I don’t consider juice to be a replacement for a serving of fruits or vegetables yet I have always had juice on our menu as an occasional ‘treat’. Milk is always served with lunch but once or twice a week I do serve juice with snack (water for those whose parents don’t allow juice). I have never served fruit flavoured ‘beverages’, any type of powdered beverage mix or soft drinks even for special occasions.
Sometimes I have had children who don’t like milk but they will eventually drink it or water if juice is not an option. Sugar sweetened beverages can become a battle ground (I’ve never even served chocolate or other flavored milk). In the 20 years that I have been providing childcare, children refusing to drink anything except juice has never been a problem – until this summer.
I actually found it funny at first – none of the children in this group are new here – they all like milk but they love juice. Their juice chant following every meal/snack had reached riot level. The day they started throwing cups of milk and demanding juice instead was the end of my amusement.
However, I didn’t actually remove juice from the menu. Instead, I now only buy/serve one type of juice – tomato based, eight vegetable juice. It took just two weeks – no one demands juice anymore. In fact, when offered juice or water they all choose water. No one complains about milk anymore either. 🙂