After my interview with Joe the Juicer that shared tips for juicing with kids, I thought I’d share with you some of Joe’s and some of Michael’s favourite kid-friendly juicing recipes. Now, please note, that all 3 of these recipes have been tested and given the thumbs up by the world’s pickiest food critic. This guy.
Here are a few tips from us:
Let your kid do the actual juicing. I cut up the fruits and veggies, and he makes the juice. It’s kind of like a magic trick for him, and it’s part of the fun.
Put things like greens (spinach, kale, etc) in first, and then progressively juice things that are harder in texture.
It’s okay to dilute your juice with a little water.
Start out with juices that use a heavier concentration of fruit, and slowly introduce veggies in. Introduce more and more veggies as they get used to it.
Michael’s “Everything But the Kitchen Sink” Juice
1 handful of spinach
1 orange, peeled
1/3-1/2 of a cucumber
1 large round slice of pineapple
Juice in the order stated. You can leave the peels on the orange if you like, but I find it makes the juice very bitter.
“It’s Easy Being Green” Juice
This is a good beginning green juice. We all know that green juices are full of antioxidants and really good for you, but bitter greens, like kale, can be tough for kids or beginning juicers. This one is kid-approved.
I have a 10-year-old son, Michael. He really is the best thing that ever happened to me, and we are pretty close. But, like most mothers, I worry about him sometimes. I worry about his weight, and I worry, because he can be a bit of a picky eater, that he’s getting the right nutrients. Like most kids, his favourite foods are pizza, chips and cookies, but having a food blogger for a mom, he’s actually become a lot more brave in the past few years, and will often try new things if I ask him. We eat pretty healthy most of the time, but I want him to grow up knowing that there are no foods he can’t eat. I want him to feel free to eat everything in moderation. But I also want both of us to be healthy.
I’ve had my Hurom slow juicer for about 7 months, now. After my initial juice cleanse (you can read my concluding thoughts about it here), I continue to juice on a regular basis. Recently, Michael wanted in on the action, and now we juice every day after we come home from school. I love it, and he loves it. It’s a win-win.
Joe Cross, or Joe the Juicer, “after.”
I’ll share some of our juicing recipes with you on Thursday, but today, I have an interview with Joe Cross (or “Joe the Juicer”), the subject of Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, a documentary film from 2010. Joe did a 60-day juice cleanse, and the film documents the life-changing effects it had on him. Today, Joe is still trying to help others to come to wellness through juicing. When you read his responses, make sure to do so in a Aussie accent to get the full effect. 😉
Here’s my interview with Joe The Juicer:
RC: As you point out in Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, many people associate “juice” with stuff that comes in cartons from the store. Kids, especially, are often raised on those little tetrapaks of juice. Do you have some tips on how we as parents can introduce fresh juices to our kid’s tastebuds, especially when they are used to much sweeter versions?
JC:I reckon the best way to get them interested in a freshly made juice, is to get them involved in the kitchen. Let them pick out the fruits and vegetables they like in the grocery store, let them push the fruits and veggies through the juicer. If they are a part of the process, they might like it more, even when kale is involved. Ask them to come up with a name for their juice too. Rainbow Racecar and Dinosaur Dance were named by my colleague’s 4 year old son, and they are delicious!
RC: As adults, we are responsible for the food choices we make, and if we eat tons of junk food and are overweight, etc. we can make other choices and change that outcome. How can I talk to my child about weight and being healthy without giving him a complex, creating an eating disorder, or completely screwing up his relationship with food for the rest of his life? I don’t want to be one of those moms that says “you can’t eat that,” because in my experience, the kid will then try to eat it in secret. I want him to feel like he can eat anything he wants in moderation.
JC: I don’t have kids of my own so I’m no expert, but I think using a similar method to how I have helped others change their diet is a similar way a parent can do the same for their kid. Just be an example. I have never been a nutrition expert, but I have learned that consuming more fruits and vegetables has allowed me to maintain a healthy weight and stop relying on medication to manage my autoimmune disease. When I shared my story, others were inspired to try the same thing, without me ever saying “You have to do this to get healthy.”
I reckon they will pick up on your habits. Visit farmers’ markets and bring them, cook fresh foods and ask them to help you, make juices and smoothies and ask them to be your taste tester, and even make healthy desserts because they will love that! If they see Mom doing it, your kids will probably be inspired to do the same.
But with that said, if they want to (or even you!) indulge in an unhealthy meal from time to time, that’s okay. As long as the majority of their food comes from healthy, whole foods than an occasional ice cream cone or a cheeseburger isn’t so bad and they won’t feel deprived of the foods that they might see their friends eating at school.
RC: What about the amount of sugar in, say, fruit juices, even if they are fresh? Will it be bad for my kid’s teeth?
JC: Any juice that is fruit only is high in sugar, which is why I like to encourage people to drink their juices with 80% vegetables and 20% fruit. If your child wants to enjoy freshly made orange juice from time to time, I don’t believe that will cause any damage to their teeth as long as they brush often! But for the most part, aim to get those veggies in that juice.
RC: Any last advice for parents who want to start juicing with their kids?
JC:Where there’s juice, there’s a way! Start making your juices, get your kids involved, and have fun. Juice on!