My son has not missed a day of school for illness this year. I can’t believe I can actually say that!
You see, my six-year-old has been prone to getting sick at least once every two weeks. Colds, coughs, throw-up… what ever was going around daycare or kindergarten, he was sure to catch it. He had been this way since he was an infant. When I was a working mom, I would use up all my vacation hours because he was always sick. And by this time last year, he had missed at least 5 days of school due to illness. It was pretty awful… helplessly caring for a constantly sick child. I am thrilled to say that this year he has been healthy all fall!
What are we doing different?
This year we have been doing a few things which I can say have helped us all stay well. Diffusing a ton of Thieves Oil, eliminating foods like gluten and soy which we finally determined he was allergic to, and getting a lot of fresh veggies and fruits in our diets are a few. What a pain the last one can be.
Getting my kids to eat fruits and veggies is borderline impossible. Especially if your kid has texture issues like my 6-year-old does. He will eat blackberries and tomatoes willingly. Everything else is a battle. And some things, like squash, I’ve learned the hard way to avoid completely. A plate or two of throw up will make you learn real fast. I get tired of forcing my child to eat healthy. But friends, I have found a solution to his fruit and veggie-void diet. There is a way to get a ton of fruits and veggies in his diet without a fight, and I have made sure to do this every few days…
Who doesn’t love a refreshing and tasty juice made from only fresh ingredients? Recently, the folks over at Williams-Sonoma invited me to participate in their Juicing Initiative. We’ve had such a beneficial experience with juicing this fall, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to share this with you all. Sometimes juicing can get boring if I get into a recipe rut, or if I get a little over-zealous (anyone noticing how this is becoming a repeating theme with me?) with my recipes and make a terrible recipe combo. Thankfully, Williams-Sonoma has compiled a panel of juice experts to share a rainbow of tasty recipes. Check out their page here. My kids and I head over to their site, view the beautiful rainbow of juice glasses, choose a color and then try out that recipe. It’s been fun, delicious and best of all, nutritious!
Can you imagine getting your child to eat a meal with kale, apples, lemons, cucumbers and parsley in it? Juicing can do that! I am a huge believer that nutrition is our #1 tool to prevent illness and disease. I tend to stress when my kids don’t eat enough (or any) fresh fruits and veggies, but juicing has been a great way to resolve my problems.
Most days we make our fresh juice after school when we have ample time, as opposed to first thing in the morning. It can take a bit of time to wash and cut up everything we need for a recipe, and I like to let my kids drink their juice while relaxing. This way the juice will take the place of a less healthy snack, which is a double win in my opinion.
Over the course of time, I have learned some tips that made juicing much more appealing for my kids.
- Keep the recipes simple at first. Keep it under 5 ingredients. Give your kids time to get used to this naturally sweet tasting juice. It is much less sweet than the store-bought kind which is typically loaded with extra sugar. Try a little more fruit than veggies at first. I have found that adding an extra apple can turn a rejected juice into a tasty winner.
- Strain out any pulp. We use this model of juicer which keeps most of the pulp out, however some “froth” gets through and I strain that out with a metal strainer. My son started liking juice a lot more after I began this practice. I know fiber is really important part of the fruit or veggie and I would prefer my kids enjoyed a little pulp, but they don’t. So I strain and they drink!
- Don’t juice everyday. As much as I would love to juice at every meal, I don’t. People get tired of eating the same thing every day, and this is especially so with my kids. This is kind of like an ace in my pocket, I don’t want to blow the whole operation by over-doing it. We juice once every two or three days and they are still enjoying it. (I still get excited that my kids are enjoying drinking fruits and veggies!)
Our favorite juice recipe.
This is an easy and palatable recipe that even a toddler can enjoy. If your child is a fanatic of the color green like mine is, then this recipe is also for you.
If you are wary about the taste, try first making it without the romaine and then slowly add it in as you repeat this recipe. You can also reduce the amount of celery if you find the taste is too strong.
- 2 medium-sized apples, cored. (Don’t juice the core. Apple seeds contain a cyanide compound.) I use a red variety like Fuji because it is sweet.
- 1 lemon, peeled
- 1 cucumber
- 1/2 a head of celery
- 4-5 stalks of romaine lettuce
- Throw the ingredients through the juicer. I do it in this order: apple, lemon, celery, lettuce, cucumber.
- Strain if needed, and enjoy!
Don’t have a juicer? Williams-Sonoma has a large selection of great juicers which you can check out here with many informative user reviews. I actually bought my juicer from a different retailer a few years ago, but I have found that Williams-Sonoma has prices comparable with even Amazon.
Do you have a favorite juice recipe? Please share it in the comments below!
Happy juicing, and we wish you and your family the best health in the approaching winter!
This is not a paid post. All opinions are my own!