angry consumers sued them?

Never the less,  most households do just that with another prize possession:   the health of the family members.   

Sodas, fruit flavored ades, coolers, punch, nectars, powdered drink concentrates, and more all claim "made with real fruit juice" and "full daily recommended amount of Vitamin C".    Great taste, more pep, easy to use and attractive containers.  Available from vending machines everywhere.  This is a multi-million dollar industry; millions are spent on advertising alone. 

The problem is that in most cases the "real fruit juice" is a minor ingredient, often only 5% or 10% of the total volume.  The minimum daily requirement of Vitamin C is far less than most experts feel is necessary for good health, so that isn't really a good guide to use.  Most of them are full of dyes, artificial flavors, sugars and additives, and missing are the other vitamins, antioxidants and various healthy compound in natural fruit.   

Well, perhaps you feel those drinks aren't really dangerous or they wouldn't be allowed on the market, and besides, family members like them.  So what's the harm?  For one thing, a normal person takes in only enough calories on the average, daily,  to maintain weight at its present "set-point".  Add up the calories consumed daily from these drinks, and you will see that they are taking the place of real food in the diet.

So why do we drown our money in nearly useless and possible harmful colored, flavored artificially made fluids?  Convenience, advertising, the kids like them, caffeine addiction, sugar craving, and overall they are cheaper.   Like the fake lubricant we bought for our new car.  And down the line we will pay for it.

What's the solution?  Make a hard and fast rule:  no more junk drinks on the grocery list.   Let the kids spend their allowance on soft drinks if they want, but provide only healthy drinks at home.   Buy some nice covered pitchers or juice containers for the refrigerator door and keep them filled.  Buy some large foam-type thermos jugs for picnics, on the job, in the car or at sports events.  Stock the refrigerator with single serving bottles or cans of favorite juices.   Buy an electric citrus juicer if you don't have one.   Blenders are useful;  we especially like the stick blender for use in a large drinking glass or similar container.  Make it really convenient to prepare and drink good stuff.

What should you drink?

  • Lemonade (it can be made sugar free if required for health reasons).
  • Iced tea   (research shows it may fight cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and other ailments, especially green tea).
  • Tomato juice or V-8 (contains among other compounds lycopene, a potent cancer-fighting agent).
  • Orange juice  (research indicates it also fights cancer).
  • Apple juice or cider
  • Grape juice (recent news are that its antioxidants combat ill effects of second hand smoke and air pollution).
  • Other pure fruit juices
  • Chocolate milk.
  • Fruit slushies made with fresh or frozen real fruit, sugar if required, and water, milk or yogurt.  Add a little fruit flavoring if you like, or try cinnamon.
  • Herbal teas, hot or cold, with honey or a little sugar if you need it sweeter.
  • Spiced or flavored teas, such as Lady Bird's Spiced Tea.
  • For sodas, try ginger ale in small quantities, which at least has real ginger in it.
  • See Beverages for more healthy choices.

How to get them to drink it?   Have some nice glasses and lots of ice.  Buy straws.  Serve it to them on a pretty tray.  Let them have lots of choice.  If they balk and there's nothing else in the house, let'em have plain water.  If they're really thirsty, they'll drink what's available!

All this may sometimes cost a little more money, but it is cash well spent, not thrown away on junk.  Protect your personal motors!

The Sneaky Kitchen
Fuller Brush & Stanley Home Products
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Web Site by Bess W. Metcalf   Copyrightę April 1999 - 201
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