It is so common to see that our Western standard diet has become a ‘diet’ of highly processed foods, sugar and artificial ingredients; high in calories and fat. Our children have develop craving for salty and sweets so introducing more vegetables into their way of eating can be challenging. Taking on this challenge is a good start to get them in.
The goal of this challenge is to introduce our children to new vegetables, fruits and herbs which are loaded with nutrients, minerals and vitamins to support their growing mind and body.
My recommendation would be to drink a vegetable juice every other day to begin with, if your children eat vegetables already, then go ahead and do a vegetable juice per day. The main goal is for them to make this a part of their daily way of eating.
The more vegetables you add, the better; during the first two weeks start with 50% vegetables, 50% fruit, this will make the vegetable juice taste a little bit more sweeter and less veggie flavor. During the last two weeks of the challenge reduce the fruit to about 30%.
My boys drink their daily juice right after school on an empty stomach to maximize the nutrients absorbed by the body rapidly entering the bloodstream . On weekends, they drink it in the morning, about 30 minutes before their breakfast. Of course, if for some reason you are not able to follow this, it is ok, nutrients will still get absorbed even if the juice is drank with a meal.
For this challenge you will need a juicer. There are many types of juicers, you can use a blender, but keep in mind blenders burn some of the nutrients reducing their nutrient intake. Invest in a good juicer that is easy to clean and efficient. I use the Omega 8006 Nutrition System juicer specially because it is a masticating juice extractor (no heat like a blender therefore maximizing the extract of vegetables and fruits nutrients).
If you can afford buying all organic, go for it! the less chemicals and pesticides in our food the better. When having to choose between organic and conventional, buy organic apples, grapes, celery and cucumber (as these are the fruits that more highly sprayed with chemicals and toxins); another suggestion is to use a peeler to remove the apple’s and cucumber’s skin.
Ensure your family drink the juice as soon as you can to minimize oxidation and reduce their nutritional value. Sometimes is not possible for the entire family to do this, for instance, I store my husband’s juice in the refrigerator for him to drink when he gets home from work, just ensure the juice is in a tight glass container.
Note: Keep in mind that with juicing you get the nutrients/vitamins but depending on the type of juicer you have, you might be stripping away the fiber, if this is the case, ensure you and your family consume enough fiber during the day. If not already, start adding fresh fruit, vegetables, beans & legumes and/or whole bread grains daily (ensure it says whole grain as the first ingredient and not something like “unbleached wheat”). Also try Daily Fiber Formula or for kids: Kidz Superfood berry drink powder.
It takes about 2 months average to build a new habit, so consistency is important specially for children. So don’t give up, give it your best shot and tells us all about it.
Always remember to keep in mind that what you do for your children today can change all of their tomorrows