Drinking celery juice is all the rage lately, with celebrities and wellness gurus alike touting its many benefits on Instagram. I certainly have seen my fair share of green drinks in my feed of late. While I myself am interested to see if this 'super elixir' will give my skin a healthy glow, I'm also hoping it might be a sneaky way to get my two kiddos to finally, finally consume something green. But, before firing up my juicer, I needed to look into whether or not this trend is kid-safe. Can kids drink celery juice just like adults?
The answer is "Yes" but with some important caveats. "[Celery juice] is safe for kids, although I would buy organic celery to reduce pesticides," advises certified dietitian/nutritionist Ilyse Schapiro, MS, RD, CDN, in an interview with Romper. Interestingly, celery is on the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen list of foods high in pesticides, so organic does seem like the way to go, whether you're making the drink for your kid or yourself, or even consuming the vegetable in any form.
Schapiro also recommends starting with smaller quantities of celery juice at first, and being cognizant of any potential allergic reactions. "When you start drinking celery juice, drinking too much can cause abdominal distress, gas and bloating. Some people may also be allergic to celery. People with pollen allergies may also have a reaction to celery," explains Schapiro.
But, if your child seems to tolerate celery juice, it is one wellness trend with some impressive nutritional benefits behind it. "Celery is rich in vitamins such as folate, vitamin K and potassium, plus antioxidants. It is also low in calories," according to Schapiro.
Celery has also been linked to broader health benefits. One recent study published in the Journal of Evidenced Based Alternative Medicine found that celery has 'powerful antioxidant characteristics' that remove free radicals. In fact, celery may help fight cancer and liver disease, according to Today, reporting on other medical studies.
However, while celery juice may be a great, sneaky way to get your child some much-needed green in his or her diet, it shouldn't be over done. "A child can drink 8 - 16 oz of celery juice per day. Celery juice should not be the only way you consume vegetables. You should get a variety of different fruits and vegetables, and not just stick to one," advises Schapiro.
What's more, celery juice tastes kind of bitter on its own, and some added ingredients might actually negate some of the intended benefits. "Most of the popular options are mixed with other juices to make it more palatable, which can cost you a lot more calories and sugar," reported Today, so keep that in mind if the last thing you're trying to do is up those numbers.
So, while you can certainly try introducing small quantities of celery juice into your kid's daily diet, there's also the option of just pushing more of the stalky green vegetable in general. The perennial kid favorite snack, Ants on a log, may actually be your smartest bet. "You don’t need to juice [celery] to reap the benefits. In fact you get more fiber from eating celery vs. drinking it," notes Schapiro.
Plus, these days, there are some seriously inventive Ants on a log recipes out there, that look pretty and are mega-nutritious, too.