If you’re committed to eating a healthier diet, then you know that having your family on board is ideal. You want them to be happy and healthy too. And the whole process is a lot easier when everyone is on the same page.
If you’re juicing but still have to prepare meals for the others in your household then you know that it’s a tremendous time drain and makes it harder for you to stay on track.
And the reality is that many children (and some spouses!) are selective when it comes to which vegetables they’ll eat. It’s near impossible to ensure that they eat the recommended 5 to 8 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
However, you may just find that once you start juicing for your family, they’ll be eating tomatoes, celery, beets, ginger, spinach, and kale. In juice form, which means they’re getting all the essential nutrients.
Now, let’s take a look on how you can make juicing a family affair!
Juicing for Kids
Mealtime can be a nightmare when it comes to making sure your children eat the right foods. Sometimes you just hope for the best, give up, and give them a multi-vitamin.
But juicing can change all that. You may be skeptical that your children will go for it, but there are ways to get them to be as enthusiastic about juicing as you are.
How to Get Kids to Drink Juice
Juicing provides you with the opportunity to custom blend your children’s juices, so you can make sure they taste good while providing all the nutrients they need.
Getting them to drink your juices isn’t as difficult as you might anticipate. You can’t expect them to dive right into a shot of wheatgrass juice, but a simple blend of apple, cucumber, and lemon is light and refreshing enough that most children will enjoy it.
It can even be fun if you include them in the process! Let them help you choose your fruits and vegetables at the store, and wash them and put them away when you get home. Older children can even prep your produce and juice it.
Here are more ideas to help them learn to love juicing:
- Come up with new flavor combinations by having each family member choose a different ingredient.
- Fussy eaters may not like little “bits and pieces” floating around in their juice so you may have to strain it for them.
- Some juices are too strong tasting for younger children so just dilute them with water.
- Use colorful straws and cups to entice them.
- Garnish your juices with cut up pieces of fruit.
- Chill the juice before serving.
- Have a juice “tasting”, where you have several new flavor combinations for everyone to try.
- Run a contest and have everyone vote for the best tasting juice.
- Younger kids can draw and color pictures of fruits and vegetables.
- Older kids can write a little report on a fruit or vegetable and share it with the rest of the family.
- Start a vegetable garden so you can grow your own food together.
As you can see, there are countless ways to make this experience fun and educational!
Here are some kid-tested juice recipes you may want to share with you children:
1. Apple Lemonade
This juice is sweet enough to appeal to the pickiest little one!
Juice the following:
½ Lemon (do not include the peel or pith)
Yield: 250 ml
2. Red Robinhood
This deep red juice is full of vitamins and nutrients, but your kids don’t need to know that!
Juice the following:
½ of chopped beetroot
Yield: 250 ml
3. The Incredible Hulk
It’s green and good, but sweet with a little zing!
Juice the following:
1 large Pineapple slice
¾ Cup of Kale
4. Orange You Cool!
This delicious juice uses orange as its base so it’s not too far afield for little taste buds.
Juice the following:
1 Orange (do not include the peel or pith)
Yield: 250 ml
Is Juicing Good for Kids?
The short answer is yes. But let’s get into a little more detail. Childhood is a time of tremendous growth and fresh fruit and vegetable juice is one of the best ways to get a concentrated dose of vitamins and minerals into your child’s body. These nutrients along with amino acids are vital for healthy physical development.
JUICE GUIDE FOR CHILDREN BY AGE
Infants to age 1: Generally, babies under 1 year old don’t need to drink juices, especially if they’re being breastfed. However, some people do start introducing juice at the 5 to 6-month stage if they are formula fed. Check with your pediatrician to find out what’s best for your child.
2 to 3 years old: Once a toddler starts eating solid food, it’s time to introduce fruit and vegetables to their diet. It’s best to introduce vegetables and vegetable juices first, because once they’re exposed to fruit, they may reject vegetables. Dilute the juice with one-part water and start off with a small amount, about ¼ to ½ cup.
4 to 8 years old: By now, they’ve been exposed to a variety of fruits and vegetables. At this age, they are eating away from you more often, either at school, camp, or at parties, so juice can compensate for the times they don’t eat as well. Continue diluting the juices with one-part water and increase the quantity from ½ to ¾ cup.
9 to 12 years old: If they are new to juicing, make sure to serve them no more than ½ cup diluted in one-part water to prevent stomach discomfort or diarrhea. If they’re already used to drinking juices, you won’t have to dilute their juice but keep the serving size at ½ cup to avoid stomach issues.
Juices should serve as supplemental nourishment not as a meal replacement for children. They still need solid food, including fiber, for healthy growth.
Tips for Successful Juicing
- Your children’s stomachs are sensitive, especially if they aren’t used to drinking fresh juices. Remember to dilute the juice with one-part water.
- Your child should drink their juice in the morning at breakfast. Drinking juice with food helps prevent fluctuations in blood sugar and energy levels.
- With the exception of breakfast, do not give your child juice too close to mealtimes because it may spoil their appetite.
Juicing for the Elderly
We’re living longer so it’s important that we remain as healthy as possible. Serious illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, arthritis, strokes, and dementia, are common in the aging population. They can severely limit a person’s ability to function independently and cross off the items on their “bucket list”.
There’s a good chance that you have at least one senior citizen in your household. The reality is that parents are moving in with their adult children to save money, help with household chores, or care for their grandchildren.
It only makes sense to include your senior family member in your juicing program. Juicing provides tremendous benefits to older or elderly adults. After all, it’s never too late to take better care of yourself.
Nutrition Benefits of Juicing
Did you know that older people are at great risk of being malnourished? When it comes to nutrition, the elderly are especially vulnerable and poor nutrition doesn’t discriminate between race gender, or socioeconomic status. It’s estimated that only 17% of the elderly in the United States is eating a healthy, balanced diet.
So, why is this happening? There are several reasons why this is such a prevalent problem. Let’s examine some of the causes:
- Lack of mobility. Whether it’s due to a lack of available transportation or because of physical issues, many seniors can’t get around to shop for groceries. If your elderly family doesn’t live with you but has mobility issues, you can help by making them a batch of juice which they can have over a period of days.
- Dysphagia or trouble swallowing. This is a common issue among older people. It can be due to a stroke or an age-related decline in the ability to swallow. Juices can be a great alternative to solid meals, but make sure your family member is evaluated by a doctor. One of the dangerous complications of dysphagia is aspiration pneumonia. If he or she is at risk, the doctor can recommend a thickener which can be added to the juice to help prevent aspiration.
- Decreased Hunger and Thirst Sensations. Some people don’t receive strong signals from their body telling them that they’re hungry or thirsty.
- Digestive issues are quite common in older people. It may be GERD (acid reflux), constipation, or gastritis, but juicing is a good way to reset the body’s gut biome to help eliminate this problem.
- A changed sense of taste can result in a loss of appetite. The right combination of juices which will stimulate the appetite. Some older people find that instead of losing their sense of taste, they begin to crave sweet or salty food. Fresh vegetable and fruit juices help combat these types of cravings.
The biggest nutritional benefit of juicing is that your elderly relative will be able to receive all the vitamins and minerals they need. In addition, they receive all the other benefits such as an improvement in overall health, a stronger immune system, a reduction in systemic inflammation, lower cholesterol and triglycerides, and lower blood pressure.
Can Juicing Improve Their Health?
We know that juicing provides tremendous health benefits and is an important part of preventing disease. But what if your family member didn’t take very good care of themselves? Can juicing undo all those years of neglect?
Or what if they’re already suffering from an illness like high blood pressure or Type 2 Diabetes? Can juicing improve their condition?
Junk food, cigarettes, alcohol, and a sedentary lifestyle take an enormous toll on your body – and your lifespan. A 2010 study conducted by the University of Oslo, found that risk of premature death rises up to 85 percent in people with these habits.
And as unlikely as it seems, it is possible to reverse some of the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle.
Several studies have found that switching to a balanced diet which includes plenty of water, fruits and vegetables can counteract the effects of years of poor eating habits. Getting to an appropriate weight and consuming a primarily plant-based diet, are also key factors for improving the health of a neglected body.
And consuming antioxidants can reverse free radical damage caused by smoking and poor habits. Couple this with the fact that juicing can prevent and even reverse Type 2 Diabetes, and you can see that juicing will improve a person’s life no matter how old they are or what their old lifestyle was like.
Before including your senior family member in your juicing program, make sure that they are seen by a doctor. Some juices can interact with blood thinners or medication to treat high blood pressure.