Have you made smoothies lately? Some people have a nutritious smoothie each morning for breakfast, and smoothies also make a quick healthy snack. Smoothies are a great way to get children of all ages to drink a cool drink packed with fruit, vegetables, vitamins and calcium, all depending on what you mix in them.
Smoothies are easy to put together. Use whatever fruit you have available, add a little milk, some yogurt, a few ice cubes, and then blend. It really is that simple. You can even omit the ice cubes if you are using frozen fruit.
Young children are often more likely to eat something new if they have a hand in preparing it, and the preparation is fun and exciting. Ultimately, you want your children to be included in what goes in their smoothies. In this way smoothies can become a great nutritional teaching tool as children learn that healthy foods can also taste great.
One important tip is to keep the recipes simple at first. The easier a smoothie is to make, the faster older children can pick up the process and make their own – and often just being able to do it themselves will inspire your child’s enthusiasm. Obviously the younger the child the more help and supervision they will need, but you can let them do things like putting the fruit in the blender and pushing the blend button. They will love watching the blender process the ingredients!
Try to use different variations when it comes to recipes, and don’t be afraid to experiment with some out-of-the-normal food combinations.
- Try adding a handful of carrots, celery or spinach to the smoothie recipe. These vegetables help make it an extra healthy smoothie.
- Add up to 1 tablespoon of honey for a sweeter flavor.
- Add oat bran, almonds or wheat germ for an extra burst of nutrition.
- Add 1 tablespoon of peanut butter or nut butter for protein.
- Substitute milk for juice or juice for the milk in any recipe.
- Experiment with different juices including vegetable juices.
- To make any simple smoothie recipe thinner add more juice or milk. To make any simple smoothie recipe thicker add more fruit or vegetables.
The great thing about smoothies is, you can be creative and discover what your favorite flavors are. And it’s a great way to add some extra nutrients into your children’s diet.
Strawberry Banana Smoothie
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- 2 cups orange juice
- 1 banana, cut in pieces
- ½ cup milk
Add ingredients together in blender and blend until smooth.
Blueberry Fruit Smoothie
- Carton of blueberry yogurt
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries, strawberries or peaches
- ½ cup ice cubes
Add all together in blender and blend until smooth.
Blueberry Strawberry Spinach Smoothie – 2 servings
- 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 ripe banana
- 2/3 cup frozen blueberries
- 2 large frozen strawberries
- 1 cup spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup milk of choice
- 1 tablespoon of honey, or to taste
Add all of the ingredients to a blender, cover with the lid, and blend until smooth. Add more milk if needed to reach desired consistency and taste for sweetness, adjusting as necessary. Pour into two glasses and enjoy promptly.
Author: Vicki Starks, Fayette County F2ECE Associate