Juicing for Kids
Learn the safe juicing methods with tips and tricks to make juicing for your kids fun and beneficial.
JOY OF JUICING WITH KIDS
If you have children at home, like me, you would naturally want to share the joy of juicing with them.
This section will cover all that you need to know about how to get your kids to drink juices, what is suitable for them, the nutrition they need and some yummy recipes for them.
I am so proud to share that my Sienna loves her Juices..Every time we press, she asks :Mommy. Mommy juice pease”…Her favourites are the Greens and the Reds!!!Can’t wait to start sharing this joy with Maya!!!
Some kids don’t need much persuasion to drink fresh juices, and some would not drink juices no matter what you do.
Generally, babies under two years old don’t need to drink juices, especially if they’re being breastfed. They are born so perfectly nourished that they don’t really need the nutrition from fresh juices until they begin to get exposed to “unhealthy foods” as in some homes, or junk food when they start going to school.
If your kids are given unhealthy foods at the school cafeteria, then you know that they definitely need juices at home. At least at home under your wings, you know that you can give them nutritious foods and drinks to “make up” for what they are lacking when they are not with you.
Here’s a general guide on how much juice you can give your children in a day, but always trust your own judgment and instinct on how well they are taking it:
1 to 3 years old: When your toddlers begin on solid food, do introduce fruits and vegetables in their diet. Start them from young. An example of how you can get get your toddler to like a certain fruit: Put a small piece of fruit to her mouth. She may reject it, no problem. Keep giving it to her everyday until she finally eats it. She will learn to like it. Try with a variety. Some good ones to start would be soft fruits like banana, pears, apples, mangoes, tomatoes, avocados, boiled potatoes, etc.
4 to 8 years old: Begin introducing juices to your young child with a ¼ cup (about 60ml), dilute with one part water (1:1). When they are rather stable taking juice, you can slowly increase the juice amount, always diluting with one part water.
9 to 12 years old: If they are just starting to take juice, start with ½ cup of juice dilute in one part water. When they are seasoned, they can safely take ½ cup neat (about 120ml), without any problem. Do not give them more than ½ cup as it may cause diarrhea.
12 years and above: At this age, they will be able to safely take one cup (about 250 ml) juice neat. However, if they are not used to taking juice, test with smaller amounts first.
GENERAL GUIDE ON JUICING FOR KIDS
Be safe when juicing for your kids. Follow these guidelines to minimize unwanted troubles.
BEST TO START THEM YOUNG
When you decide to give fresh fruit and vegetable juices to your kids, firstly consider their age. There are no hard and fast rules but we need to be wise as kids’ tummies are much more sensitive than ours, especially when introducing new foods.
Fresh fruit and vegetable juices are one of the best things that you can give to your child. They contain the highest quality nutrients that are essential for your child as she grows up. Children who drink fresh juices regularly are less likely to fall sick compared to children who don’t drink.
It is a myth that juices will make your child obese. Fresh juices contain naturally occurring fruit sugar (fructose) that your child’s body can easily assimilate. More and more researches and studies have confirmed that there is no association between drinking juice and being obese.
Children who drink fresh juices also tend to eat fruits and vegetables. These are the children who have learned healthy eating from a young age and will be healthier in their adult life because of the solid foundation that you have given them.
Avoid letting your child drink packet or canned “juices” that you buy off the shelves or at fast foods. Even if they boast of “real fruit” or “added calcium” or similar labeling, they most likely have only less than 10% real juice. Most of these are laden with sugar, coloring, preservatives, emulsifiers, food stabilizers, etc. Chemicals that your kids can do without.
Here are some other pointers to bear in mind when juicing for your kids:
- When introducing juices to young kids (under 12 years old) for the first time, always dilute the juices with one part of water (1:1). Concentrated juices are very potent and may not go down well with your child initially.
- Observe your child when you first give her juices to see if she had any pains or diarrhea or other complaints. If she does, note what fruits or probably amount that may not be suitable for her. Adjust accordingly the next time.
- Give the juice to your child in a cup, never in a bottle. Slow sucking from the bottle will bathe your child’s teeth in sugar for longer periods which may corrode their teeth.
- Fruit juices contain sugar and acids that can cause tooth decays. Always give your child another cup of water after drinking juice, to rinse off the excess sugar in her mouth.
- Do not give juices to your child close to meal times. It may deter her from taking her meal as the juice may cause her to feel full. A good time to give your child juices is in the morning, together with her breakfast. Drinking juice with food will slow down the absorption of the juices, thus avoid fluctuations in energy levels. The complex carbohydrates in juices will also provide her energy for many hours in the morning when she is most active.
- Some children may like to drink fruit juices because of the sweetness. Even though juices are good for your child, always remember that moderation is best. Hydrate your child throughout the day also with plenty of water.
GET FUSSY KIDS TO DRINK JUICES
THE SECRET IS NOT TO MAKE A FUSS
Sienna is not a fussy kid at all. Luckily, i never been forced to think of creative ways to get her to drink. But, if you have fussy kids at home, here are some useful tips which have worked for a few friends of mine:
- Start with one type of juice at a time, given in small portion. A common fruit to start with would be an apple or an orange. Test with half a fruit, mixed with one part water. You can also use a pear or grapes, but as grapes are much sweeter, mix with two parts water.
- Keep or buy a very nice cup that she likes and tell her that it is only to be used for juices. She would look forward to using the special cup. Remember, don’t give juices to your child in bottles to prevent her from sucking too long on the juice, thus bathing her teeth in sugar for an unnecessary length of time.
- Let her get used to the idea that fruits and vegetables are healthy. For snacks, cut a variety of colored fruits into small pieces. Some good example of fruits to eat this way are: banana, dragonfruit, grapes, kiwi, mango, peaches, strawberries, watermelon. Later, add carrot and celery sticks. Arrange your fruits in a fun and colorful way, and eat with her. You will be surprised how they will quickly pick-up the fruits-eating habit.
- If she is the really stubborn kind, try to get her school teacher to tell her that juices can make her strong and healthy. Children always think their teachers know best. Sorry, but they most likely would listen to their teacher more than they would mom.
- When you give your child a cup of juice, make no comments whatsoever, don’t even say “It’s good for you”. These sort of comments would make her more alert and wary of what you are giving her. Give her juice like you would give her water, with no comments.
- Likewise, if at first you give her juice and she rejects it, just take it away without making any comment or fuss. Don’t let her think that she has “won”. Reintroduce it to her in a couple of days’ time. Keep doing this until she finally relent. If she did drink, then lavish her with praises.
- Drink juices yourself regularly and deliberately (Hubby and I drink juice everyday, at least twice a day) show her how much you are enjoying your juices. It’s ALWAYS important to set an example.
- These one from my experience is a gold tip: Let your child be involved in the process of juicing. Let her help to choose when you shop for fruits. Let her help you clean the fruits and prepare the juice. Even let her make the choice of juice to make for the day. Children are more likely to drink if they have been involved in the juicing process.
- Get popsicle moulds and make fruits popsicles. Children enjoy popsicles and this is one way to “disguise” fruits and get them learn to enjoy the taste of real fruits which will pave the way for them to start taking juice. Popsicles are great for a hot summer day too!
Just start to implement one or two ideas and be consistent in your approach. Share these ideas with your spouse and be of one mind when introducing fruits and vegetables to your child. Conflicting ideas from parents would deter them from picking up the healthy habit. You should soon be getting your child to take juices without putting up a fight.
I hope you have found the above useful.