I think the winner of this beverage battle is up in the air, though I could be wrong because I’m not a doctor, or nutritionist. I’m just a dad with a chubby cheeked little four year old.

Let’s face it: juice pouches and boxes make a parent’s life much more convenient. But as with most convenient things there are drawbacks. Most, if not all, decent quality 100% fruit juice is highly caloric with calorie counts ranging in the 50-120 range depending on the size of the box and what they consider a serving size. For some kids that can be up to ten percent of their daily caloric intake in just one juice box. On the other hand the low calorie drinks have chemicals (additives?) in them that you need a chemist to decipher. It kind of feels like six of one and half dozen of the other. Lucky for us our son has no taste preference so we tend to go for whatever is on sale, though there are several major brands that are not allowed in our house whether they are on sale or not.

I recall a time when counting calories helped you to not get fat, and burning more calories than you took in was the only way to lose weight. Now it’s carb counting, hunger suppression, gastric bypass and a thousand fad diets. In my house we lean more toward conventional wisdom when picking up drinks for school, however Devin’s pediatrician recently said “no juice!” when asked what he should be drinking. She suggested that he drink a little OJ, and reduced fat milk. (Disclaimer: Her recommendations may have come from dealing with my son as an individual case, so ask your own darn pediatrician what your kid should be drinking if you have concerns.)

So what are your little people drinking? And what are you drinking when no one is looking?