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JUICING FOR HEALTH



 

September 24, 2010 on 3:41 pm
Autumn Red peach.
Image via Wikipedia

One of the reasons we find it challenging to change our diet is that it is exactly that, CHANGE, and most of us really don’t like to do things differently. One way to make life easier (as well as healthier) for your children is to get them started off the right way, to make fresh fruit, and other raw foods generally a habit right from the start, and this really begins with juices made with a fruit and vegetable juicer.

When a baby is born it needs milk and nothing else for around six months. Many women give their babies water in addition to milk, and in recent times there has been a trend towards fruit juice. If you want to give your child fruit juice at an early age, two things are very important.

The first is that the juice should be extremely watered down (with filtered water) as natural fruit juices are far too strong for a baby’s stomach.

The second is that, if the juice was purchased, you must check the label. When you do, you may well be shocked at the small amount of nutrition in the juice. Avoid anything with extra sweetener. Yes, your baby will probably enjoy the sweetness, but the development of a sweet tooth is something you really want to avoid.

If you baby doesn’t like watered down natural juice, don’t give them juice at all. Small babies really don’t need it.

As your child grows, introduce them to a juice mixture, and not from the sweetened variety, but made with good quality fruit juicer, such as an Omega 4000 juicer or the Acme 6001 juicer. You can create a wide variety of mixtures with a fruit and vegetable juicer. (Some tasty recipes below). The addition of some sparkling water makes a very refreshing drink and you can reduce the proportion of sparkling water as the child grows, or not. Many adults enjoy the combination.

In doing this you have three objectives:

  1. To give them the many nutrients available in fresh juices.
  2. To instill the habit of drinking fresh juice.
  3. To get them used to the taste of real juice without extra sweeteners.

Research shows that children who are accustomed to fresh fruits juices find many shop bought juices, desserts and snacks too sweet. This one difference in diet can go a long way to prevent obesity and diabetes in later life.

In April 2010 new research showed that children and teens who drink 100% freshly made fruit juice have higher intakes of key nutrients compared to non – consumers. The researchers reported that a higher proportion of non fruit juice consumers 2 – 18 years of age failed to meet the recommended levels for several key nutrients, including vitamins A, C and folate compared to those who drank fruit juice. Lead researcher Dr Carol O’Neil said ’100% fruit juice plays an important role in the diets of children and teens supplying important nutrients during a key period of growth and should be encouraged as part of an overall balanced diet’.

If diluted fruit juice is on the table for both you and your child from day one, it’s likely to be some time before resistance sets in, but at some point there will be some resistance, and there are a number of ways to deal with it.

If your child is one who always wants to do the opposite to what you tell them to (and many go through that phase)  make yourself freshly made juices but keep it to something simple like apple and carrot so that it has a nice sweet taste. Always make time to sit down together and drink it leisurely and when you are asked what it is say, ‘ This is a very special drink, I’m sure you wouldn’t like it’, keep this up until one day you make an excuse to leave your drink on the table near the child, 10 – 1 they will have had a sip while you’ve been gone. Eventually if they liked it they will ask if they can have one too and then you both can have fun.

Another thing you can do is buy yourself a special cup, mug or glass exclusively for your juice, choose one that is in the colors or a pattern that you know your child will like and that you could buy another in the same set. Don’t drink anything else out of it and when you are eventually asked ‘Can I have one like that’ you say, ‘ This is a  very special mug/glass and only for drinking this special drink out of but if you ever have one of these drinks I’ll buy a special one for you too’. See what happens.

It’s sad but true that it’s a bad idea to tell any child that they ‘have’ to drink the juice or that it’s good for them. There seems to be no faster way to put them off!

Children love to be involved in what you’re doing, so let them choose the fruit and vegetables in the store, and let them help you wash them when you get home.  Kids love playing in water and if they are doing something useful all the better. You can also let them feed the fruit into your fruit juicer which could become a juice ‘monster’ with a funny name) and make the diluted juice a very special reward for all their hard work.

*Some fruits do much better in a fruit and vegetable juicer than others. Apples, watermelon, pears and citrus fruits do well, while bananas, strawberries, blueberries, stone fruit (peaches, nectarines) tomatoes etc. do better in a blender.

Here are a few recipes to enjoy with your child.

YOU ARE A PEACH

2 Peaches

1 Pear

1 Apple

Take the stones from the peaches.  And juice all ingredients together in your juicer.

YUMMY APPLE JUICE

2 Sweet Apples

4 Large Carrots

1 Red Bell Pepper

Remove seeds from pepper if your juicer can’t cope with them. Cut in half. Juice the apples and carrots followed by the pepper.

RASPBERRY NECTARINE

1 Orange

1/2 cup Raspberries

1 Nectarine

Peel the orange and cut into quarters, pit the nectarine and juice all together.

SPARKLY FRUIT JUICE

1/2 Mango

1 Orange

1 Kiwi

Sparkling mineral water

Peel the mango, orange and kiwi, juice them. Pour into glass and top up with sparkling mineral water.

Puberty is a difficult time when children need good nutrition to help them grow and to even out those hormonal changes. By getting your child into a fruit and veggie ‘habit’ at an early age, you provide a good foundation for every aspect of their lives and increase the probability that they’ll continue eating a healthy diet into adulthood. Together you can look forward to introducing fresh juices made in your  juicer to your grandchildren.

January 11, 2010 on 1:31 am
happy kid from Iran
Image via Wikipedia
A lot of problems come up when you decide to start eating healthier. You can’t afford to buy special food for yourself and you definitely don’t have the time to cook separate meals, yet your husband and children will turn their noses up when they suspect it may be the least bit healthy. What’s a busy mom supposed to do?
You could go the hard route by putting your foot down and insisting everyone in the family eat what you cook or go hungry. That would result in a lot of bitter looks, empty bellies, and wasted food going into the trash.

There has got to be a better way? And yes of course there is!

You Change Their Favorite Meals By Tweaking It

Look at the meals your family loves right now and make simple substitutions to make them as healthy as possible. You can change white refined pasta and bread to whole grain pasta and bread. Ground beef can be changed to extra lean ground turkey. You can use fresh fruit for flavoring and honey to sweeten instead of refined sugar.

Look at each individual recipe and make simple healthy substitutions. Chances are they will never even notice that you have made the changes!

Invite Kids into the Kitchen

Start including your children in the cooking process and never let on that what they are doing is healthy. Just tell them you want to start teaching them to cook and let them participate in every step of the process. Start by letting them roam the fresh produce section at the store and pick out fruits and vegetables that appeal to them on a visual level. If they picked it out they are more likely to at least try it come dinnertime.

When you get home, invite them into the kitchen and let them help you cook. Even if you have to go behind them and stir again, at least they are taking part in the cooking and will be more excited to eat what they have prepared.

Finally, find a cookbook with healthy recipes and allow older children to read through and pick out dishes they may want to try. If some of their choices aren’t very healthy make some changes and substitutions when you prepare it for the first time. Instead of presenting it as a really healthy dish, you can tell them with excitement “I made that dish you wanted to try!” Kids old enough to read will enjoy picking out their own meals.

Offer a Healthy Sip

Finally, introduce a juicer or smoothie maker into your home. Kids of all ages love juice and you can hide a lot of powerful vegetables into a good fruit blend without them ever suspecting. This is a great way to use up those strange fruits and vegetables that your kids pick out at the grocery store but which you don’t know how to cook up!

Juice made from fresh fruits and vegetables is so nutritious it can be used to make smoothies for breakfast. Try using the Blendtec blender and include your kid’s favorite flavor combination’s or let them get creative and dictate their own combination’s. This makes breakfast fast, tasty, and healthier than any bowl of cereal could ever be!

Fruit & Vegetable Juicers