Further to my previous post, I saw a funny thing happening at Sure Start's Tumble Tots session on Friday. I saw the Sure Start children's worker trying to explain to a Polish mother that she wasn't allowed to bring her child's juice drink with her to the session.
"Only water and milk are allowed at Sure Start sessions."
Excellent policy. Because you will surely be able to reverse the effects of two years of juice drinking by denying a toddler their juice for 75 minutes each week. And we all know that toddlers are notoriously easy to persuade to try new things and give up their favourite things. Not.
NB only drinks juice and hot chocolate, not water or milk. And believe me, I've tried! So he goes thirsty at Tumble Tots.
My point is that by the time a child is ready to go to Tumble Tots, it's too late to start trying to educate mothers about juice. Habits are already formed. If we are to persuade mothers not to give their child any other drink than milk and water, then it must be done before the child is weaned.
And anyway, this particular Sure Start Centre's policy on this doesn't seem to be one of education and persuasion. It's apparently one of prohibition and restriction. The Centre serves drinks to the children as part of the session, and I fully support their decision to only serve water. I would not expect Sure Start to appear to be promoting the drinking of less healthy drinks. But to ban mothers from bringing juice for their non-water-drinking toddlers? It just feels like a step too far for me.
As it happens, though, OB is completely fine with it. As I've only ever given him water and milk to drink, he is able to look down his tiny nose at those juice-drinking toddlers and feel very smug about his prospects for excellent future dental health.