Let me tell you a story about kid juicer…
Since the day that this dino was born he has loved fruits and vegetables. I have pictures of him eating vegetable puree at 6 months and I have footage of him crying for more avocado puree because he ate it all LOL. Although I was a working mom commuting from NJ to NY everyday with a busy schedule, I made it a priority to feed my son healthy foods as soon as he was able to eat solids. The only mistake I did though was introducing my child to store brand juices and candy. A little sugar shouldn’t do a child any harm, right?! I was wrong…
When my son hit the toddler stage 4 years ago, I started buying the sugar-free kid juices (the ones that say “no sugar added” but always left me questioning how they still tasted good). I also used to buy candy from time to time to store it in our pantry. If we were at a supermarket, a friend’s house, at home or anywhere, my son would ask for candy and I would give it to him. My reasoning behind this was that kids were kids and a little sugar was ok but when you add all the sugar they eat daily it’s actually A LOT.
What I did NOT know at that time was that those “sugar-free drinks” had other ingredients that were not good for my dino but what was even worse was seeing my son getting addicted to sugar because those “occasional sugar days” became more frequent. The more sugar and juices I gave my son the more he would crave it and ask for it. I recall seeing a nutritionist back in 2015 in an attempt to get back on track with our healthy plan. I remember so vividly explaining to her that I loved sugar but that I couldn’t keep it away from the house because I didn’t want to “deprive my son from enjoying some sweets”. Really?! I remember her giving me a blank stare and then went on to tell me that sugar wasn’t good for kids so I wasn’t depriving him from anything and she was 100% right. I was just too ignorant and stubborn at that time to not see that. Even after seeing the nutritionist, nothing really clicked for me until Jan 2016. I wish I would had known better back then to make wiser food and healthy choices for our family but I learned from my mistakes.
Then one day I was online looking at some healthy food YouTube videos and I stumbled upon the Super Juice Me documentary by Jason Vale (great documentary for people who are new to juicing and want to learn about it). If you want to watch the full documentary, go here:
This documentary put everything in perspective for me. I learned about the benefits of healthy juicing, what it did to your body, and how you can start with a few simple recipes. I was so stunned by everything I learned that I bought the Super Juice Me app right away. My mind was racing…Why was I buying store brand juices with lots of unhealthy ingredients in them? Why not make my own juice, all natural, with actual fruits and vegetables? How did I not discover this sooner? Was juicing expensive? Can I afford it? Was it too much work to juice every day? Would by dino like fruit and vegetable juices? How was I going to introduce him to this? Why was no one talking about the importance of juicing in kids? This video really interrupted any belief I had about a healthy diet. I wasn’t sure where to start but all I knew was that I was going to start juicing RIGHT AWAY, not in a week or a month; I was going to start right now! The rest is history.
I purchased a Fusion Juicer initially to get me started but it broke so my husband bought me the Breville Juicer a few weeks later and I started making recipes using the Jason Vale app I purchased. I was so excited! I was doing something completely different from what I was used to. I remember the first juice I made for my son was pure orange juice. I couldn’t believe the difference in taste and color from a store brand juice to an organic, fresh, all natural homemade juice. I started to introduce my family to healthy juicing one step, one vegetable and one day at a time.
These are the few steps I took to turn my son into kid juicer:
- I stopped buying bottled juices of any kind. I didn’t care how healthy the ingredients were. I made a promise to myself after watching that documentary that I will not buy any juices unless it was homemade. Since then, I have not spent a dime on bottled juices.
Saving Tip: People think it is more expensive to juice because you have to buy a lot of fruits and vegetables. You actually save by making homemade juices because the money you were once spending on bottled juices is being put towards more fruits and vegetables.
- I started my son with fruit juices first and then later on began to add vegetables because I wanted to give my son time to get used to this change.You want your kids to love the homemade juices at the beginning and you want them to get excited about this.
- DO NOT start introducing healthy juices to your kids with lots of spinach, kale, or any green leafy vegetables if they don’t eat it often because that will make your kids hate juicing at the beginning. That’s going to scare them away and the idea of juicing will make them puke! The juices should be sweet and colorful at the beginning. Use the fruits that your kids like. If your kids don’t eat fruits yet, then this will be a good time to start introducing fruits to your kids (just remember to also allow them to eat whole fruits during the day because it’s important for kids to get the fiber from the actual fruit). The less green the juices are at the beginning the better it would be for your kid. Again, this only while your kid transitions from bottled juices to homemade juices.
- Once my son started getting used to his homemade fruit juices and was enjoying them, I began to add one vegetable at a time to his juice. I started with cucumber because they could barely taste it, then I moved on to carrots, then kale, then romaine lettuce, and once he was fully comfortable with juicing I started adding ginger, beets, squash, and celery. When you start adding the vegetables you will get a sense of what flavors your kid likes better. This will help you make his juices with the fruits and vegetables he prefers.
Remember, you are doing this for your child so it’s important that you pay close attention to what he/she likes and what he doesn’t like so that you can revolve your juice recipes on what your child prefers to drink. DO NOT force this change on your kids. It’s supposed to be fun, exciting, tasty, and educational.
- In the beginning my son was juicing during the day and night but I soon realized that juicing at night gave him lots of energy right before he was going to bed. I then decided to juice in the morning only. He gets his vitamins and fiber in the morning with his fruits and vegetables right before he heads out to school. It feels great knowing that your child is ready to tackle his/her day after drinking their healthy juice.
- There will be times that your kid doesn’t like the juice you made and that’s fine. Let them try it, then drink it in front of them, make a fun game out of it (I usually play the “who drinks it first” game). My son is very competitive so he likes to drink the juice first just to beat me. Make it fun!
- Do NOT replace water with homemade juice. Your child should drink these homemade juices once a day and should still drink lots of water because water is good for them.
- Lead by example. Your kids want to be just like you! If you drink the juice, guess what your child will want to do? Drink it too! Make sure you drink the juice first. Show your kid (s) that if you can drink it, so can they.
And here’s what you need to remember when times get tough…
- Be patient! Do not try to shorten your transition period because you want your kids to love their healthy juices NOW. That’s not the right approach. You have to be patient and let change come about naturally. Everything has to be done on your kid’s timing. When they are ready they will try the juice you made and decide from there if they want to drink it again or try something else. It may take weeks or months before you finally get down all the recipes your kid loves.
- Be consistent! When you introduce your kids to homemade juices it is very important that you do it EVERY DAY. Yes, you may have to wake up a little earlier to make your child his juice or you may have to stay up a little later but it is all worth it. Kids need consistency when you are changing anything in their daily routine so it’s a must to juice EVERY SINGLE DAY. My family and I drink our healthy juices 7 days a week.
- It is not easy! You will have to make some sacrifices in the beginning to get your kid (s) to drink their homemade juices but when you see the results of all your efforts you will get motivated to keep going.
What happens when your child becomes kid juicer?
- They become more energetic
- Glowing and healthier skin
- Less sugar cravings
- They will learn about fruits and vegetables and how they make them strong
- They pick up good healthy habits
- Less likely to get a cold or sick
All this is possible for your kids just by adding juices to their morning routines. I think its worth every min, dollar or work that goes into this.
If you love this post, please share it with your friends. And if you’re looking to turn your child into kid juicer, take a picture of your kid drinking their homemade juice and tag ARK Mommy. I want to see as many kids as I can become Kid Juicers!
Thank you for reading my post! Check out new juice recipes on my blog as well. Hope to see you back on my blog soon.