Children can often develop a taste for sweet drinks and many children consume packaged, sugary fruit drinks. These fruit drinks don’t have the nutritional benefits of fresh juices and you might wonder how children can be weaned away from packaged juices. It’s easier than it sounds, particularly if you are able to make juicing a family affair and develop healthy juicer recipes.
The best way to start children with fresh juices, especially those who are accustomed to drinking packaged juice is to mix fresh juice with the package juice until they become used to it. Then you can decrease the processed juice until they are having a complete raw juice experience. Even with the high sugar levels in fresh fruit juices, it is still offers a far higher level of nutrition than processed juices. It’s even better if you can use organic fruits to make healthy drink recipes.
You can try adding green vegetables to fruit juices after your children have become accustomed to drinking natural raw juices. As they become more familiar with the new tastes, you can start to show them how you are adding in a leaf or two of various greens to make new healthy drink recipes.
Let Children Participate
Once juicing has become an established practice, it is likely children will become curious about juicing of their own accord. If they are old enough, there is no reason why they cannot participate in the fun. It is natural for children to be fascinated by appliances with buttons and if properly supervised, they will enjoy juicing and learning about healthy juicer recipes.
Safety is Always a Priority
While there are generally built in safety features on modern juice extractors, safety will always be a priority and good supervision is key. You should always make a point of unplugging the juicer when you are not actually making juice.
Tips to Help Children Started with Juicing
The earlier you can involve your children with juicing, the better and youngsters as young as two years of age can perform simple tasks such as putting kale leaves into a bowl of water and swish them around. A four year old child is able to peel an orange (using fingers) while a six year old is able to pit cherries and even slice cucumber into chunks while being supervised.
Other tasks they can do include turning on the switch to operate the juicer as well as dropping produce in the chute or feed tube. They can also switch between high and low speed and see what happens to the produce. As always, appropriate supervision is of paramount importance.
Using Games to Stimulate Interest
This is a great way to keep children motivated about juicing after they have become accustomed to a variety of new tastes. A good one is to start out with a regular juice, for example using apples, blackberries and a lemon that your children are already familiar with. Ask them to cover their eyes, and then add in three pieces of a vegetable, such as spinach, parsnip or cucumber. Next, serve up a small glass of juice to each child and see if they can guess the vegetable you have added in.
You can always add in more vegetables to the same juice and see if they can recognize what you have added. If they are stuck, you could always try placing small pieces of some vegetables on the countertop to give them a clue.
Juicing for kids is definitely a great activity and while they won’t be doing a juice fast, fresh juice is always a good way for a sick child who isn’t eating, to still ingest necessary nutrients and liquids. Juicing as a family is also fun and is the perfect activity to encourage children to learn about making good nutrition choices and creating healthy drink recipes.