Healthy Juices For Kids: 12 Easy Homemade Juice Recipes

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Juices for kids, made with fruits or vegetables, are a great hydrating source and replenish essential nutrients. They’re easily available, or you can make them yourself at home. However, in either case, you should limit excessive juice consumption to avoid negative consequences, such as obesity and dental damage in children (1). This post discusses some nutritious juices and some delicious juice recipes for you to try.

Are Juices Healthy For Children?

Water is the best liquid to keep kids hydrated. Juices are a lovely treat in appropriate portions from time to time. But as a routine, it is better for children to eat whole fresh fruit and vegetables.

Store-bought juices are available in different forms, like 100% juice, concentrated, and diluted juice. Out of these, moderate consumption of 100% fruit juice as part of a healthy diet may provide children with nutrients, without contributing to weight gain (2).

But many shop bought ones add extra sugar (or other ingredients) so it’s important to check the label.

Juices may be useful in the following ways.

  1. Juices can work as a medium to encourage children to eat whole fruit and vegetables.
  2. Moderate consumption of fruit juices can provide flavonoids that possess antioxidant properties with long term health benefits, such as improved cardiovascular health (3) (4).
  3. Juices contain polyphenols, oligosaccharides, and nitrates that may work as prebiotics good for gut health (5).
  4. Unsweetened homemade juices with fiber can be a better snack alternative to soda and other high-sugar beverages. But remember whole fresh fruits and vegetables are always a better choice.

How Much Juice Can Children Have?

According to the USDA, unsweetened 100% juices are a part of the fruit and vegetable group. Juice should contribute to half or less than half of the total recommended fruit and vegetable intake for the day (6).

Below is the age-appropriate recommendation for fruit juice intake for children (7). However, remember that juices are not a daily necessity if the child enjoys daily their quota of fruits and vegetables.

Age (years)Recommended Daily Serving
4 to 6½ to ¾ of a cup or 6 ounces
7 to 181 cup or 8 ounces

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics 

Tips To Select Healthy Juices For Children

Selecting healthier options of juices is necessary to enjoy their benefits. Consider these points while buying fruit or vegetable juice for children.

  1. According to the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA), a product is labeled “fruit juice” and “vegetable juice” when the contents are 100% sourced from fruits and vegetables, respectively (8). These juices do not contain any additives, including preservatives.
  2. 100% fruit or vegetable juice with additives is mentioned on the label. For instance, 100% fruit juice with sugar is mentioned as “100% fruit juice with added sugar/sweetener.” Similarly, 100% fruit juices with preservatives state, “100% fruit juice with preservatives.”
  3. Some manufacturers make 100% fruit juice by adding water to fruit juice concentrates (9). These juices are called “reconstituted 100% fruit juices.”
  4. Check the list of ingredients along with the nutritional information to know about the ingredients, along with the number of nutrients per serving.
  5. Give preference to “100% fruit and vegetable juice,” which does not contain added sugar. Added sugars, such as fructose and corn syrup, can increase the risk of tooth decay, weight gain, and high blood pressure (10). Long-term consumption of sweetened juice could increase the risk of childhood obesity.
  6. Opt for juices with low sodium content since high sodium intake is associated with higher blood pressure.
  7. Vegetable juices contain less natural sugar than fruit juice. Thus, prefer mixed fruit and vegetable juice for optimum nutrition.

Try to make juices at home instead of buying the packaged versions. They are fresh, and you have control over what goes into them.

12 Healthy And Delectable Juice Recipes For Children

Making juice at home lets you have control over the ingredients. Besides, it can reduce the ingestion of unwanted additives, preservatives, and sweeteners. Thoroughly wash the fruits and vegetables under running water before preparing juice to prevent the risk of foodborne illnesses (11).

Here are some interesting juice recipes you can try for your child.

1. Apple lemonade

Apple lemonade or kids

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An easy-to-prepare, refreshing, and nourishing variety of lemonade suitable to beat the heat.

You will need:

  • 1 cup apple (peeled, cored, and sliced)
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice

How to:

  1. Prepare apple juice and add lemon juice to it.
  2. Refrigerate for ten minutes and serve chilled.
  3. You can add some crushed mint leaves and a pinch of cinnamon to enhance palatability.

2. Pineapple and kale juice

Kale-pineapple juice for kids

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This hydrating, nutrient-rich, and tasty juice recipe is suitable for children of any age.

You will need:

  • 100g fresh kale (chopped)
  • 1 cup pineapple (chopped)
  • Water

How to:

  1. Juice the ingredients well until you get a smooth liquid.
  2. Serve fresh, or you can refrigerate it for five minutes.
  3. You can add chia seeds to improve the overall nutritional value of the recipe.

3. Carrot and orange juice

Carrot and orange juice for kids

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The juice contains vitamin C and fiber, thus making it one of the most nourishing juices for children.

You will need:

  • 2 carrots (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 orange (peeled and deseeded)

How to:

  1. Juice the ingredients until you observe a semi-thick liquid.
  2. Serve immediately or refrigerate for five minutes.
  3. You can add a pinch of cinnamon or mint leaves before serving to boost the recipe’s flavor.

4. Apple, sweet potato, and carrot juice

Sweet potato, carrot & apple juice for kids

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The satiating homemade juice recipe is rich in nutrients and fiber. Serve it to alleviate hunger pangs and maintain a healthy digestive system.

You will need:

  • 1 apple (cored, peeled, and chopped)
  • 1 sweet potato (peeled and diced)
  • 1 carrot (peeled and chopped)

How to:

  1. Juice all the ingredients into a creamy consistency.
  2. Serve immediately or refrigerate for no more than a day.

5. Mixed berry splash

Mixed berry smoothie for kids

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The antioxidant and iron-rich juice is beneficial for the immune system.

You will need:

  • 1 cup mixed berries (strawberry, blueberry, and raspberry)
  • 1 cup watermelon (deseeded and chopped)

How to:

  1. Put all the fruits in a blender and blend into a smooth juice.
  2. Serve immediately or store it in the refrigerator for a day or two.
  3. You can add a cup of Greek yogurt, a handful of nuts, and a teaspoon of chia seeds to turn this recipe into a healthy smoothie.

6. Beetroot and apple juice

Beetroot and apple juice for kids

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Beetroot is rich in phytonutrients, such as betalains, flavonoids, and polyphenols that have health-promoting properties (12).

You will need:

  • 1 apple (cored, peeled, and chopped)
  • 2 carrots (peeled and chopped)
  • ½ beetroot (peeled and chopped)

How to:

  1. Juice all the ingredients into a semi-thick juice. If the juice looks too thick, add water to adjust consistency.
  2. Refrigerate the juice for ten minutes before serving it. You may store the juice for up to two days.

7. Minty berry juice

Berry juice with mint uice for kids

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It is one of the most nourishing and immune-boosting juices for children across ages.

You will need:

  • 1 apple (cored, peeled, and diced)
  • 1 kiwi (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 cup mixed berries (blueberries and strawberries)
  • 4-5 mint leaves

How to:

  1. Juice apple, kiwi, and berries into a semi-thick liquid.
  2. Add mint leaves and refrigerate for ten minutes.
  3. Serve with a midday snack, like a vegetable sandwich.

8. Green juice

All-green juice for kids

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This lip-smacking juice is a hydrating and nutrient-rich combination of spinach, cucumber, grapes, and orange.

You will need:

  • 1 cup spinach leaves (chopped)
  • 1 cup cucumber (peeled and diced)
  • 1 cup grapes
  • 1 orange (peeled and deseeded)
  • 1tsp ginger juice
  • Pinch of cinnamon

How to:

  1. Juice spinach leaves, cucumber, grapes, and orange into a semi-thick liquid.
  2. Add ginger juice and cinnamon just before serving.
  3. Serve with any grilled main dish of your choice.

9. Tropical twist

Tropical fruits juice for kids

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The energy-rich tropical juice has tangy-sweet flavors.

You will need:

  • 1 cup pineapple (chopped)
  • 1 cup carrot (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 cup apple (peeled, cored, and chopped)
  • 1tsp lemon juice
  • ½tsp ginger juice

How to:

  1. Juice all the vegetables into a thin-liquid. If needed, add water to adjust consistency.
  2. Add lemon and ginger juice and serve immediately.
  3. You can also add some mint leaves.

10. Tangy tomato juice

Tangy tomato juice for kids

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It is a tangy-flavored, immune-boosting, and detoxifying juice recipe for children.

You will need:

  • 2 ripe tomatoes (cored and chopped)
  • 1 carrot (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 celery stalk (chopped)
  • ¼tsp black pepper powder

 How to:

  1. Juice tomatoes, carrot, and celery into a smooth-flowing juice.
  2. Add black pepper and serve immediately.

11. Fennel and blueberry juice

Fennel and blueberry juice for kids

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The delectable summer drink has immune-boosting properties. Replace fennel with mint if your child dislikes fennel’s strong flavor.

You will need:

  • 1 fennel bulb (chopped)
  • 1 apple (peeled, cored and diced)
  • 50g blueberries (frozen)
  • 1tsp lemon juice

How to:

  1. Juice fennel bulb, apple, and blueberries into a smooth liquid.
  2. Add lemon juice, mix well, and serve immediately.

12. Honeydew melon juice

Honeydew melon juice for kids

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It is one of the best juice recipes to hydrate, nourish, and satiate your child.

You will need:

  • 2 cup honeydew melon (deseeded and chopped)
  • 1 cup cucumber (peeled and sliced)
  • 1tbsp lime zest

How to:

  1. Juice melon and cucumber into a smooth liquid.
  2. Add lime zest, mix well, and serve immediately.
  3. Alternatively, you can add a few mint leaves and refrigerate the juice before serving.

Precautions To Take While Giving Juice To Children

Observing some precautionary steps can help the child avoid the adverse effects and get the most out of juices (13) (14) (15).

  1. Purchase only pasteurized or shelf-stable 100% fruit or vegetable juices to avoid foodborne illnesses.
  2. Avoid feeding unpasteurized juices produced at a farm, to young children.
  3. Serve juice with meals and not between meals. Serving juice between meals may increase the risk of tooth decay.
  4. Do not serve juice as a replacement for water, milk, or other healthy beverages.
  5. Spread the recommended daily serving of fruit juice across all the meals.
  6. Avoid serving juice in bottles and sippy cups as sipping juices for a long period contributes to tooth decay in young children.
  7. Use properly cleaned utensils and juicer/ blender to prepare juices at home.
  8. Wash vegetables and fruits properly and discard parts or produce that looks damaged, bruised, or rotten.
  9. Before and after preparation, wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  10. Do not strain the juice as retaining the pulp ensures enhanced fiber intake.
  11. You can add a pinch of sugar or salt to homemade juice for taste. Avoid adding any salt or sugar to packaged 100% fruit juices.
  12. Do not give fruit juice to young children around bedtime as it might cause digestive issues, like indigestion, gas, and diarrhea.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. At what age can I give juice to my child?

It would be best to wait until your child completes 12 months before offering them juices. Doctors recommend that children should drink juices as less frequently as possible because they add extra calories without much nutrition (16).

2. What effects does juice have on children?

Earlier, doctors suggested juices as a source of vitamin C and a remedy for constipation in children. However, as juices lack fiber and have high sugar content, they may cause weight gain and dental caries in children. Therefore, juices should be given to children after thoughtful consideration (17).

Try these healthy and refreshing juices for kids to reap the excellent health benefits of the ingredients. You may include these juices to fulfill your children’s nutritional requirements in a well-balanced diet. However, keep checking the quantity and avoid giving packed and too-sweetened juices. You may further guide them to be conscious of the nutritional facts of the juices to make a healthy choice. Also, involve them in preparing homemade juices to educate them about the significance of choosing healthy dietary potions.

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
1. Soft drinks, juice and sweet drinks – children; Better Health Channel; Victoria State Government
2. Kristi Crowe-White et al.; Impact of 100% Fruit Juice Consumption on Diet and Weight Status of Children: An Evidence-based Review; NCBI
3. Flavonoids; Oregon State University
4. Jie Zheng et al.; Effects and Mechanisms of Fruit and Vegetable Juices on Cardiovascular Diseases; Researchgate
5. Susanne M Henning et al.; Health Benefit of vegetable/fruit Juice-Based Diet: Role of Microbiome; NCBI
6. 10 Tips: Make Better Beverage Choices; ChooseMyPlate; USDA
7. Fruit Juice and Your Child’s Diet; Healthy Children; American Academy of Pediatrics
8. Specific Food Labeling Requirements; FDA
9. Melvin B. Heyman et al.; Fruit Juice in Infants, Children, and Adolescents: Current Recommendations; American Academy of Pediatrics
10. Sugary soda and juice can boost blood pressure, weight; Harvard Health Publishing
11. What You Need to Know About Juice Safety; FDA
12. Parvin Mirmiran et al.; Functional properties of beetroot (Beta vulgaris) in management of cardio-metabolic diseases; NCBI
13. Juice Boxes: Tips for Parents; Healthy Children; American Academy of Pediatrics
14. The Truth About Sugary Drinks and Your Smile; American Dental Association
15. Feeding & Nutrition Tips: 4-to 5-Year-Olds; Healthy Children; American Academy of Pediatrics
17. Melvin B.Heyman et al.; Fruit Juice in Infants, Children, and Adolescents: Current Recommendations; American Academy of Pediatrics; (2017)
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Swati Patwal

Swati Patwal is a clinical nutritionist, a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) and a toddler mom with over eight years of experience in diverse fields of nutrition. She started her career as a CSR project coordinator for a healthy eating and active lifestyle project catering to school children. Then she worked as a nutrition faculty and clinical nutrition coach in different... more

Dr. Orlena Kerek

(MBChB)
Dr. Orlena Kerek pursued Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees from the University of Bristol, the UK in 2001 and is trained as a pediatric doctor. She is now a family health advocate, empowerment mentor, pioneer, author, educator, and mother. She helps families create healthy habits they love so they can all feel fit and fabulous without having... more

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