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Tuesday, July 31, 2007 

Minute Maid Fruit Falls

Fooled again! Recently I feel in love with Minute Maid Fruit Falls Water Beverage not only because it was a convenient and tasty way to get my kids to drink more water but unlike the other fruit flavored water beverages found in the juice aisle it does not contain high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavorings. In fact, the front of the 10-pouch box states it is "made with pure filtered water and a splash of real fruit juice." However, on closer examination I noticed two "minor" details that put questionable doubt in my mind about continuing to give this product to my kids. Now the nutritional detective work begins -- firstly, upon closer examination I noticed that the phrase "made with pure filtered water and a splash of real fruit juice" was followed by two small asterisks (**) -- should of been my first clue when I initially picked up the box at the supermarket! These asterisks lead me to a disclaimer that I had to hunt for and eventually found on the side of the box. This disclaimer stated Minute Maid Fruit Falls is made with a blend of juices from concentrate (OK, but still better than high fructose corn syrup, right?) and other ingredients (other ingredients, what other ingredients?!). The other ingredients comment brought me back to the nutritional contents (which I thought I had closely read in the store, what an idiot!). Upon closer scrutiny I uncovered the word "sucralose" as one of the last ingredients listed. For those of you unfamiliar with this word, it is the same chemical component the artificial sweetener Splenda is made from. While I know the scientific jury is still out regarding the potential risks of sucralose, I feel as a parent I don't want to play the odds and risk endangering my children's future health by giving them a test tube substance like Splenda. What I can't seem to figure out is why it is so difficult to produce a flavored water for kids without all of the unnecessary additions -- if I can mix up an combination of water and fruit juice at home, why can't a major manufacturer package this same all-natural combination in a convenient to carry pouch or juice box? Once again -- it's up to you to do the nutritional detective work. Even when you think you've read the label -- READ IT AGAIN!

Have you ever looked into Fruit Water by Glaceau? It is harder to find than Vitamin Water, but it has no artificial sweeteners and chemical preservatives. It's just water with electrolytes, light fruit flavor and low levels of crystalline fructose (same as found in fruit).

It's 20 calories a serving, so in the 20 oz. bottle it's 50 calories & 12.5g of sugar. Not bad and not artificial. It's light and delicious.

I'm always looking for great drink alternatives that have flavor but without all the extra artificial sweeteners or High fructose corn syrup.
Not only that but the pouches are hard to open! I can't imagine a child trying to poke the straw through the material! I'm an adult and have a hard time not making a mess!!!
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