Gerber Baby Juices

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~~GERBER BABY JUICES~~IN MODERATION ONLY!

Aug 27, 2001
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Contains 100% RDA of Vitamin C; tastes great; many kids love it.

Cons:Empty calories from sugar; single serving jars are expensive in price.

The Bottom Line: Limit your little one's intake of Gerber Baby Juices to no more than 4 ounces a day as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.


Many years ago when my older children were babies, I purchased Gerber Baby Juices on a regular basis. Because they were "fruit", I assumed they were a much better alternative than providing many other similar beverages for my children to drink. Diluted with water to make it go further and to decrease the calorie content, both of them usually drank several ounces a day as a regular part of their diets. Apple juice was their favorite, and it could always be found inside our refrigerator. I truly had no idea the this product should be used in moderation only.

Recently, the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) revised their recommendation of how fruit juices, such as Gerber Baby Juice, should fit into an infant's or toddler's diet. Because of the relatively low nutritional value it contains, fruit juices should be limited to no more than 4 ounces per day. While one serving does provide 100% of the RDA of Vitamin C, most of the empty calories found inside Gerber Baby Juices come from naturally occurring sugar. So if children are allowed to "fill up" on fruit juices, they are often too full to eat more nutritious foods when mealtime comes around. There is very little protein found inside Gerber Baby Juices, which contain no fiber either as this "fruit" is just sugar and water only with the fiber removed. And all those unnecessary calories add up fast, potentially contributing to dental problems and possible childhood obesity later on down the road, which is fast becoming a major problem with many American children today.


THE PRODUCT

Gerber Baby Juices may be purchased in many different varieties. While apple juice has been traditionally the most popular, studies have shown that offering white grape juice instead is usually more gentle on an infant's tender digestive system. As a baby's taste buds begin to expand, other types, such as apple pear juice may be offered as well. Gerber Baby Juices are manufactured with 100% fruit juice from concentrate, with 100% of the RDA of Vitamin C added. Used in moderation, just as with most other foods and beverages, 4 ounces of Gerber Baby Juices offered daily is a sweet treat most infants and toddlers will grow to love.


PACKAGING AND PRICE

Gerber Baby Juices may be purchased in two different sizes. Easily the most expensive but also very convenient, a package of four 4 ounce single servings (total 16 ounces) may be purchased at most major grocery store chains for $1.79 each. These would be perfect for day care or travel as many standard sized nipples and nipple rings can be screwed right onto the jar and served directly from the container. Made of breakable glass jars in the past, these single serving sizes of Gerber Baby Juices are now being marketed inside disposable yet durable plastic containers instead. Quite a bit more economical are the 32 ounce plastic containers of Gerber Baby Juices that cost around $1.69 each. The juice may be poured directly into a bottle or cup and diluted with water if desired. Once opened, these larger bottles of juice should be refrigerated and consumed within 7 days. Use those valuable coupons, and the cost will be even less.


NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (Serving size: 4 ounces)

Calories.............................60
Carbohydrates (sugar).......14g
Protein..................less than 1g
Vitamin C .......................100%


MY EXPERIENCE

When my now 14 month old son, Tristan, was around 6 months of age, we began introducing cereals and other baby foods into his diet. After reading about how white grape juice is supposed to be gentler on a baby's tummy than regular apple juice, I purchased Gerber Baby Juices in the white grape variety to give it a try. Unfortunately, Tristan was NOT impressed! In the beginning, I thought perhaps he did not care for the cold temperature straight out of the refrigerator. But even served at room temperature, he still wanted nothing to do with it. Was this MY child? Was this child actually NOT related to the siblings that would gobble this stuff up at every chance? So the white grape juice was not a hit. The next time I went shopping, I purchased Gerber Baby Juices in the "tried and true" apple juice variety, and then let Tristan do another taste test. Still no go. Looking back now, I suppose his dislike was a good thing as now I do not have to worry about "weaning" him down to just 4 ounces a day as recommended. So for the first time in many years now, the only type of juice to be found in our refrigerator is calcium fortified orange juice. Go figure!


OVERALL RECOMMENDATION

As recommended by the AAP and limited to one 4 ounce serving per day, diluted with 2 ounces of water if desired to make it "go further", Gerber Baby Juices should be offered in moderation, if at all. Even though most infants and toddlers love the sweet taste, the empty calories provided offer little nutritional value to their rapidly growing little bodies. And the unnecessary sugar contained in larger servings can often lead to obesity and dental problems down the road as well. However, if your little one has been prescribed supplemental iron drops by a pediatrician, the Vitamin C found in Gerber Baby Juices will actually help the iron to be better absorbed in your baby's digestive tract. So, just as with most other things in life, moderation is the key. Offer Gerber Baby Juices in your child's favorite variety as a very small part of your baby or toddlers daily caloric intake only, plain and simple.


For more information on Gerber Baby Juices as well as other foods, feeding and bathing accessories, and to register for more than $50 in valuable coupons, check out their website online at:

www.gerber.com

Questions or comments?
1-800-4-GERBER

GERBER PRODUCTS COMPANY
c/o Consumer Affairs
445 State Street
Fremont, Michigan 49413-0001






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