This week’s featured pin is a tribute to the age-old struggle of parents who want their children to eat more veggies. Sigh. This is me. This is a struggle in my house for sure!
My kids will eat green beans, corn and peas no problem. One of them eats broccoli, the other one has recently decided it cannot even touch other food on his plate, or it too will be inedible. He eats carrots but his sister won’t touch them. No leafy greens of any sort, no squash (unless we do a fantastic job of hiding it) no cauliflower…you get the picture. I’m sure they eat more than some kids their ages – and believe me, I’m grateful every day that they eat as well as they do – but I always feel like they’re missing key nutrients, especially without the greens.
Like most kids, they do much better with fruit, so a while back, I started making “fruit” smoothies, which are actually “fruit and veggie” smoothies! It’s amazing what you can hide in a smoothie if it’s accompanied by the right flavors and you blend it long enough to ensure there aren’t any visible green flakes!
Here’s a typical smoothie in my house:
- a couple of bananas
- about a cup of frozen blueberries
- 8 to 10 frozen peach slices
- a big handful of spinach (kale is great too, we just usually have the spinach on-hand)
- a couple of spoonfuls of plain greek yogurt
- a squirt of honey
- enough orange juice to blend it all together
The best thing about smoothies though is their adapability. A lot of people add ice. I prefer to always include frozen fruit instead. You can do without yogurt if there are dairy sensitivities in your house. I like the greek yogurt for the protein and just a dab of honey along with the sweetness of the fruit makes it plenty sweet even using the plain yogurt. But you can use any yogurt, or kefir if you prefer. Just about any fruit will work. Fresh or frozen strawberries are delicious. Mango and/or pinapple are great additions to any smoothie, or you can use them with banana, spinach and coconut milk for a pina colada-type smoothie. The blending liquid is also highly adaptable. Lots of people use almond or rice milk, regular old cow’s milk works too, as do juices of all types.
I recently found this Orange Resolution Smoothie receipe from Ree Drummond on FoodNetwork.com. While it wasn’t exactly intended to be kid friendly, it definitely is – and I love the use of carrots as way to switch things up from my usual handful of greens. This has been a welcome addition to our smoothie line-up.
You can also add oils and other supplements if you like, you can tailor your smoothies to meet your family’s needs in any number of ways.
All of the smoothies have been a hit with my son and many of them have been with my daughter. She’s the one who won’t eat it if she can still see the spinach pieces, so we’ve learned from those experiences and now blend smoothies for a LONG time! But several of my concoctions have appealed to her unadventurous, 5-year-old palate, so that is a win in my book any day!
Follow Cincinnati Children’s on Pinterest for more smoothie recipes, as well as hundreds of other helpful resources and fun ideas for kids.