There’s a chill in the air and cold and flu season approaching. Let’s boost their immune systems the natural way. And what fun to get the little ones involved. Turning real fruit into real juice is always an amazing kitchen ‘experiment’ for the kids. I hope you have a juicer…
Oranges contain high amounts of vitamins and minerals which are highly beneficial for growth, development, and health of kids. The Vitamin C content in citrus helps absorb iron, which increases the hemoglobin count, and prevents the symptoms of anemia, such as fatigue in kids.
Carrots are rich in a number of immune-boosting vitamins and antioxidants. The most important of these is beta-carotene, the antioxidant that gives carrots their bright orange color. During digestion, beta-carotene is converted into Vitamin A – a nutrient crucial to proper immune system functioning. Vitamin A helps keep the skin and cells that line your airways, digestive and urinary tracts healthy, acting as the first line of defense against harmful viruses and bacteria.
Pineapple is a great source of vitamin C, and promotes the production of collagen. It contains vitamin B1 which contributes towards proper muscle function and nervous system. It also contains folic acid, manganese and dietary fibre. It has anti-inflammatory properties and can be a wonderful aid to digestion.
Ginger is known to have antifungal and antiviral properties. It is also used to help digestion, reduce nausea and help fight the flu and common cold. Ginger aids with allergies behind respiratory problems like asthma and bronchitis. It also helps cure consistent cough and sore throat.
We started with the oranges. The kids love washing/rinsing the produce we use. Water play is always the fun part! Manipulating the orange with both hands in the basin encourages bilateral integration, the skill of using both sides of the body to work together. This is of utmost importance in the early stages of a child’s development. Crossing the midline is vital for reading and writing.
We encourage them to engage their senses. Halving the oranges creates a sweet citrus scent in the air, stimulation their olfactory sense. The oranges offer a variety of tactile stimulation, from the sturdy textured peel to the soft squishy fruit cells.
Squeezing the oranges is quite hard work, even when using a machine. The motion to press and turn simultaneously puts their motor skills to the test.
Feeding the juicer is the fun part!
Seeing the fruit and veggies turning into juice is quite magical for little people, feeling a sense of achievement for making their own juice.
I decant the juice in 100 ml portions, but you can decide what quantity fits your needs.
Transfer to the freezer.
Once frozen, take out the portions as needed. Leave to thaw, shake well and serve a healthy dose of vitamins!
If it’s hot outside, my kids enjoy their juice as slushies.
Remember you can add and change the ingredients as you please, depending what you can find.
Have fun and ENJOY!