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Juicing It Up For Babies And Kids!

By Cherie Calbom

Published by SHARECARE

What kid doesn’t love juice if it tastes yummy?  A delicious vegetable—fruit juice combination is a great way to get more nutrition into your child’s growing body.  There has been a lot of concern in recent years about juice containing too much sugar for kids.  That’s simply not true if you juice mostly vegetables and add a little fruit to sweeten and flavor the combo.
We rarely hear any caution about giving kids milk. But an 8-ounce glass of milk has 12 g of milk sugar (lactose) whereas one apple, which is what most recipes call for to sweeten a veggie combo, yields about 1/3 cup of juice and about 9 g of fruit sugar. 
Following are some questions parents frequently ask about juicing:
Can I juice while I’m pregnant? 
You can make your own fresh veggie juices if you wash your produce well.  It’s important to kill all harmful microbes, like toxoplasma, which is a parasite that can linger on unwashed fruits and veggies as well as foods such as undercooked meat. 
Wash your produce with white vinegar and water.  Fill your sink with water and add 1/4 to 1/2 cup white vinegar.  Soak for 15 to 20 minutes; then rinse. Green juices are particularly nutritious for pregnant women; they are rich in folate and calcium, nutrients that protect your baby from developing congenital defects like spina bifida.
Is juicing a good idea when I’m nursing?
Nursing is the time you want to consume as many nutrients as possible.  Fresh juice is chockfull of nutrients that are easily absorbed.  But some vegetables like cabbage, radish, beets, kale, and cauliflower can cause digestive issues for some babies so it’s a good idea to consume them a few hours away from breastfeeding if you notice they affect your baby.
You might try juicing a clove a garlic with a favorite juice combination two hours prior to breastfeeding.  “Researchers studying garlic in breast milk found peak levels in the milk two hours after the mother ate garlic. When the garlic levels were high, babies suckled more vigorously and took in more milk.”
When could I introduce juice to my baby? 
For babies over six months of age, juice can be introduced like any other new food.  Give your baby only one juice at a time such as fresh carrot juice or fresh pear juice.  Limit the juice to 3 to 4 ounces per day.  Choose organic produce as much as possible and wash your produce well.
Can I make juice in advance and freeze it?
Forget the old advice that juice loses all it’s nutrients after 30 minutes. What kills nutrients is exposure to heat, light, and oxygen. If you freeze your juice soon after making it, you’ll preserve a large percentage of nutrients.  Freeze it in individual glass jars.  Don’t fill them all the way to the top; leave some room for expansion.  Pull the jars out the night before, and you’ll have delicious fresh juice in the morning.
What are the best vegetables and fruit to juice for my kids?
Dark leafy greens are among the best vegetables for your child’s intelligence.  Acetylcholine is the most important neurotransmitter for memory and learning—the body makes it from choline, one of the B vitamins. 
Spinach, cabbage, and green beans are among the best sources of choline.  Maybe you have a challenge getting your child to eat greens.  You can juice spinach with carrot, apple, and celery, with a little splash of lemon and kids love it.  Getting more veggies into your child’s diet is also very good for the immune system.  You’ll thank your juicer a bunch of times come cold and flu season when your child doesn’t get every bug floating around.
Known as “The Juice Lady,” celebrity TV chef, author of 32 books, and America’s most trusted nutritionist, Cherie Calbom holds a Master of Science degree in whole foods nutrition from Bastyr University. Her latest books, The Juice Lady’s Big Book of Juices and Green Smoothies and Sugar Knockout, have been featured in scores of publications including MSN.com, NY Daily News, and Essence magazine— a reach of more than 250 million people with her Sugar Knockout print campaign. No stranger to healthy diet trends, she joined George Foreman as the other spokesperson for the Foreman grills.  Now she’s knocking out the sugar. Are you sugar addicted? Take the quiz. Join the healthy revolution and get your free juice recipe www.juiceladycherie.com.

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