As adults, it is still quite difficult to achieve a change to a more healthy diet containing the additional fruits and vegetables that nutritionists, scientists and the government are telling us, almost daily it seems, is what we must do to ensure our long-term health. We can understand the reasons why we are being told to make this change, but for our children, it is much more difficult when there are so many temptations and so much more pressure from friends to choose things that really are not good for them. You might not think of a smoothie maker as a tool in your arsenal to educate children into eating more healthily but smoothies are so delicious and full of goodness that they are a great start in getting children to eat more fruit and vegetables.
If your children are like mine, they come in at the end of their school day as if they are starving! All they want is a snack to fill them up again before they set off to go to after school clubs or to play with their friends. Given a choice, fruit is not the first thing on their list, they would rather have some biscuits or cake. Choosing a healthy option is not the first thing on their minds at all but by making a smoothie in a smoothie maker gives them so many excellent nutrients in one glass!
You know that by making your children freshly squeezed juice or even store-bought varieties, you are giving them a better option than fizzy colas or other soft drinks. If you use a juicer, you will know that so much of the fruit remains in the juicer after making the juice. All the additional nutrients that go into a smoothie come from this pulp that would othewise be thrown away.
By using your home smoothie maker you will save money as the cost is a tiny fraction of the ready-made smoothies sold in stores and the result will be a drink, packed full of vital antioxidants that protect us from free radicals, plus all the vitamins and minerals contained in the fruit juice itself. There is also another great benefit to digestive systems and that is the soluble and insoluble fibre from the fruit pulp.
Insoluble fibre is vital and consuming insufficient in our daily diets could have serious effects on our health. Initially this may only be the problem of constipation and perhaps the discomfort of developing piles (haemorrhoids). In the long term, we may be storing up much more serious problems for ourselves by becoming more prone to very serious diseases such as cancer of the colon or bowel.
If you find that you suffer from that ‘slump’ of energy in the middle of the afternoon when all you really want is something sweet as a ‘pick me up’, then the soluble fibre in a smoothie will really help. It has a regulating effect on blood sugar levels and also has a lowering effect on cholesterol levels.
In conclusion making it easy for our children to make healthy diet choices, right from when they are very young is going to save them from developing many, unpleasant and perhaps dangerous health problems in later life. A smoothie maker can be a valuable tool in this process, helping children to enjoy a healthy drink and to participate in choosing and creating their own recipes.