Snacks & Treats
How to Make Healthy Smoothies Your Kids Will Love
By Gwen Leron, Delightful Adventures
Jan 26, 2017
Smoothies are popular in my home. I make them often throughout the week because they're quick to put together, they're a great way to get a serving (or more!) of fruits and veggies, and, if made correctly, they're delicious.
I approach the smoothies I make for myself differently than those I make for my kids. For me, it's all about packing in nutrition and having a quick breakfast or snack. The ingredients I put into mine include greens, vegetables, fruits, seeds, and nuts — if it's in my fridge, it's fair game. While I think my smoothies are all delicious, regardless of what they look like, my kids don't always agree, so I put more thought into what's going into theirs.
Think About the Taste
Kids are naturally drawn to things that are sweet (so are most adults, myself included!) but I never add sweeteners to any of our smoothies. Instead, I let the fruits be the sweeteners. A ripe banana or a sweet, in-season peach are perfect. A date that has been soaked in warm water to soften up a bit before blending is also a great natural sweetener.
Think About What the Final Smoothie Will Look Like
We all eat with our eyes first; kids are no different. Most kids are picky, so while the smoothie may taste amazing, if it looks like something that was scooped out of a swamp, it may not be well-received!
I made a smoothie for myself this past weekend with blueberries and baby spinach as the main ingredients. The smoothie turned out to be gray-ish because I went too heavy on the spinach. It tasted great, but this one would not have been one my kids would have found appealing.
When coming up with the ingredients for your kids' smoothies, think of bright colours that will appeal to them: pink, blue, orange, red, green, etc. Think of how the colours of the ingredients will blend together. And even if the final colour ends up to be not so appealing, still offer it because you may be surprised!
Get your Kids Involved
Any time I include my kids in food prep, they are way more likely to eat (and enjoy!) the finished product. I'm sure yours are the same (it's kind of a parenting magic trick, isn't it?). The beauty about smoothies is that they can be made with different ingredients every time. So ask them what they'd like to add. Have them measure out the ingredients, wash them, and peel them. Let them experiment with different flavours and colours. If they get stuck on the same ingredients every time, introduce new possibilities so they experiment with different fruits and vegetables. For example, beets will make a vibrant coloured smoothie (and won't alter the taste too much if they don't like beets). When trying a new vegetable or fruit, start out with a small amount and add more to taste.
Here is a basic smoothie recipe you can start with and build upon:
Banana Berry Smoothie
- 1/2 ripe banana
- 1/4 avocado
- 1/2 cup berries (fresh or frozen)
- 2 tsp chia or flax seeds
- 1/2 cup milk (almond, soy, rice, dairy...any type will work)
1. Add all ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth.
Serves 1 (makes 1 cup)
Ingredients can be doubled to make a bigger serving or to serve more than one child.
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