“Kids, eat your vegetables.” Isn’t that the famous Mommy mantra? Well, now we can say, “Kids, drink your vegetables,” and they do! We’ve learned a few things about juicing, but one of the easiest transitions was getting our kids to learn to love fresh vegetable juice. Here are a few tips about juicing for children that worked for us.
Get Them Familiar
Our kids have been introduced to a lot of vegetables over their short, little lives. Some they like and some they just don’t. Naturally, we each have preferences and we learn the foods we enjoy more than others.
The introduction to vegetables as solids can let kids see that all types and colors and shapes of vegetables can be delicious if you just give them a try.
Let Them Grow It
When we were gardening last summer, my kids ate vegetables every day. They loved digging in the dirt and helping grow their own food. Sometimes it was hard to wash the produce from the garden before they could get it in their mouths.
One of my favorite pictures of our second daughter is a muddy gross image of her eating a bell pepper seedling that I had just placed in the ground. She was barely crawling and already eating her greens.
Growing their own vegetables and learning from the whole process has truly helped our kids appreciate produce of all kinds.
Let Them Choose
We ask the kids what kind of veggies they’d like to juice. This leads us to offer helpful suggestions for vegetables they might like that complement their favorites. Having a good grasp on lots of different fruits and veggies that juice well is one key element to this.
Take Them Shopping
Our kids have their own recycled grocery bags that they like to shop with. This makes them feel special and part of the whole shopping process.
We let the kids pick their favorites and carry them around in their bags. They love to give their selections to the cashier at the end. This shopping experience gives the children an ownership in the juicing process that they really enjoy.
Let Them Help
When it’s time to juice, we bring a chair or stool into the kitchen so the kids can help. While mom and dad do all the preliminary cleaning and necessary chopping, our children love to rinse the veggies and use the juicer.
The kids see how important and enjoyable it is for mom and dad to be in the kitchen working together. They love getting in the middle of the work and feeling a part of the process.
Throw in something new. When the kids have selected their juice blends, we almost always add in another flavor to increase nutrients or enhance the flavor/sweetness balance of the juice. Sometimes this means adding a beet, romaine lettuce, or a slice of ginger. If they like the juice, I always tell them what I added so they might ask for it next time they make their menu.
Many of the complaints my kids have about vegetables are related to texture. One kid doesn’t like cucumbers because of the seeds and another won’t touch anything leafy without lots of dressing. With juicing, we get around most of the texture issues that kids might have.
Sometimes these steps works and sometimes they don’t.
Even when we don’t find a new favorite juice, the kids always try the juices and enjoy the time we spend together.