Thank you to Gina Norman from the Kaia Yoga Complete Wellness Centers for this guest post.
“Mommy I love you” are definitely words that will tug at any mom’s heart, but, every time my 3 and 1/2 year-old daughter Kaia utters, “Mom, can I have a green juice?” I am the proudest mom around.
Our bodies are made from the foods we eat. So, the food we eat has an effect on the body, the body affects the mind, and the mind in turn influences the body. As moms, we definitely notice how high-fructose sugar affects your children’s mind and body, revving up their nervous system and making it difficult for them to focus. So, this clearly translates into how the foods we feed our children affect not only their immune health but also their ability to focus in school and perform in sports. It is our duty to feed our families the best foods we can to support their overall growth.
As moms we are constantly trying to make sure our children receive an ample supply of fruits and veggies. Juicing is a brilliant way to turn this struggle into a fun and refreshing way to guarantee your whole family has their daily supply of nutrients.
I know the first thought that goes through your head is, ‘I am way too busy and that takes too much time.’ Yes, planning will have to be involved and it will definitely be more work then putting a straw in a juice box. But, when you train your children’s palate to experience fresh juiced fruits and vegetables full of live nutrients, it is something that not only will stay with them for life but will shape the relationship they have with our earth. This insight into understanding the importance of our amazing eco-system, eating organic and slowing down will ultimately influence generations to come.
“We have forgotten that our only goal is to live and that we live each day and that at every hour of the day we reaching our true goal if we are living….The days are fruits and our role is to eat them” – Jean Giono
Ok now that I have your attention, the next questions is ‘But how??’
We all know our children learn from example, so: Start Juicing! Bring the aroma into your house and let your kids ask questions and participate in the fun. Eventually, they will start to create their own favorite combinations and realize that even green things can taste good, too!
Some great juice combos are:
Carrot apple and a little ginger to build some heat in the belly and aid in digestion – an easy combo that even dad will love!
Beet is a great source of iron and a good vitamin-packed option for teens and growing children. Try carrot beet apple with a little lemon to balance the taste of these sweet veggies.
My personal favorite and a good idea to integrate from a very young age into your child’s diet is Daily Greens combo: kale, spinach, celery, parsley, cucumber and lemon. Adding ample cucumber will make this juice a thirst-quencher over a little ice and a nice drink with dinner or lunch. My daughter Kaia think of this as her lemonade…yummy!
If your little ones are not ready for greens without adding a little something sweet, then try taking out the celery and adding green apple to balance this nutrient and protein-packed drink – Yes, greens are a great source of protein! Who knew!?
I own a group of wellness studios with my husband. Our studios are based on the idea that this is how we live, and therefore we want to share the benefits of yoga, healthy eating and holistic family education with our entire community. Make this how you live and the rest will come. Who knows… it might even turn into the hottest “juice stand” in the neighborhood.
Gina Norman is the co-owner of the Kaia Yoga Complete Wellness Centers in Westport and Greenwich, CT together with her husband Stan Woodman. Gina has studied Thai massage in Thailand, Vipassana meditation in India, Buddhist studies in the Shambhala tradition, and Cranial Sacral Therapy through the Upledger Institute. Gina holds teacher training certificates from Beyoga (currently YogaWorks) and Om Yoga Center in New York City, where she was part of their teacher training staff. Stan and Gina live in Greenwich, CT, with their three and a half year-old daughter, Kaia.
Melanie Mayo-Laakso is the Content Manager for Mothering.com. Mothering is the birthplace of natural family living and attachment parenting. We celebrate the experience of parenthood as worthy of one's best efforts and are at once fierce advocates for children and gentle supporters of parents.