Some of our fussy eating clients eat zero vegetables, but will sometimes drink a vegetable juice. So, I’ve had lots of requests to review the most popular V8 juice. Is it an ok option for those really resistant eaters who just don’t tolerate veggies at all? Today’s Chewsday Review will tell all…
🔹Tomato (88%), carrot (6%), celery (4%), beetroot (<1%), parsley (<1%), lettuce (<1%), watercress (<1%), spinach (<1%), salt, vitamin C, food acid, natural flavours.
🔹It’s essentially tomato juice.
🔹Common allergens include: nil
🔹The fibre content content is 4g per serve, which is much more than I expected. Juice in this form is essentially the liquid from the vegetable, with most of the fibre removed. 300mL of pureed vegetables would have significantly more fibre than this, but realistically most kiddies wouldn’t eat that in a sitting (also because it’s much more filling than juice!) Fibre is one of the main benefits of vegetable consumption, so this is an important point. Technically this is half positive, half negative.
🔹The sugar content is within healthy drink guidelines, which I would expect for a vegetable based juice.
🔹Also very little fat or saturated fat, like most vegetables.
🔹Sodium (salt) content is less than the upper recommended level, but at 241mg/100mL it’s still reasonably high for a drink, especially when a serving size is 300mL.
🔹A 300mL serving is quite a lot of juice for a child, so I’d be careful about where this fits in to their daily intake. I also am not a huge fan of juice as a regular option for kids, so even though this is vegetable based, it’s not a habit I’d want to set up.
🔹”4 serves of veggies per 300mL serve” I would strongly contest this point, 75g of whole vegetable (including the roughage/fibre) equals a serve, so I do not count 300mL of vegetable juice as 4 serves. In fact, I think this is highly misleading.
🔹“Drink smarter with V8 vegetable juice.” Hmmm not sure about that… I’d say it’s a better option than fruit juice, but water is always the best drink for kids. This won’t make them any smarter either!
🔹”Source of powerful antioxidants vitamins A & C” Correct, this is a ‘source’ but not a particularly good source. For example, one regular strawberry contains more vitamin C than this 300mL drink and two carrot sticks have more Vitamin A.
🔹This isn’t a drink that I’d recommend to most people BUT it has the potential to be used as a stepping stone for some kids who are particularly averse to veggies. You could start with this and move onto homemade fruit and veggie juices, smoothies and then whole pieces of vegetable.
🔹This is also a better choice than some others in the V8 range made mostly with fruit and very few veggies!
🔹I’d always recommend water as the best drink for kids.
About Mealtime Building Blocks
Dr Kyla Smith is a paediatric dietitian specialising in fussy eating, feeding difficulties and childhood nutrition. Lauren Pike is an occupational therapist working in fussy eating and feeding difficulties. They have a private practice called Mealtime Building Blocks in Perth, Western Australia. You can connect with Kyla and Lauren on their website and sign up for their newsletter, and the Facebook page or on the Instagram page. You can also emailthem.