6 Healthy Smoothie Recipes For Kids
Bland veggies become more appealing when they're mixed with sweet berries and fresh fruits. Here's how to up your family's produce intake with simple smoothies.
Your little one loves his veggies about as much as he loves the dentist. If eating his spinach is a nightly battle, consider adding fruit and veggie smoothies to his daily menu. Healthy smoothie recipes for kids are a great way to add fresh produce to his diet, and sweet frozen fruit can easily mask the taste of good-for-you greens.
The benefits of adding in a healthy smoothie for you and your kids are amazing. "You can create a nutrient-dense meal or snack in minutes that is really tasty and super easy. The flavor combinations are endless, and it helps children get creative and gain confidence in the kitchen, and learn to work with fresh produce," says Tess Masters, author of "The Blender Girl."
Smoothies are also super convenient. "It's quick and simple, portable and a great way to sneak in extra vitamins and nutrients in to kids. Great for when you are on the go!" says Jennifer Weare, the creator of Suburban Hippie Homestead and a holistic nutritionist in training. Plan ahead for even greater ease: "You can prep on the weekend and have everything set to go in containers so all you have to do is blend. Store three or four days worth to cut down on morning craziness," Weare adds. "Or if prep isn't your thing, buy frozen fruits and washed trimmed greens so you can just toss them in the blender." You can let the nanny know that you have everything ready for nutritious smoothies so they can pop them in the blender for an easy snack for your kids!
Here are six easy smoothie recipes that are sure to delight your kids -- and you!
- Peachy Punch
Sip on summer, no matter the season. Blend 1 cup frozen peaches, 2 cups almond milk, 1 banana and a handful of frozen strawberries for a sweet start to the day.
- Purple Power
The best healthy smoothie recipes for kids are those that incorporate greens, but getting your kids to actually drink them can be a challenge. "To get kids to drink green smoothies, start with 1 cup of mild greens like spinach, romaine, and kale mixed with some frozen fruit and water or milk," Masters suggests. "If your kids don't go for green, add vibrant purple picks like cranberry, pomegranate and grape juices, and add beets, berries and red grapes for gorgeous berry-looking smoothies that don't turn murky brown."
Your kids love peanut butter and banana sandwiches, so serve up the same tastes in a glass. Add 2 cups almond milk, 1 banana, 1 cup leafy greens (such as spinach or kale), 1 tablespoon chia or flax seed and 1 tablespoon peanut or almond butter to a blender and mix on high.
- Chocolate "Shake"
If you're feeling a bit more adventurous in your smoothie creations, Masters loves this unique one. "Embrace the brown and hide greens in chocolate milkshakes! Use 2 cups milk, 1 cup leafy greens like spinach, romaine or kale and add 2 to 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder and 2 bananas." Your kids will think they're getting dessert for breakfast, but you'll know they're getting a few servings of fruits and veggies before they step out the door.
- Blueberry Banana Blast
The tang of Greek yogurt adds a new dimension to this smoothie, but also serves up a dose of protein to tide your little ones over till lunch. Blend 1 banana, 1 cup leafy greens (such as spinach or kale), 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1 cup Greek yogurt and 1 cup almond milk to start your day on the right foot.
- Green Monster
As your kids get used to green smoothies, Weare suggests adding more and more veggies over time. "Add kale, parsley, cucumber, protein powder, hemp hearts and chia seeds for a great breakfast or lunch. You can slowly add more of these items to your kids' smoothies and eventually everyone will be having the same one!"
If your picky eater is not a fan of slurping his fruits and veggies, you can still get him to eat his smoothies up. "Turn any smoothie into a Popsicle -- freeze in molds and enjoy. Or create homemade fruit leathers by dehydrating green smoothies," says Masters. Don't forget to get your kids involved by letting them pick out their favorite flavor combinations and pushing the buttons on the blender. If they're engaged in the making of the smoothies, they're more likely to try (and love) them.
For more ways to get your kiddos to eat their fruits and veggies, check out these 7 Easy Breakfast Ideas.
Shannon Moyer-Szemenyei is a Certified Birth and Postpartum Doula, mother of two busy boys (Owen, 4 and Graeme, 7 months) and the writer at Sweet Stella's. She loves a good glass of wine, the company of her best girls, shiny running medals, her hunky Crossfit loving hubs and a caramel macchiato with extra drizzle.