A patient came to my ER after noticing green slime coming up the straw from her Juicy Juice box. Her mom cut open the box – and brought her straight to the doctor. Here’s what we found in the unexpired juice box:
Her juice box was full of mold—green slime that lined the edges of the box. Apparently moldy juice boxes and juice pouches (such as those made by Capri Sun) are nothing new. If even a tiny bit of air gets into the container molds can grow. Air can get into a juice box through a hole that’s so small you can’t see it, and it doesn’t cause leaking. Such a tiny puncture also permits the sugars in the juice to ferment, turning the product into a form of alcohol.
Juicy Juice and many other kid’s juice products are made without preservatives, permitting mold to grow even more easily.
The good news for my patient is that moldy, fermented juice is usually not very dangerous to drink. An upset stomach and a totally grossed out mom are the most common complications.
The more sugar-laden juice your kids drink, the more opiates flood their system, and the more they will beg for another juice box. After drinking all those calories and stimulating their sweet tooth, chances are your kids won’t be interested in dinner. Some high sugar, high fat, high salt food might sound good, though. Sound familiar?
Too much fruit juice can also cause tooth decay, diarrhea, and flatulence. There are plenty of other healthy foods that contain the vitamins your kids need, and without the high sugar and calories. Kids just don’t need juice.
The American Academy of Pediatrics offers this guidance regarding kids and fruit juice.