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A Smart, Simple Guide to Juicing for Kids

HOW TO JUICE FOR KIDS

Juicing for kids is an easy, fun way to introduce your children to the benefits of healthy eating and inspire healthy habits that will last for a lifetime. Don’t believe me? Check out 10 reasons why you should juice with your kids for some motivation to get you started juicing with your kids!

Fresh fruit and vegetables juices that are freshly extracted from whole, raw produce is one of the best nutritional gifts you can give your child. Unlike store-bought juices, fresh juice contains natural fruit sugars that your child’s body can assimilate and use as energy rather than the artificial sweeteners (and the coloring, preservatives, and food stabilizers) found in store-bought juice.

Whereas a regular diet of store-bought juice can lead to childhood obesity (those “fresh” store juices are ridiculously high in sugar content) and cavities, fresh fruits and vegetable juices provide more nutritional value than the natural sugar content they may contain and are densely packed with vitamins, minerals, and living enzymes that will boost your child’s immune system, provide a wealth of needed nutrition for development, and will help develop your child’s appetite for fresh, whole foods – a habit that will serve him or her for a lifetime.

But before you get started on the fun, rewarding journey of juicing with your kids, here are a few tips and pointers that’ll help you and your child get the most out of your juicing experience:

Juicing with Kids Tip #1. Follow the Basic Safety Precautions

“Safety precautions” makes it sound pretty serious, but it’s really not. This is just to take into the consideration the fact that children have more sensitive bodies than we do and that the utmost care should be taken when we embark on anything that will affect their nutrition and health.

These “precautions” include things like making sure to use organic produce. Sure, it might be costlier, but juice is essentially a concentrated extract of whole foods and it is good practice to make sure you’re not giving your child a concentrated form of bad stuff – i.e. pesticides – along with the good stuff.

Juicing with Kids Tip #2. Water it Down

Especially for younger children, it is a very good idea to dilute fresh juices with water. Again, fresh juice is concentrated and very potent so water it down with good ole’ H2O.

It’s also a good idea to follow up fresh fruit juice with another glass of water. Fresh fruit juices contain natural fruit sugars and sugars always come with the possibility of tooth decay, so that extra glass of water at the end is a good way to both rinse your child’s mouth of sugar and provide extra hydration.

Juicing with Kids Tip #3. Keep it Simple

When you’re juicing for kids, you want to start off with just a handful of fruits and vegetables and then slowly branch out from there.

This will allow you to see how your child’s body reacts to the fruits and vegetables and whether they are totally fine or too potent for your child. Stay away from juicing vegetables and herbs that have strong diuretic, detoxification, or heating properties as they can be too intense for your child’s digestive system.

Fruits are fine. Most vegetables are great, but stay away from juicing strong veggies like garlic, onion, chili peppers, and stick to the less intense leafy greens like lettuce, cabbage, and microgreens – especially with younger children. Check out this post for a list of leafy greens, with pictures and nutritional benefits As for herbs – it’s best to shy away from juicing these with your kids ’til they’re older.

As yummy as herbs like ginger and turmeric are, they’re a little too intense for kids.

Juicing with Kids Tip #4. Moderation is Key

Kids will like fresh fruit juice. Who doesn’t, after all? It’s sweet and delicious.

But too much sugar – even natural fruit sugar – is not a good thing, so make sure you’re not overdoing the sugar content in the juice you’re giving your child. Our advice is to keep it to a ratio of 60% vegetables and 40% fruit per juice and to limit that to 1 or 2 cups a day. You can stretch this to 3 to 4 cups per day by diluting the juice 1:1 with water and storing it in an air-tight jar in the fridge to give you child at regular intervals throughout the day.

You might have to start with a slightly higher percentage of fruit in order to get your child accustomed to the taste of vegetables juices, but do not start by giving them pure, 100% fruit juice. Get into the habit of adding vegetables to all fruit juices and it’ll be that much easier for your kids to expect that as the norm.

Juicing with Kids Tip #5. Juice is Not a Complete Diet

You already know this, but it must be included anyway: juice is not a complete diet, especially for growing, developing children and your kids need a lot more than the vitamins and minerals that fresh juice can offer.

Make sure that fresh juice is only a supplement to your children’s diet, rather than a key player. Use it to boost your child’s daily consumption of vitamins, minerals, and live enzymes, but always keep in mind that children need a much more varied nutritional profile.

Also, avoid giving your child fresh juice during meals as fresh juice digests much, much quicker than solid food and taking both at the same time can result in indigestion.

And as always, happy juicing!

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