Guidelines for the number of fruit and vegetable serves needed each day, by adults and children, varies country to country and year to year. It seems that even scientific studies ebb and flow with their recommendations. (The Harvard School of Public Health recently changed their recommendations from 9-13 serves back down to 5 serves daily).
Trust the Gut
While all this can be confusing to us parents, I choose to follow my parental gut instinct and commonsense – which tells me that the rainbow idea is good, and that half of any meal ‘ideally’ should be fruit and veg. But what happens when reality occurs (which it does every day) and the ‘ideal’ looks nothing like the ‘doable‘?
Never fear, a juice is here.
An Australian Government initiative recommends the following guidelines.
For children, the minimum number of serves are based on age, as follows:
4-7 years – 1 serve of fruit & 2 serves of vegetables
8-11 years – 1 serve of fruit & 3 serves of vegetables
12-18 years – 3 serves of fruit & 4 serves of vegetables
This recommendation seems doable to me as my 7 year old son gets an entire day’s fruit & vege in his one daily glass of juice. However, he is still expected to eat fruit and vegetables with meals. In our home our fresh daily juice supplements meals rather than replaces them.
Mealtime Important for Kids
Being young it is important for my son to still eat at the family table to learn healthy eating habits and to get the full spectrum of nutrients needed for his young developing body.
The recipe below gives the daily recommended serves of fruit and veg for a 4-7 in one glass of juice.
Carrot & Spice
1/2 small lemon (peeled)
1/2 inch chunk turmeric
1 sliver ginger
1 cup berries (I prefer strawberries)
1/2 medium cucumber (peeled if not organic)
3 medium carrots (ends removed)
wash produce – juice lemon, ginger, turmeric and strawberries followed by cucumber and carrots
Number of serves
Fruit – 1 Vegetables – 2