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There’s no debating the fact that all the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals contained in vegetables are essential to good health. Thus, the familiar words, “eat your vegetables,” once commanded by our own parents, now come from us as our little ones attempt to hide their broccoli beneath a pile of mashed potatoes.
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Simply saying “eat your vegetables,” however, isn’t always effective. According to the food pyramid, children require three to five servings of vegetables a day, depending on their age. One serving equates to about half a cup. To make the dietary guidelines clearer, the USDA recently developed the new “half-your-plate” concept, or MyPlate. MyPlate emphasizes that half of every meal should consist of fruits and veggies.

But the question still remains: how do we convince our children to consume more carrots than pretzels, more cucumbers than candy? One fun and easy solution is to trick them. All Good Living Kids recommends juicing veggies, mixing them in with fruits your kids love. Apples, for instance, go surprisingly well with celery, and oranges and carrots make quite a pair, in addition to being the same color. Try serving the kiddos your delicious concoctions in their own tall, kid-friendly cups, with colored straws to make drinking their vegetables even more fun.

Vegetable and fruit juice recipes are widely available and easy to come by. Juicing can become a healthy habit that the kids can get involved with, too, as you play around with favorite combinations and blend away together. Juicing will help ensure your children get the most from their veggies, which are better to eat fresh as opposed to cooked, because exposure to high temperatures can lower their nutritional value.

When your time is short or you’re just plain tired, it’s far faster to throw produce in a blender than slicing and dicing it to bite-sized portions. Juicing vegetables is a great way to get that half a plate’s worth of vitamins and minerals together, in a glass.

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Posted on March, 15 2012 in Food, Health and Fitness
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