At first glance, making my own juice doesn’t actually sound like something a lazy parent like myself would do. However. It’s a lot easier to persuade The Child to try some suspiciously-green-but-kind-of-fruity-tasting juice than expecting her to munch on a stick of celery.
(At the moment, she will eat broccoli, mushrooms, carrot, cucumber, sweetcorn, and vegetable soups, all with varying levels of I’m just humouring you, Mother.)
If you already have a juicer, stop reading now, because you are clearly not that lazy a person and will clean it. We have a blender. Not a fancy Vitamix, but a Kenwood that I really got for the food processor. All the literature says to add the liquid, then soft fruit and veg, then the firmer stuff (everything should be preferably organic, all well-washed). Blend at high speed until well… blended (or pulse, I’m not yet sure which is better). If you’re into the added goodness of fibre, pour a mug or glassful straightaway and enjoy. Otherwise, strain through a sieve into a jug or mug / glass. Tell your kid it’s juice. You are not lying, it’s just not a Fruit Shoot (or in Scotland, juice also means a fizzy drink, I still can’t get over that).
Giving your kid green juice does not replace eating fruit and vegetables (unless you think pooping is for the weak). It’s an additional hit of vitamins and minerals with a sneaky side of raw edible plant flavour to which your annoyingly temperamental two-year old toddler would ordinarily react as though she’s encountered a swarm of killer bees. And it’s probably a good afternoon snack. It’s better than a doughnut, anyway.
Well, The Child drank the clementine-raw-broccoli-raw-celery-grapes-honey concoction, and didn’t do her usual ‘YUCK’ face with complementary — but not very convincing — sound effects. She did demand a piece of chocolate halfway through, which we countered with the deal of her finishing her juice first, so I’d say initial empirical results are decidedly mixed.
Further experimentation required:
I am dying to see what she does about kale or spinach. And carrot-apple. But not too often, otherwise she’ll catch on. The Husband successfully used a form of reverse psychology this time (“You’re not going to drink it? Okay, I will… oh, you want it now?”), I might need to be more manipulative in future (along the lines of, “This drink is not for you…”).
This is most suited to adults and toddlers who are already eating a good amount of solid food. If you are weaning your baby, go to town introducing them to chunks of fresh vegetables and fruit, this is more than likely the only stage in their childhood where they will try the stuff with relish. (Except for The Child’s best mate, that kid likes all sorts of raw vegetables.)
I do not advocate vegan, juice, raw food, nor paleo diets. I think the most important thing is to be varied in what we eat and drink (plus I love a steak). Although in my current state of incubating a new parasite, all I’m interested in shoving in my mouth are KFC’s Hot Wings and hot and sour flavour instant vermicelli soup.