Can kids go on a juice diet
Experts do not recommend juice cleanses or diets for children.

According to experts, juice cleanses or diets are not suggested for children and may even be a dangerous fad. Watching health-conscious parents undertake juice cleanses, some children and teens are adopting the same practices as a quick way to lose weight. This is a perilous trend.

  • According to pediatricians, children do not require a juice cleanse. Rather, they require nutritious food rich in complex carbs, lean protein, and healthy fats.
  • A cleansing usually entails avoiding necessary dietary categories and nutrients, which may be dangerous in long run.
  • Companies, however, have recognized the appeal of juice cleanses among children and have developed cleanses specifically for them.
  • While juicing can have health advantages for children, they often require significantly lower dosages than adults.
  • A full juice cleanse is never recommended for children, and the amount of fruit and vegetables in each juice should be checked to ensure that they are getting enough nutrients.
  • Dieticians claim that a glass of juiced vegetables and fruits lacks protein and fat, both of which are essential for a child's growth and brain development.
  • Children should consume a well-balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy products.
  • Most studies demonstrate that for children who want to lose weight, cleansing has no long-term benefits.
  • The weight loss during juice diets will be temporary.
  • Instead of juice cleanses, experts advise children to consume a well-balanced diet rich in whole fruits and vegetables.

If your child refuses to eat their vegetables or fruits, consider making a healthy smoothie for them. In a blender, combine berries and milk or yogurt for a healthy smoothie that still contains protein, fat, and fiber.

Even juice cleanses for adults are fraught with controversy among health professionals. Some think that cleanses are a good approach to detoxify the body, whereas others contend that they are harmful owing to the lack of nourishment and calories consumed.

What are the general guidelines for giving juice to kids?

According to new recommendations supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Heart Association, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the following age requirements should be considered:

  • Less than 6 months
    • No juice should be fed to the baby.
    • Breast milk is all babies require for the first six months of their lives. If you are not breastfeeding, the formula is an option.
    • The same is true for water. Babies do not require water until they start eating food.
  • 6 months to 1 year old
    • Start with apples or pears if you want to give your baby juice. After juicing, filter the juice to remove as much pulp as possible.
    • Fill a cup with juice instead of a bottle and offer it to a baby.
    • Using a 1:1 ratio, dilute the juice with purified water.
    • The intestines of a baby are extremely sensitive. If you give them too much juice, it may irritate their digestion process.
  • 1 to 3 years old
    • You should have gradually introduced a wide variety of vegetables and fruits, as well as meat, into your child's diet by this point.
    • Every day, give them four to six ounces of juice. Continue diluting the juice in a 1:1 ratio with water.
  • 4 to 12 years old
    • Continue to encourage children to eat nutritious foods. Furthermore, kids at this age have an inherent desire to assist others. Involve them in the preparation of their food and juice.
    • Continue diluting the juice, gradually adding more juice than water. This minimizes the likelihood of stomach upset and diarrhea.
  • 12 years and older
    • You can offer your children pure juice but keep it to no more than 10 ounces per day.
    • Juice should never be provided instead of nutritious fruits and vegetables. It should be used to augment their diet.

SLIDESHOW

Parenting Guide: Healthy Eating for Kids See Slideshow

12 types of healthy foods for a child

If you give your child nutritious foods, they will perform better academically, stay fitter, and have superior memory skills. A well-balanced diet includes food that is excellent for the nerves and muscles.

Research suggests the following common healthy foods help a child develop their health:

  1. Vegetables
    • Tomatoes
    • Broccoli
    • Spinach
    • Onions
    • Carrots
    • Brussels sprouts
    • Cucumber
    • Kale
  2. Fruits
    • Apples
    • Bananas
    • Grapes
    • Strawberries
    • Oranges
    • Dates
    • Melons
    • Blueberries
    • Nuts and seeds
    • Almonds
    • Walnuts
    • Macadamia nuts
    • Hazelnuts
    • Cashew nuts
    • Sunflower seeds
    • Pumpkin seeds
    • Peanuts
  3. Legumes
    • Beans
    • Lentils
    • Peas
    • Pulses
    • Chickpeas
  4. Tubers
    • Sweet potatoes
    • Potatoes
    • Turnips
    • Yam
  5. Whole grains
    • Whole oats
    • Brown rice
    • Rye
    • Barley
    • Corn
    • Wholegrain bread and pasta
  6. Fish and seafood
    • Sardines
    • Tuna
    • Trout
    • Mackerel
    • Oysters
    • Shrimps
    • Crabs
    • Mussels
  7. Poultry
    • Chicken
    • Turkey
    • Duck
  8. Eggs
    • Duck
    • Quail
    • Chicken
  9. Dairy
    • Greek yogurt
    • Cheese
  10. Herbs and spices
    • Garlic
    • Basil
    • Mint
    • Sage
    • Rosemary
    • Mint
    • Nutmeg
    • Cinnamon
  11. Healthy fats
    • Extra virgin olive oil
    • Avocados
    • Olives
    • Avocado oil

Overall, a range of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals contribute to your child's growth. So, aim to provide them a well-balanced diet that includes foods from all main food groups. You can work with a doctor or nutritionist to create a customized meal plan for your child.

How do you help a child struggling with their weight?

According to dieticians, there is no recommended juice diet or cleanse for children. They are needless, and there is no scientific proof to back them up.

If your child is unhappy with what they eat or their weight, it is critical to find out why and to inform them that there are many better ways to solve the problem.

  • Sit down with your child and have them write down everything they ate and how they felt about it. Then, you can adjust according to their wish list.
  • Encourage them to eat more whole grains, fruit, and vegetables.

Juicing should always be the last option if they are not consuming a nutritious diet every day.

5 benefits of juicing

Juicing has a few advantages. However, the advantages are not well studied. Much of the juicing hype is founded on insufficient research and misinformation.

The following are some of the scientifically proven benefits of juicing:

  1. Boosting nutrients intake
    • This is a great way to add extra vegetables and fruits into your diet. While eating fruits and vegetables is preferred, drinking them is preferable rather than ignoring them.
    • Juicing has a big advantage in that it has a good concentration of vitamins and minerals.
  2. Convenience
    • When you are in a rush, these make great grab-and-go lunches.
    • You can either produce the juice ahead of time or create a large amount and freeze it for later use.
  3. More variety
    • You can mix and match fruits and vegetables, including those you do not ordinarily eat.
    • The most effective technique to receive the nutrients you have been missing.
  4. Utilizing ripe veggies and fruits
    • Many individuals toss away ripe fruits and vegetables. Juicing, however, is a great way to reduce waste.
    • In addition, well-ripened vegetables and fruits can provide even more flavor.
  5. Promotes absorption
    • Juicing has an undeniable positive effect on absorption.
    • The truth is that most experience digestive troubles, particularly when it comes to difficult-to-digest foods, such as vegetables. 
    • Juicing breaks down fruits and vegetables into a form that bodies can digest easily, allowing you to acquire the most nutrients in the most digestible form possible.

Other common benefits include:

  • Detoxification
  • Improved immunity
  • Improved skin condition
  • More energy in the mornings
  • More fluid intake

People who might benefit from juicing:

  • Who find it difficult to achieve their daily vegetable requirements but do not need to reduce weight
  • People who can only get their children (or themselves) to consume green vegetables if they are mixed into a juice or smoothie
  • A better alternative than an unhealthy snack
  • People who appreciate creating juices from both vegetables and fruits

4 side effects of juicing

Juicing is not any healthier than eating whole fruits and vegetables according to available research.

The following are some of the scientifically proven side effects of juicing:

  1. High cost
    • Because of the expense of raw materials and labor, juicing can be costly.
    • Cleaning up, washing, peeling, slicing, and pressing can be a chore.
    • Juicing fruits and vegetables necessitates the use of a high-quality juicer.
    • Even if you already have a juicer, you will need a lot of vegetables and fruits to extract a reasonable volume of juice.
  2. Low fiber
    • You ingest less fiber when you extract juice from vegetables and fruits than if you ate them whole.
    • Because the essential pulp is removed, fiber is lost and the amount of other major minerals and vitamins is reduced.
  3. Overload of sugar
    • Even handmade juices at home contain more sugar. If you increase the number of fruits in your juice, you will consume more sugar.
    • To lower your sugar intake, it is important to juice more vegetables than fruits.
  4. Weight gain
    • Solid foods are more filling than liquid foods.
    • You may wind up eating more calories in total, resulting in weight gain.
    • If you include juice in your diet, you must compensate for the increased calories by consuming fewer calories at other meals or snacks.
    • You may feel as if you are "cleaning" your body with a potent vegetable juice only to overcompensate later by eating more less nutritious foods (or drinking more alcoholic beverages), thereby negating whatever benefit you have conferred on your body.

People who probably won’t benefit from juicing:

  • Already eat a lot of fruits and vegetables
  • Need to reduce weight but cannot manage to limit calories or follow a healthy diet
  • Have a proclivity to overeat, especially for causes other than hunger (stress, boredom, excitement, social pressure, nervousness, etc.)
  • May not feel satiated after having a smoothie, juice, or other low-calorie beverages

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Medically Reviewed on 3/8/2022
References
Image Source: iStock Images

Booth S. Should Your Child Try a Cleanse? WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/parenting/raising-fit-kids/food/features/should-kids-do-cleanses

American Academy of Pediatrics. Fruit Juice and Your Child's Diet. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/nutrition/Pages/Fruit-Juice-and-Your-Childs-Diet.aspx

Garden-Robinson J. Fresh-squeezed Facts: A Parent’s Guide to Juice. NDSU. https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/food-nutrition/fresh-squeezed-facts-a-parents-guide-to-juice

Heyman MB, Abrams SA; Section on Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition; Committee on Nutrition. Fruit Juice in Infants, Children, and Adolescents: Current Recommendations. Pediatrics. 2017 Jun;139(6):e20170967. https://publications.aap.org/pediatrics/article/139/6/e20170967/38754/Fruit-Juice-in-Infants-Children-and-Adolescents

Kaiser Permanente. The pros and cons of juicing. https://wa-health.kaiserpermanente.org/pros-cons-juicing/