I love these Natural Jelly Gummies because they’re a cheap, easy and fun way to include this superfood, gelatin, in our kids daily diet. And the kids love them!
Gelatin is derived from collagen found in animal bones, skin and cartilage that’s been dehydrated and ground in to a flavourless powder. It contains amino acids (the building blocks fo protein) that have the ability to: reduce inflammation; soothe joint pain; boost energy; heal damaged skin, nails and hair. It also contains an array of naturally derived minerals like calcium, magnesium, sulphur and phosphorous.
Here are my top 5 reasons (and it was hard to limit it to just 5) why gelatin really is a kid-friendly superfood:
1. Gelatin heals the gut
The amino acid, glycine, stimulates the production of stomach acid to help breakdown our food into nutrients. It also soothes and nourishes the lining of the gut, healing and preventing leaky gut and aiding the absorption of vitamins and minerals. Leaky gut can be the cause of many health conditions, such as: digestive issues like bloating, diarrhoea or IBS (irritable bowel syndrome); seasonal allergies or asthma; hormonal imbalances; autoimmune disease; chronic fatigue; mood and mind issues like depression, anxiety and ADD or ADHD; skin conditions like acne, rosacea or eczema; candida overgrowth; food allergies and intolerances.
2. Gelatin support healthy joints and bones
Bone and joint health is essential in the early stages of a child’s development. Glycine helps keep cartilage, skin and bones healthy, giving growing bodies strong foundations for future growth and development. Gelatin contains calcium to support bone density, it also contains magnesium and phosphorus which aid the absorption of calcium.
3. Gelatin is a balanced source of protein
Every cell in our body is made up of protein. Our bodies require protein for maintenance and repair but it’s especially important for kids because it supports their rapid growth and development – babies and toddlers require more protein than older kids and adults. Most kids will eat a diet high in animal protein like eggs, chicken and red meat, which can increase homocysteine levels (often associated with heart disease). Gelatin is a protein source that contains glycine, which supports our bodies production of methionine that works to reduce homocysteine levels. Protein is also going to keep your little people feeling fuller for longer.
4. Gelatin improves sleep
Yep! Sleep is a common problem among so many kids these days and a study published by The Japanese Society of Sleep Research, showed that glycine improved sleep quality and efficacy, lessened daytime sleepiness and improved performance of memory and recognition tasks. Glycine also decreases anxiety and helps calm little minds, so they can drift off into a blissful sleep.
5. Gelatin balances blood sugars
Glycine can help support blood sugar control. Consuming glycine alongside glucose stimulates the body to secrete insulin allowing the body to more effectively get glucose into our cells and use it for energy. Confectionary jellies are going to do quite the opposite, causing a huge spike and huge drop in blood sugar levels… good news is, our eldest said *unprompted* “these jelly gummies are better than the Natural Confectionary Company” the first time she tried them.
Gelatin also promotes healthy liver detoxification, can aid weight loss, nourish our adrenals, ward off wrinkles and prevents stretch marks and cellulite, so don’t think these jelly gummies are for the kids alone!
Making jelly gummies is a fun way to get kids in to the kitchen and involved in the cooking process (including kids in food preparation makes them more inclined to eat the end product). Choose your favourite flavour or use whatever you have on hand (it’s a great way to use up fruit and veg that may be on the way out too). If you don’t have a silicone mould or ice cube tray use a small baking dish and cut in to squares or shapes later.
Choose good quality gelatin powder that’s from preferably organic and pasture-raised healthy animals, as it will be free of hormones, antibiotics and pesticides (this doesn’t include the supermarket variety). I use Great Lakes Beef Gelatin – the one in red gels, the one in green doesn’t, or Gelatin Australia Organic Gelatin.
It’s worth noting that amino acids require fat solvable vitamins to absorb properly, so include fat in your gummies if you can – I’ve found cultured cream or coconut cream works best.
NATURAL JELLY GUMMIES
1.5 cups juice or juice/fruit combo
4 Tbsp gelatin powder
2 Tbsp filtered water
Sweetener to taste (maple syrup, honey) *optional
Flavour combinations, think: peaches and cream; raspberry and lemon (pictured), coconut and lime, caramel banana. Don’t just think fruit either, juice up some greens or veg and add to the mix to up the nutrient content too.
Kids Multivitamin Gummies
Want to make your own kids “multi-vitamin”? try my Super immune-boost (main picture) jelly gummies made with oranges, lemons, turmeric, Manuka honey, cod liver oil and probiotic powder. If you’re adding probiotic powder or liquid, just allow the mixture to come to room temperature before adding it so as not to compromise the integrity of the bacteria.
- “Bloom” your gelatin (to make sure you don’t get any hard lumps and ensure it dissolves easily into your mixture). Add filtered water to a small bowl with the gelatin, stir to combine and set aside
- In a small saucepan, heat your liquid and/or fruit on low until the fruit has softened. Turn off the heat
- Break up your bloomed gelatin into pieces and add to the warm liquid mixture until it’s completely dissolved – use a fork or small whisk
- Using a stick blender to purée the mix until it reaches a smooth consistency – skip this step if you’re just using liquid
- Pour into moulds or a baking tray (slice in to squares once set), allow to cool a little then put in the fridge to set (approx 2-hours).