A great nutritional invention
Yes…nutritional smoothies or healthy smoothies for kids! One of the best — and easiest — ways to sneak some extra nutrition into your kids diet is through healthy and nutritional smoothies! When our third child proved to be a SUPER picky eater I didn’t worry about her vegetable consumption nearly as much … because she LOVED our family smoothies.
If you’re just starting to introduce your kids to the wonderful world of smoothies, or are looking to change up your current recipes then try some of these tips and tricks for a successful — and tasty — smoothie recipe.
Vegetables to try
Kids might sometimes turn their noses up at the sight of leafy greens going into the blender. If you are just starting out I recommend using vegetables like spinach, celery and cucumbers in your smoothies. I’ve found these three veggies really don’t do much to alter the taste of a berry smoothie, other than by adding a sweet fresh flavor that doesn’t compete with or overpower fruits like strawberries, blueberries or blackberries. If your kiddos are used to the subtle flavor of spinach and celery in their smoothies, then try gradually adding healthy greens like kale or collard greens. If you play with the ratios (and I do like to include as much greens and veggies as I can possibly get away with!) then you’ll find that you can add a surprising amount of vegetables to your smoothie and your kids will still happily enjoy it — even though you might not be able to get them to eat those same vegetables raw.
Fruits we recommend
We mainly use frozen strawberries, blueberries and marionberry or blackberries in our smoothies. Part of this is because these are easy to find and buy in bulk for a great price through our local Costco :) The texture of a smoothie seems to be really important to my kids so I always make sure to add either banana or raisins to ensure a creamy treat. I also like to buy up lemons or limes in bulk when they go on sale and juice them into ice cube trays so I can throw a few cubes of lemon or lime juice into our smoothies because we all like tart flavors. During the winter kiwi is usually thrown into the mix, and in late summer we take advantage of the fresh peaches from our farmers market — using fruits that are in season along with our frozen berries helps to switch up the flavors and create new combinations for the kids to enjoy.
Tips and Tricks
If you’ve never put vegetables in your smoothie before, or if your kids are used to the ice cream treat versions you’ll find at most smoothie shops, then start simple. Adding light green and fresh tasting veggies like celery and cucumber won’t alter the color or flavor enough to make it seem foreign to your kiddos. Adding a lot of spinach or other leafy greens will turn your red berry smoothie into a murky brown color — my kids don’t mind at all once they’ve tasted it, but if you’re just starting out, keep that in mind.
I also like to pile in all of my veggies FIRST so I make sure I’ve added enough greens before I start adding the berries. Usually our large vitamix blender is 2/3 to 3/4 full of leafy greens and vegetables before I even start adding my berries. I usually have to blend down the greens a bit first and then add more berries to the mix to make enough smoothie mix for our family of 5.
Also don’t be afraid to experiment! Our three kids, ages 2, 4 and 6 gladly consume smoothies with chia seeds, brown rice protien powder and kefir — not foods you usually see high on a list of toddler loves, but trust me, they really do love it :)
What is your families favorite smoothie combos?