A good few parents have noticed that juicing can be a cunning way to smuggle fresh fruit and vegetables into their offspring. Well it is true! The first taste is with the eye as they say.
Most youngsters are born with a fairly sweet tooth but this can easily be catered for with fruit and vegetable juices instead of sugary drinks which can form a habit for life! Sugar in it's simple granular form is not such a great idea to eat really, like anything in small amounts it's OK, but look on the side of food packets, we've got to the stage that sugar is in almost everything! It's part of the reason that some foods are addictive and moreish. Great if you are the manufacturer, not so good if you are a consumer.
The sugars in fruit juices are more complex, take longer to digest and avoid the hyperactivity then energy crash associated with processed sugar. Vegetable juices are liquid gold in health terms, you can make a 50/50 split, say, apple, pineapple, carrot and spinach juice and it will still appeal to the sweeter tooth.
We think you have the opportunity before your offspring are out in the world to set up good food and drink choices as a matter of habit. A well educated palate will find sugary snacks and drinks sickly sweet and pretty gross.
So with juicing for the younger crowd you can get them excited about the millions of variations and mixes to make, and the fun to be had making juices and smoothies. One thing to note is that a centrifugal juicer gives a cleaner juice that seems more like carton juice, we prefer the auger style or twin gear machine, but some juice is better than no juice!
So make juicing fun! the noise and theater of making juices and smoothies can be a laugh, take a good look at the blender before you buy, many have safety devices that prevents it from starting if the jug is not securely in place! The auger juicers are fun in a silly way too as the pulp emerges from the front of the machine it's like a plastic pig pooping on your kitchen work top.
Get the kids involved making their own healthy drinks and snacks, make fruit and veg fun and be creative, garnish the juices with slices of fruit or grate some rind on the top. Use straws, umbrellas and diner style glasses to glam up the goodness and we think you'll be onto a winner.
Then when no one is looking, throw a hand full of leafy greens in the blender and the victory is yours!!
You can make juicy ice lollies by freezing juice or smoothie mix on a stick, suspend whole fruit in the ice cream or lolly!
Smoothies are a firm favorite because they can be cunningly disguised as milkshakes, you can even lob the odd sprout or green vegetable into the juicer and no one will be the wiser!
This is the beauty of juicing for kids, you can make their favorite drink, make it fun, full of the things they like to eat and introduce small amounts of the healthy stuff you actually want them to eat, what a great start to life it is too, being full of natural nutrients from day one! As a reward you can look forward to a calmer child with greater concentration as they don't ride the digestion roller coaster of processed and high sugar content foods!
For the brave parent you can try and fortify juices with more and more vegetable content as time goes by, or even a super greens complex! tricky but nutritionally well worth the effort. A good natural diet will help your child fulfill their potential academically, physically and give them the best shot at a long and healthy life!
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Mark Snare owns and operates http://www.juiceproducer.com and lives a fresh and fruity life!