Five Best Fruit Juices For Kids

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By Mauricio Prinzlau

fruitswhiteIt is certainly no child’s play persuading your children to finish their food, especially when it looks dull and unappealing. And as a parent you must be well aware of the trials and tribulations involved in getting your kid to eat his fruits and veggies. Fresh fruits are full of nutrients necessary for your child’s growth, and a smart way to persuade your kids to consume it is by juicing them! Yes a glass of organic fruit juice that looks vibrant enough to tempt the child but is high on nutrition as well. Mentioned below are some healthy and scrumptious juicing recipes for kids:

How are fruit juices beneficial?

A pretty convenient and quick breakfast fix, fruit juices keep your child energised all day long. It contains all the vitamins and minerals to fulfil the nutritional need of their developing bodies. But before we move on to the recipes, let’s take a look at the dos and don’ts of juicing.

• Babies should solely depend on the other’s milk for nutrition. Avoid giving them fruit juices

• For children aged 2 to 12 years, it is recommended that you dilute the juice (with water) and give it to them in limited quantities

• Start out slow and then gradually increase their nutrient intake, don’t worry though, fruits juices are absolutely safe

• It is best that you get a Juicer and prepare the juice yourself rather than get store bough juice boxes laden with artificial colours and preservatives,

• Incorporate green veggies such as spinach, kale, beets into the juice but in very small proportions. Such strong juices are better suited for adults

• Don’t stick to just one particular fruit introduce your child to a variety of fruit juices.

The recipes

Juicing is a great way to get your child to eat his fruits and veggies. Given below are some juicing recipes especially designed for kids and approved by kids.

Apple and orange juice

When it comes to kids, apples and oranges are among the traditional favourites. The naturally sweet tastes of the apples combined with the slightly tangy oranges are a hit among children! Apples are rich in antioxidants that flush out the toxic wastes, while oranges are replete with vitamin C that boosts immunity and strengthens the body. You would need:

• 2 apples (or carrots)

• 2 oranges

Juice the apples in an electric juicer then mix some hand squeezed orange juice with it. You can even add 2 carrots in place of the apples to add a little variety.

Carrot pear and orange juice

Naturally vibrant and slightly sweet, carrots are among the best loved vegetables among kids. And the fact that it is packed with nutrients makes it a hit among parents as well! Rich in vitamin A and other minerals, carrots are good for the eyes and immunity. Also pears and oranges contain many minerals necessary for growth. You would need:

• 2 carrots

• 1 pear

• 1 orange

Juice the carrots and pear in an electric juicer and orange in a hand one, as most conventional juicers don’t support citrus fruits. Mix the two and serve it fresh.

Mango pineapple and kale juice

Mango is one fruit that every kid loves! Rich in glucose and carbohydrates, mango pulp is a great ingredient for smoothies and fruit juices. Also pineapple only enhances the nutritional value and taste of the juice. Balance this sweetness by adding a bit of kale into the mixture. Full of vitamins A, C and K, kale takes care of the health factor. You would need:

• 1 mango

• A cup of fresh chopped pineapple

• A cup of freshly chopped kale leaves (approx. 3 to 4)

Juice the pineapple pieces and chopped kale leaves in a juicer then add mango pulp to it, ensure that you juice the kale first.

fruitcupTomato carrot and apple juice

Once your child is accustomed to juices, gradually start increasing the health quotient of the juice. The trick is to add some vegetables and balance it with the sweetness of the fruit. Tomato and carrot are well loved veggies among kids; add to that some apples and you’ve got yourself a winner! But to keep things healthy, you can also mix a bit of spinach to the mixture. Rich in vitamins and minerals, spinach purifies the blood and strengthens muscles. You would need:

• 2 carrots

• 1 apple

• 1 tomato

• A cup of freshly chopped spinach leaves

Juice all the ingredients, starting with the spinach, mix it all up and serve fresh. Your kid will love it!

Beet apple spinach juice

Easy on the eyes, the vibrant red of the beet combined with the sweetness of the apple and health of spinach gives you a wholesome energy drink. You would need:

• 1 apple

• 1 medium size peeled

• A cup of chopped spinach

Juice all the ingredients, mix it and serve fresh!

Theory Behind Increasing Fruit And Vegetable Consumption Does Not Determine Reality

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Submitted by Dipali Pathak, Baylor College Of Medicine…..

fruitswhiteWhen it comes to increasing fruit and vegetable consumption in children, theory does not necessarily determine reality, according to experts at the USDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital. In a report that appears today in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, researchers found that interventions based on behavioral change theory were not related to increased fruit consumption in children.

“The goal of our study was to assess whether interventions that were based on theory were more effective than non-theory interventions in increasing fruit and vegetable intake,” said Dr. Cassandra S. Diep, postdoctoral fellow at Baylor and first author of the paper. “Health professionals devote their careers to understanding how to help people change their health behaviors, and the ‘golden rule’ has been that interventions should be based on theory because doing so will make them more effective, but there is no research to justify this.”

For example, social cognitive theory and the theory of planned behavior are two health behavior theories that provide researchers with constructs and pathways that, if targeted, will most likely lead to a change in behavior. The base idea is that if the researcher can change attitudes, social norms, or other constructs, they can change behavior.

Diep and colleagues did a systematic literature review and meta-analysis of studies over the past 25 years to determine whether interventions had an effect on fruit and vegetable intake in children and whether the interventions based on theory were more effective than those without theory.

“We found that overall, interventions based on behavioral theory had a small to moderate effect on improving a child’s fruit and vegetable consumption,” she said. “Once you controlled for study quality, we found that theory was no longer related to fruit consumption or combined fruit and vegetable consumption, only vegetable consumption. There was a positive effect on vegetable consumption, but the effect size was quite small.”

“This suggests that theory may have a role in increasing intervention effectiveness, but the effect sizes have not been large and poor study quality may be the underlying reason for lack of effect,” said Diep.

Diep notes that those designing interventions need to be more meticulous when creating them.

fruitcup“If they want to use theory they have to make sure that the theory they use is right for the population that they are targeting and right for the behavior that they are targeting,” she said. “There are also standard theories that people like to use because everybody uses them, but they may not be the most applicable to that specific intervention.”

Others who took part in the study include Dr. Tzu-An Chen, Janice C. Baranowski and Dr. Tom Baranowski with Baylor and the CNRC and Vanessa F. Davies with Baylor and the Federal University of Sana Catarina in Florianópolis, Brazil.

Researchers involved in the study were funded by a Primary Care Research Training Grant from National Research Service Award T32 HP10031; CAPES – Brazilian Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education; and federal funds from the USDA/ARS under Cooperative Agreement No. 58-6250-6001 with the Children’s Nutrition Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine.

All Hail Alexander The Grape!

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By Kac Young PhD, ND, DCH

grapesOkay, so I’m kidding. I really do know that Alexander wasn’t a grape and vice versa. But there is something quite regal about grapes and how they benefit our health.

Grapes are rich in:

• polyphenols (naturally occurring plant compounds with antioxidants)

• resveratrol

• phenolic acids

• anthocyanins

• flavonoids

Whether you eat the fruit, seeds or skin; drink the juice; or sip on red wine, grapes can help reduce the risk of heart disease. They also can help to:

1. Reduce blood clotting and abnormal heart rhythms.

2. Lower blood pressure in patients with hypertension.

3. Slow or prevent cell damage caused by oxidation which is a main factor in atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries.)

All that goodness in such tiny fruits!

There are basically three categories of grapes: the greens, the reds, and the blue/blacks. Good color is the key to good flavor. The sweetest green grapes are yellow-green in color; red varieties that are predominantly crimson/red will have the best flavor; and blue/black varieties taste best if their color is deep and rich, almost black. If you object to seeds, look for seedless varieties.

For the most nutritional benefits select the darker colored varieties of grapes to obtain the most polyphenol benefits and be sure you eat the fruit or skins over juice when able.

A great summer treat is frozen grapes. Remove the grapes from the stem. Wash and at dry them and place them on a cookies sheet. Allow them to freeze for 4-5 hours and then remove from the cookie sheet and store them in a Ziploc or airtight container in the freezer. Frozen grapes make great ice cubes for summer drinks and also as handy snacks replacing sugary popsicles, frozen candy bars or fat-laden ice cream.

Have a grape summer!

– Kac Young has a PhD in Natural Health, a Doctorate in Naturopathy and a Doctorate in Clinical Hypnotherapy. She is a television producer/director and the author of: Feng Shui the Easy Way, 21 Days to the Love of Your Life, Gold Mind, Heart Easy, Cheese Dome Power, Discover Your Spiritual Genius, Dancing With The Moon, The Quick Guide to Bach Flower Remedies, Star Power, The Quick Guide to Bach Flower Remedies and Supreme Healing. Visit: spiritualgenius.com and HeartEasy.com for more information.

How Much Fruit Kids Need And 10 Ways To Get It!

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By Dr. Michael Wald

fruitcupThis year, we have been eating a lot of fruit around our house… a lot! Fruit is one of nature’s most perfect foods! It has enough calories and fiber to be filling. It is packed with antioxidants and vitamins that we haven’t even discovered yet. The carbs and natural sugars from fruit, sent to your brain for energy, cannot be matched with anything synthetic. Caffeine or refined sugars cannot compare with the energy from fruit.

How much fruit do kids need? The goal is to make half of every meal fruits and vegetables, but at the very least, kids ages 2-8 should be eating 1 1/2 cups of fruit per day.

For this to happen, and to train your kids to not be picky eaters, I recommend getting fruit in all varieties, including fresh, frozen, canned, dried, juiced, pureed etc. Just because fresh may be the healthiest way to eat fruits and vegetables, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t teach kids to eat them in a variety of ways. Kids who experience different textures and tastes will be more likely have a more mature palate that is wiling to try new foods.

Our favorite ways to eat fruit include

1. Smoothies; take a few ounces of fruit juice (we like Orange Juice). Add a few spoonfuls of plain yogurt. Lastly a generous handful of frozen fruit (frozen strawberries, blueberries, bananas etc.) Blend and pour into tall glass.

2. Dips: skewer fruits such as melons, berries, bananas etc. Then provide a dip. Some of our favorites are yogurt and cottage cheese.

3. Fruit Salads; Just after your grocery trip, cut up, wash, and chop your fresh fruit. Store in an airtight container to eat from during the week. For breakfast, pull it out and provide your children with some fruit salad. For lunch, snacks etc, this is very convenient.

4. Convenient foods like fruit leather and dried fruit are perfect for an on the go, healthy snack.

kidseatinghealthy5. If you are all out of fruit, offer 100% fruit juice. Orange juice is still a good source of folate and vitamin C. Just limit juices so they do not interfere with a child’s appetite, or diminish his or her desire for real food. Or, make your own juices!

6. Give applesauce a different texture by making it yourself. Boil cut up apples with some cinnamon till the apples are soft. Mash apples with a fork. Include some of the cinnamon-flavored water if you need to make it smoother.

7. Pumpkin is a good source of Vitamins C and E and has loads of antioxidants. Mix canned pumpkin with applesauce, plain yogurt, or any baked goods such as breads or muffins.

8. Replace applesauce with oil in baked goods. Other mashed fruits you can add or substitute are mashed bananas or prunes.

9. Add frozen blueberries, strawberries, or other fruit to pancake batter, or top pancakes with berries after you pour the batter onto the griddle during cooking time.

10. Stir 100% fruit jam into plain yogurt and mix well.

11. Dr. Wald’s favorite fruit smoothie recipe: take a handful of organic, frozen, mixed fruit (available in most regular stores) and drop the handful into a blender; add ½ water and ½ organic apple juice (or only water) in an amount that is diluted to your taste and desired thickness. Add Dr. Wald”s, Reds Protect, Green Detox and Longevity Complete at 1/3, ½ or 1 full scoop of each depending upon taste. These special concentrated food powdered products have been especially designed by Dr. Wald to help meet and exceed the needs for nutrition normally found in a large variety of fruits and vegetables.

Go to: www.BloodDetective.com to order. Simply Delicious!

Why Grow A Fruit Garden? A Bushel Of Reasons

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By Stella Otto

motherdaughtergardenAre you looking for some healthy, economical fun that brings the whole family together? It’s as close as your own yard! Growing fruit is fun for everyone in the family, from toddler to grandpa.

Planting or pruning, picking or partaking, even just admiring the blossoms gets everybody outdoors and active.
Eating healthy is more fun when the snack is something you’ve grown yourself. Children will develop sound, lifelong eating habits when they participate in growing what they eat.

Whether child or adult, who can resist a fresh, juicy peach or a handful of glistening red currants they’ve just picked?

You’ll enjoy the freshest fruit possible. Homegrown fruit will be at the peak of flavor and conveniently close when harvested from your own garden, rather than spending days on a truck to a nearby store.
Unique, flavorful varieties of more common fruits are usually only available from expensive mail-order catalog–or not at all. (Did you know there are more than 1100 varieties of apple?) The vast choice of varieties you can grow yourself is often limited only by your climate.

fruitswhiteFruit gardening allows you to be environmentally responsible. Techniques for sustainability–minimizing pesticide use, building the soil, and encouraging beneficial insects–are all important aspects of home fruit gardening.
You can save a bushel of money growing your own. Many people complain that some fruit, like raspberries, are too expensive to enjoy regularly. That may be true when the fruit is purchased at the store, but not so when you grow your own.

Adding berry bushes and fruit trees to a garden will also enhance the value of a home and yard.
Worried that you don’t know where to begin? Starting a fruit garden is fun, easy, and educational. There are many books and websites you can learn from and many nurseries have Master Gardeners on staff that will be happy to help you with some of the basics.

Discover the fun, cost savings, and flavor-enhanced reasons firsthand this growing season.

– Stella Otto is the author of award-winning garden books, the Backyard Berry Book: A hands-on guide to growing berries, brambles, and vine fruit in the home garden and the Backyard Orchardist: A complete guide to growing fruit trees in the home garden. This is the first of a series of a Fruit Growing 101 series of articles. Learn more at www.stellaotto.com.