We have raised two boys, who are now in their late 20′s. One of our children was so finicky, he would gag at the thought of eating cooked vegetables, or if food were touching other foods on the plate, and this went on for years and years. It was incredibly frustrating for us, but, through ingenuity and patience we have found the solution to the finicky eater. Since John wouldn’t eat cooked vegetables and was very particular about the kinds of foods he ate, then we got him intimately involved with the process of juicing. This is something he had been doing (insert photo) since he was a baby. However, this time we had him help us purchase the produce, wash the produce, store the produce, and then juice it. He loved the entire process and would drink ‘anything’ we did together. He got a kick out of the process of making the juices, and of course, since he had been juicing since he was a baby, it came easy to him. And since he had such a severe aversion to eating cooked vegetables, we were just fine with that, as long as he drank 1 quart of heavy green and carrot juice with as many veggies inside of it as possible.
Cooked Veggies taste Very Different than Raw Veggies
Yes it’s true! Cooked veggies taste different than raw veggies. Children need t know this straight tway. AND, since your child needs to be juicing with you, it will be quite easy to get them involved in the process because children are naturally curious and they love kitchen gadgets. Getting them to drink them sometimes can be a bit of a challenge, depending on if you have a finicky child or not.
We suggest the following Tonic for Children who are over 3 years old to juice the following Veggie Tonic:
(You can make their tonics before yours) Children 3 – 6 years of age can drink 12 ounces of this tonic, and children 6 -16 can drink 16 ounces easily with dinner or they can drink it before dinnertime if they like.
Kids Veggie Juice Tonic (makes 12-16 ounces)
6 large carrots
¼ cup parsley
¼ cup spinach
1 golden or red delicious apple
3 ribs celery
Kids Red Tonic Combo (makes 12 ounces)
1 small beet root
1 red delicious apple
½ red bell pepper
1 small tomato
If they can drink 16 ounces of veggie juice during their dinnertime, then we say, don’t worry about forcing your child to eat their cooked veggies. Once they start to enjoy the veggie juices, they will start to have interests in making creatively different kinds of juices, which is exactly what you want them to do!
They will say, let’s try beets and celery and apple, mom, ok? And you will say, of course, right? Let them experiment and make a mess, as long as they are drinking their juices with their meals, it’s ok not to force them to eat their cooked veggies.
Furthermore, once the juices have been made, and there’s a big mess in the kitchen, it’s also quite important they help clean the juicer, and learn to take it apart and learn to put it back together again. Familiarity is quite important, as it only helps keep them emotionally invested as well as respectful of the juicer and all the health benefits it brings to them.
Our sons, John and Jayson were both deeply involved in daily juicing and even though they don’t live at home any longer, they still juice daily. Once you teach your children these beautiful habits of juicing on a daily basis, they will rarely go a day without it as they age. In fact, their friends will also become excited and want to get involved. This happened in our home with many of their friends, who now, in their late 20′s still are juicing!
Juicing with Kids is Different than with Adults
Teaching children how to juice, at the same time you are learning to juice on a daily basis will bring different results. Children love to learn and will use their natural inquisitiveness to become involved quickly with juicing, but their natural enthusiasm wanes quickly as well. That’s why it’s important to create the process from beginning to end and if they lose interest, they will come back into it. With adults, it takes a bit of time to create the habits of juicing and there will be more initial resistance, but as the initial resistance leaves, and the great results from feeling improvements in natural energy, then consistency takes over. So, as you grow into juicing, remember to involve your children in as much of the process of juicing as possible and they will, in turn become more and more emotionally involved as you grow into the habits and dedications to juicing.
Each day that passes will bring on new challenges, and there will be some days where you feel euphoric, and some days where you feel nostalgic to go back to the old ways of eating, but when this happens, get into the kitchen and make your Basic Veggie Tonic or our Red Basic Tonic so you don’t make a poor choice to eat something you will regret. Once you consume either of these tonics, you will notice the desires to eat poorly will subside by at least 90%.