Healthy Snacks for Kids. Why Fresh Juices and Smoothies Are a great option. Does your child refuse to eat their fruit and vegetables? Looking for some healthy snack options? Want to make sure your child gets all the nutrients needed for optimal health? Fresh juices and smoothies might do the trick!
With their creamy texture and bright colors, these beverages will lure your children into eating well. Don’t be surprised if they ask for an extra serving!
Children’s Nutrition Made Easy
Statistics show that up to 80 percent of toddlers don’t eat the recommended daily amount of veggies. Globally, children’s fruit and vegetable consumption is below recommendations. Even though nowadays, kids have access to an abundance of fresh produce, they’re still malnourished. Soda, chips, fries, and sugary treats are often part of their daily menu.
Are kids food options really healthy?
Additionally, many foods marketed as healthy are nothing but junk food in disguise. Let’s take breakfast cereals, for instance. These grains contain large amounts of sugar and lack fiber. On top of that, they are heavily processed and have little or no nutritional value. Yet, they’re advertised as a healthy breakfast choice for kids and grown-ups alike. The same goes for flavored yogurt, margarine, and commercial fruit juices.
Children have special dietary requirements. A balanced diet should provide the vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients they need for proper growth and development. Not to mention that most eating habits are formed in childhood. If your kid’s diet is based on junk food and soda, these habits are likely to be maintained throughout life.
Moreover, bad eating increases your child’s risk of chronic disorders in adulthood. A high-sugar diet, for instance, may put him at risk for obesity, diabetes, and insulin resistance later in life. Thus, it’s essential to teach him to eat healthy while he’s still young and easily change his food preferences.
Good nutrition begins at home. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to be a role model for your child and explain to him why healthy eating is so important.
Are Fresh Juices and Smoothies a Healthy Choice for Kids?
According to researchers, the amount of fresh fruits consumed on a daily basis has increased by 67 percent between 2003 and 2010. Yet, it’s still below recommendations.
Health experts say that children should eat at least at one cup of fruits and 3/4 cups of veggies between ages one and three, and two cups of fruits and up to three cups of vegetables after age 14. Each meal should contain at least one vegetable or fruit.
These whole, nutritious foods help children and teens grow and develop. They fuel their energy, support brain function, and build a strong immune system. Processed foods lack essential nutrients. On top of that, they contain additives, preservatives, and hidden sugars that wreak havoc on your child’s health. The modern diet plays a key role in the obesity epidemic.
What’s a fun healthy option for kids?
So, how can you make sure your kids get enough fruits and vegetables in their diet? After all, you can’t force them to eat. This is where fresh juices and smoothies come in handy. Children love their vivid colors and rich consistency. The best part is that you can try new recipes every day, so your kids will never get bored.
Where should I start for more healthy juice and smoothie options?
Beware that fruits contain fructose, which is just another form of sugar. For this reason, the calories can add up quickly. When you’re making smoothies, use at least 70 percent veggies and 30 percent fruits. Choose berries, grapefruit, lime, avocado, apples, and other fruits with a low glycemic index.
Fresh juices and smoothies are nutrient-dense, so they easily replace a meal. It’s no need to worry that your kid doesn’t get enough vitamins. Most recipes call for basic ingredients that you might already have at home.
For example, a basic carrot smoothie can be made with peach, banana, baby carrots, milk or yogurt, and one tablespoon of honey. Actually, you can use just about any ingredient as long as it’s fresh and natural. Oat bran, flax seeds, chia seeds, almond milk, leafy greens, ginger, turmeric, or citrus fruits – the choice is up to you.
What Are the Health Benefits?
These delicious beverages make it easier for kids to get more fruits and veggies into their diet. Blending a couple of servings of each into a colorful juice or a creamy smoothie will keep your child healthy. On top of that, these drinks take minutes to prepare, which will free up your time. You can even make large batches and keep them in the fridge for later use.
Most children, including picky eaters, love the taste of smoothies and freshly squeezed juices, especially if you add natural sweeteners like stevia or raw honey. Not to mention that it’s a great way to sneak in fruits and veggies that they wouldn’t normally eat.
For example, you can always “hide” spinach in a creamy banana smoothie. Your kid won’t be able to tell the difference! He will actually be intrigued by its beautiful colors and savory taste and of course it’s healthy!
Certain juices and smoothies can help with common cold, flu, low energy, or weight loss. For instance, grape juice and apple juice speed up healing and boost immunity. Green smoothies suppress appetite and help your child maintain a healthy weight. Chia seeds form a gel-like substance in the stomach, keeping your toddler full for longer. Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, and may help prevent a seasonal cold.
Fresh Juices & Smoothies, a much healthier option than the alternatives.
These beverages are just as good for kids as they are for grownups. Unlike soda and commercial juices, they contain no sugar or artificial flavors. If your toddler is addicted to soft drinks, encourage him to sip on smoothies. Give him a bottle or two of his favorite juices at school.
Use a variety of fruits and vegetables to keep his diet varied. There are endless possibilities to mix ingredients. You can even add walnuts, pumpkin seeds, goji berries, oats, millet, or squash to homemade smoothies!
Make healthy options, a more fun option for your kids!
Better yet, invite your child into the kitchen so he can help you. Tell him to describe what a perfect smoothie should look like. As about its flavor, colors, and consistency, and try to create the recipe he has in mind. Drink these beverages yourself to set a good example for the little ones.