Prune juice, like green veggies and an early bedtime, is healthy for your kids -- but that doesn't mean they'll like it. This liquid is an acquired taste for some. It's packed with potassium, contains iron and helps to aid digestion, which is why many parents turn to prune juice to help mildly constipated kids.
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Diluted prune juice is often recommended for constipated infants, but a child of any age may be more willing to sip this drink if the flavor isn't too strong. Try a half-and-half combination of water and prune juice.
One easy way to "hide" prune juice from a picky kid is to mix it with other kinds of juice. Not only will the flavor of the mixer juice mask some of the flavor, but your child will get nutrients from the second juice as well. Use a half-and-half combination of prune juice and apple, orange, grape or cranberry juice. If your child balks at this drink, experiment with the amounts of each juice until you find a ratio that she's willing to drink.
Make this drink even more palatable by making it seem like a special occasion "party" drink. Stir together prune and other juices in a pitcher, add chopped fruit and refrigerate it overnight. Before serving, stir in some lemon-lime soda or sparkling water for fizz. Serve drinks with paper umbrellas and call it a kid-friendly sangria.
Few kids can resist a frosty smoothie. Use prune juice with frozen blueberries or mixed berries; the dark color will mask the prune juice's telltale nearly black hue. A handful of berries, a banana, some ice and a cup of prune juice is all you need to make a smoothie that little ones will be happy to sample. Sneak in some leafy greens or yogurt to add even more nutrients and protein.
You may also try making a variation on Food & Wine's alcoholic prune shake. Combine prune juice, ice, maple syrup and vanilla frozen yogurt or vanilla ice cream in a blender.
Freeze prune juice in ice cube trays. Keep these cubes in the freezer to toss into smoothies and shakes whenever your child is backed up.
Hide prune juice in desserts to curb complaints. Try making a prune cake with a gooey, buttery topping. With plenty of cinnamon and sugar, kids won't notice the strong prune flavor.
Juice isn't the only way to introduce prunes into your child's diet. Buy or make prune puree and stir it into softened ice cream or a bowl of applesauce. You can also substitute this puree for half the oil, butter or shortening in baked recipes.
If your child suffers from chronic constipation, prune juice alone won't help. Consult your pediatrician.