Juicing for kids is a no-brainer. After all, kids who consume fresh fruit and veggie juices on a regular basis are less likely to suffer from ailments such as diabetes, heart disease, allergies, and asthma, and digestive diseases. No surprise, really, considering raw juice is a super-rich source of beneficial nutrients and live enzymes that boost immunity and overall health.
But we all know how excited children get at the prospect of scarfing down Brussels sprouts (not very) and convincing them to get their fill of fresh fruits and vegetables can be an exercise in torture.
Toss in a juicer, however, and the whole experience goes much more smoothly. It’s strange but while most kids will turn down a plate of carrots, celery, and apples – they’ll happily chug a glass of fresh juice containing the same ingredients.
But before you rev up your juicer, you should know a few crucial best practices to follow when juicing with your kids!
Organic produce is obviously a healthier option since it is free from chemicals and pesticides. Moreover, studies have shown that organic produce contains more nutrients than non-organic fruits and vegetables since consistent replanting does not affect the condition of the soil used in organic gardening.
You don’t even have to buy all your fruits and veggies organic – just get the ones that have the most pesticides. In cases where there is no organic produce available, make sure to thoroughly wash all the fruits and veggies you’ll be juicing for your kids!
Clean and Scrub Thoroughly
If you were unable to purchase organic produce, you should take extra precaution in washing your produce. Start by soaking your fruits and veggies in a basin full of a 50-50 mixture of vinegar and cold water. When washing fruits with a wax coating, make sure to add in a tablespoon of baking soda and a tablespoon of lemon juice.
Scrub the fruits and veggies with peels using a good vegetable brush. Lastly, rinse all produce under clean, cold water before juicing.
Choose the Ripe Ones
Ripe fruits are less likely to bring about allergies than those that are half-ripe or overripe. The skin of some fruits is more likely to cause allergies in children. To prevent such an occurrence, it may be best to remove the skin before juicing.
Don’t Put Off the Cleaning
Juicing is a task in and of itself and you may find the cleanup process much more tedious than the juicing itself. However, it is equally important to clean the juicer immediately after use, since this will prevent any bacterial growth from occurring. If washing by hand, do so in hot, soapy water, making sure to use an all-natural soap. If you’re using a dishwasher, place it on the sanitize cycle. And of course, only use a dishwasher if the juicer is dishwasher safe. Place all the juicer parts to dry before storing away.
If you find yourself struggling through the clean-up after each and every juicing section, you might want to consider switching to an easy to clean juicer – and this doesn’t mean you’ll have to choose a centrifugal type. The vertical slow juicers like the Omega VRT or the Hurom are infamously easy to clean. Seriously, around 3 minutes is all you need.
Watch the Sugar
Fresh fruit juices are so much better than store-bought fruit juices that the two are pretty much incomparable. With juicing, you don’t just get the taste of fruits (like you do with store-bought fruit juices), you get the nutrients and live enzymes found in raw, fresh fruit.
That being said, most fruits tend to be high in sugar. This is usually not a problem since the fiber in fruit prevents you from eating too much, but as you know – juicing removes some fiber, making it a little easier to overdo your daily dietary intake of sugar.
This is crucial to watch when you’re juicing for your kids – not only because you don’t want a hyperactive child running around on a sugar high, but because juices with too much sugar can affect your child’s insulin levels. This will eventually lead to undesirable cravings and weight gain.
To avoid this from happening, it’s recommended you use only one serving of fruits and vegetables with high sugar content in your juices. Juicing more vegetables with lower sugar content and one fruit high in sugar is a much better option than juicing several fruits high in sugar and no vegetables.
Drink it quickly
Let your child drink the juice immediately after the juicing process. The first 20 minutes after the juice has been prepared is the ideal time to have your child consume it. The enzymes in the juice start breaking down the moment it is exposed to air. If you must store away the juice, it is best to do so in an airtight container for up to 72 hours if you use a slow juicer but if you use a centrifugal juicer, plan to drink the juice within a few hours at most.
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