As parents we are aware of nutritional guidelines ‘serves’ idea. How many ‘serves’ of fruit and vegetables we should consume (as a minimum) on a daily basis is a regular topic of interest – especially in the media. Of even greater interest is how many ‘serves’ our kids need to consume, to grow their mind and body to its full potential.
Unfortunately, study after study has found that most children and adults in the Western World don’t get enough ‘serves’ in a day, and especially not enough serves of vegetables.
Juicing delivers more than just ‘serves’ of fruit and vegetables
The good news is juicing can deliver abundant nutrition (and a good deal of ‘serves’) in just one glass of fresh juice. And it delivers them raw – with nutrients and enzymes intact – ready to be absorbed rapidly into the body.
So, how many serves are in a regular glass (250ml, 8floz or 1 metric cup) of fresh juice? And what is the minimum number of ‘serves’ your child needs?
The number of ‘serves’ varies country to country
The recommended number of daily serves of fruit and vegetables varies depending on country.
In Australia (where I live) 5 serves of vegetables and 2 of fruit are recommended f
or adults (variations for children, dependant on age) while in the USA it is 5 to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables. If you Google ‘Nutritional Guidelines’ for your country, they should be easy to find.
I find the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention website useful with a calculator that estimates the number of serves for your child. In my case a 6 year old male who is physically active.
Converting fresh juice into ‘serves’
Working out how many serves of fruit and vegetables are in a fresh juice is a task made easy by the internet.
For those, like me, who are highly visual people the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention website shows, (in words and pictures), what a serving size looks like, of many common fruit and vegetables. Using this information I converted the produce from one of my son’s favourite juice recipes, into ‘serves’.
Recipe: Sweet & Simple
The site’s calculator recommends my son consume 1.5 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables daily. The results in the table shows that he gets a large proportion of the fruit and vegetable requirements from his one glass of Sweet & Simple fresh juice.
I usually drink two glasses of fresh juice a day, so again looking at the table I am close to reaching the Australian minimum fruit and vegetable recommendations for adults – just from my daily fresh juices like the Simple & Sweet recipe.
What about the fibre
Fibre is an essential part of good health and juicing removes the fibre. So even though your child is getting amazing nutritional benefit from their daily juice, they still need to eat fruit and vegetables each day to meet their daily fibre requirements. This is where “Drink Your Vegetables & Eat Your Fruit” can be helpful, as fruits needs to be limited in juice due to the lack of fibre to slow down the absorption of sugars.
Recommendations are minimums, not maximums
Keep in mind when using nutritional guidelines that they give MINIMUM recommendations, not MAXIMUM recommendations. To give your child, good health you can go beyond the recommendations. A study that undertook meta-analysis of sixteen previous studies provides further evidence that a higher consumption of fruit and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of mortality, particularly cardiovascular mortality.
Adult health starts in childhood, and juicing can give your child a great start to a healthy future.