Wholesome Child : Wholesome Child full
207 206 step 6: balance fruit Fresh juice vs smoothies: What’s the healthier choice? Fruit juice With freshly squeezed juices readily available at juice bars and restaurants, many parents opt for it over water as it appears to be a healthy drink for kids. And while freshly squeezed juice is certainly healthier than store-bought juices that often contain as much added sugar as fizzy drinks, juice doesn’t contain the fibre or filling qualities of whole fruit. Juicing extracts the liquid content of the whole fruit. The fibre is discarded. Still, fresh juice can offer amazing nutritional benefits if you use a ratio of 1:4 fruit to vegetables and choose blended juices that keep the flesh rather than pure juices that discard the fibre. Juices made at home using the Nutribullet or Vitamix are good options. Remember, half a cup of freshly squeezed juice counts as one serve of fruit, so offer it in small portions and water it down. It’s best when kids eat their calories, not drink them. Also, freshly squeezed juice has a high acid content that can erode tooth enamel. IF YOUR CHILD LOVES FRUIT JUICE: • Start by diluting juice to water by ratios of 1:3, then 1: 4. • Offer juice on special occasions or out of the home so it’s not the expected norm. • Lunch boxes can contain fruit but skip the fruit juice. Smoothies Unlike juicing, blending uses the whole fruit. That’s why smoothies are a step up from freshly squeezed juices. Because they contain the fibre, they are far more filling than juice. But be aware that smoothies on the menu in restaurants may contain ice-cream, or frozen or flavoured yoghurts that are high in added sugar. It’s always best to check and even better to make your own so you really know what’s in it. A healthy smoothie is usually a combination of milk (almond, rice, soy, coconut or regular), ice and a blend of fruit and vegetables. IF YOUR CHILD LOVES SMOOTHIES: • Ensure they contain protein from plain unsweetened yoghurt, soaked cashew nuts or almonds or nut butter. • Ensure they contain healthy fats from sources like chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts, avocado or coconut flesh. • Great additions to smoothies include easily disguised vegetables like spinach, kale or beetroot. • If you need to sweeten the smoothie, use a little raw or Manuka honey. • Don’t discard any leftover homemade smoothies. Freeze any leftovers in popsicle moulds. These make great mid-afternoon snacks. Consider this... The redder your fruit the better. Red fruits contain higher levels of antioxidants.