In my licensed childcare home, I participate in a USDA Food Program, and as such I am allowed to serve the children in care only 100% juices. These are usually served at breakfast and snack time, but grape, orange and apple juices get old after a while. I have been looking for a variety of juices, both in frozen concentrate form and bottled, that will give us a variety of flavors, but still maintain the 100% juice standard.
My local Fred Meyer store now carries a line of Old Orchard juices, and we are having fun discovering all of the different flavors. Until now, my daycare kids loved Old Orchards Apple Raspberry juice, and even the children that decided they didn’t want an afternoon snack still asked to have juice when this was being served. Today I served them a new twist, the Old Orchard Apple Cherry juice.
The Old Orchard juices are sold in the frozen food section, and the Apple Cherry flavor is identified by its purple and orange label. Unlike most frozen concentrates that come packaged in cardboard, the Old Orchard juices come in a recyclable plastic container, holding 12 ounces of concentrate. When reconstituted with three cans of cold water it makes 48 ounces prepared juice.
Aside from being made of plastic, the style of the removable lid is also different. There is a loop to grab to pull off the tab, and the remaining cap is also made of plastic, but there is a large tab that you can get your finger under to easily remove the lid. Some frozen juices that have metal lids are so hard for me to open that sometimes I have to remove it with a can opener. The plastic container also makes it convenient for microwaving for a few seconds, you can’t do that with metal lidded cans.
One of my daycare children is on medication for ADHD, and I really try to limit his sugar intake. Giving him sugar sweetened juices from a powdered mix is out of the question, and I love that there are a variety of 100% fruit juice blends on the market to day, it makes my life much easier, and gives the kids a break from the mundaneness of orange, apple, and grape juices.
The ingredients in this Old Orchard Apple Cherry juice are: apple juice concentrate, filtered water (only sufficient to reconstitute juice concentrates), pear juice concentrate, grape juice concentrate, black currant juice concentrate, aronia berry juice concentrate, cherry juice concentrate, natural flavors, citric acid, and ascorbic acid (vitamin C). As you can see, this juice blend is full of a wide variety of juices! Taste wise, I think I actually taste grape juice and cherry more than I do the apple flavor, but it’s quite delicious. I don’t care for it quite as much as Old Orchard’s Apple Raspberry, and the kids are split about 50/50 with their preference, but they all agree that they like the apple cherry.
Today when I served the children their apple cherry juice, I poured myself a small amount and drank it out of the plastic container. One of the kids saw me doing this, and now they all want to drink out of the container! This has become a common thing now, when I make the Old Orchard juice, they all ask if they can drink their juice out of the plastic container. It makes a fine juice glass!
I did have my reservations about using plastic, since we don’t have plastic recycling centers in our area, so if you have that luxury, be sure and recycle these containers, I hate to think of them filling up our landfills.
One container, when reconstituted, makes six 8 ounce servings, each with 130 calories, (zero fat calories), zero grams of fat, 25 mg of sodium, 280 mg of potassium, 31 grams of carbs, 29 grams of sugars, and zero grams of protein. A serving also provides 120% of your daily amount of vitamin C, 2% iron, and 8% of your potassium.
Being able to serve my daycare children only 100% juice drinks can make it challenging to come up with new flavors that the kids all love, but we have found the Old Orchard blends to be a big hit, and their Apple Cherry is now one of the flavors that my children ask me for. The frozen concentrate varieties sell for $1.50, but Old Orchard also makes the same flavors in their 64 ounce bottles, which retail for more.