Juice Boxes = the devil

May 10, 2013 at 7:00 pm Leave a comment

Juice boxes were invented sometime maybe in the 1980s? I don’t know. I remember it started with the Capri Sun Mylar pouches and then de-evolved into cardboard cubes. I vaguely remember this invention. My mother, whose normal reaction to technology would be to run away screaming, actually bought some.  Shocked that she didn’t shove a mason jar full of grape juice (frozen concentrate, store brand, no sugar added) at us (with an extra can of water added to make it last longer), I found myself staring at it at school. It was apple juice, which normally I didn’t particularly like. I was used to cider, with its cloudy color and occasional chunk of apple pulp. This was the early 1980s; you could still get unpasteurized cider, so to me the clear, highly filtered apple juice tasted weird and hollow (it still does to me). I was fascinated. I unwrapped the straw and shoved it through the little foil hole, causing sticky juice to squirt everywhere. The juice was warm and tasted as weird as ever. Even as a kid sampling new technology and forbidden consumer goods, I was underwhelmed.

Which brings me to my next rant. As a nanny, I see plenty of juice boxes. Here are a few reasons why I am anti-juice box:

  1. Waste: seriously? Do we need more disposable containers in the world? Would it kill you to just fill up a water bottle? I know it takes twice as long to drag one over to the sink, but really.
  2. The straw: kids under 6 seem to have problems getting it out of its little plastic wrapper. It requires much haggling. At school, a teacher must go around and help each kid. Once the straw is liberated, the plastic covering almost always ends up on the ground. Even if you have a conscientious child who throws it away, the wind will whip it out of the bin like it was a dress on a tiny Marilyn Monroe and it will still end up on the ground. A straw wrapper’s native habitat seems to be blown up against a chain link fence and it will seek this at all costs.
  3. Poking the straw through the foil hole is not always easy. Often the straw will bend, and upon repeated stabbings, will develop a hole or shred. If you have an OCD toddler, this is as good a reason as any for her to break into hysterics.
  4. The straw has a tendency to come loose from the box and get lost, prompting small children to freak out. I have seen parents throw away entire unopened juice boxes because of a missing straw. If you have a child who will consent to drink juice from a box sans straw, you have to find an object tiny enough to poke a hole through the tin foil straw hole. Once you find one, you will spend time and effort getting more and more frustrated as you repeatedly stab at the tiny hole that refuses to yield to your improvised device. Meanwhile, a small child is pulling on your limbs and shrieking with impatience.
  5. The straw makes an effective weapon. True, a pre-schooler can turn anything into a weapon, but sometimes I like to make warfare slightly less convenient!
  6. The Fountain Effect: Oh yes, the best part. It takes only a tiny little squeeze (often accidental!) to turn a juice source into a geyser of stickiness. This running river of juice may be directed at a person (the straw makes an excellent aiming device) or at furniture, the drinker himself or other inconvenient receptacles. EXAMPLE: I hear gleeful squealing in the back seat of my car and turn around to witness a cascade of golden liquid arcing over the seat. My car still smells like feet. Why did the apple juice dry into feet-smell? It’s a mystery of the ages. At least it was apple juice and not *other* golden liquids, I guess.
  7. Childlike curiosity will prompt a kid to at least once in his or her life attempt to dismantle the box while it is full.

There you have it. If you really MUST have your juice in a cube, get a reusable one? http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/juice-in-a-box

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Entry filed under: The Kid.

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