A Gentle Approach to Eating – PROJECT MUNCH #4 Juice/Smoothies
Nutritional Therapist Sophie Tyner, from Grow Nutrition is passionate about empowering parents to raise happy, healthy and resilient kids supported by their food choices. She applies a gentle approach, sharing experiences and engaging all of a child’s senses when exploring accessible, affordable, REAL foods that will give them a head start in life.
Rapid mental and physical development occurs in childhood and is a time when little bodies require an abundance of nutrients to support this development. Serving well composed juices and smoothies can be an excellent source of nutrients to supplement a selective or fussy eaters’ diet.
When I use the term juice, I mean the freshly prepared kind using a juicer, not made from concentrate and juices that you find in cartons.
Juices are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. Smoothies are great at providing macronutrients to support intake of protein and good fats, as well as a variety of carbohydrates.
Juicing removes the roughage and fibre. Fibre is essential to support our digestive system, it is advisable to not solely rely upon juicing as a form of supplementing your child’s diet.
It is appropriate to try juices and smoothies with your child after they have turned 1, but initially until they are 3 years old it is advisable to dilute juices with water whilst their digestive system develops.
Only give up to 100ml of juice or smoothie a day and preferably with meals. Keeping fruit and vegetables in their raw state maintains their nutritional value, rather than when cooked there can be a loss of nutrients.
Suggestions of fruits/vegetables to add to recipes:
- Vit A – Carrots, Pineapple, Banana, Papaya
- Vit B Complex – Green leafy veg, Spinach, Kale, Apple, Broccoli, Courgette, Avocado
- Vit C – Citrus fruits, Kiwi, Berries
Smoothies are best if you do not overpack them with too much, here’s a base for you to add to:
- Choose a milk (non-dairy milks work well)
- Choose a ripe banana plus one additional fruit
- Choose a veggie
- Choose an optional add in to add extra protein/fats/fibre – ground flaxseed, avocado, pumpkin/sunflower seeds, cooked quinoa, chia seeds, Greek yogurt, nut butters
Benefits in a nutshell: Juices and smoothies provide important nutrients that support your child’s immunity, provides hydration, develops healthy eating awareness and are a great way of getting children to enjoy consuming fresh produce.
For all those superhero lovers out there this smoothie is going to make your little one full of power and be super strong to fight the bad guys (bugs and germs) just like HULK does!
Allowing your kids to view new food & drink in a fun way will help with the acceptance to embrace and try them. Which will also, in turn, go a long way towards increasing their intake of nutritious foods to fuel their bodies, support their growth and protect them from invaders. Why not get them to help you make it to help with their food exposure, if they won’t drink it it won’t be wasted as you can enjoy the delicious drink!
This power smoothie contains a cup of fresh or frozen pineapple, a cup of spinach, half a banana, 300ml of milk or plant based milk and a tablespoon of ground flaxseeds. Blend in a high speed blender until smooth. It’s enough for two little avenger lovers or one grown up!
Spinach provides a good source of carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, iron, and calcium which are all needed in a healthy growing child, along with flaxseeds providing a good source of omega 3 fats perfect for brain function and supporting atopic allergies like eczema and asthma