How to Make Healthy Smoothies Your Kids Will Love
If left to their own devices, kids want sweet, frothy treats such as juice boxes, soda, or fast-food milkshakes. If you put these treats side-by-side with something good for them, they'll choose the sugary concoction every time. But there's a way to draw children away from the dark side with healthy smoothies so delicious that kids will love them.
Experiment with different fruits, veggies and liquid bases such as yogurt, milk or Kefir, until you find the one your child loves.
Here are a few ways you can introduce your child to the world of healthy, wholesome smoothies.
Build Smoothies Around Your Child’s Favorite Fruit
All kids have a fruit they enjoy eating. Use your child's favorite fruit and build a smoothie around it. If your child likes apples, you can combine them with bananas, pears and baby spinach. (Baby spinach isn't as bitter as regular spinach.) If your child likes strawberries, mix them with blueberries, bananas, and yogurt.
Peaches have natural sugar to tempt a child's sweet tooth without causing the same harm as refined sugar. Combine peaches with grapes, blueberries, and ice for a sweet treat. It has all the berry tastes kids love, without the added sugar. And it's loaded with Vitamin C, antioxidants, Vitamin K and fiber.
Let Kids Help You Make Smoothies
Get kids in on the act. They’ll have fun choosing ingredients and helping you put them in the blender. They’ll learn more about what food combinations work well together, and they’ll be anxious to try out new recipes.
Weight-Gain Smoothie Combinations for Toddlers (& Older Kids, Too)
Does your toddler need to gain weight? Make them a smoothie with raspberries and plain yogurt as a base, then add rolled oats, nut butter, honey and ice, or combine spinach with Vitamin C-rich berries, yogurt, flax oil, milk and a drizzle of honey.
Smoothies designed to help underweight toddlers bulk up don't rely on empty calories or whey protein powders like some adult weight-gain smoothies. The healthy fats come from pea protein powder, nut butter, sunflower butter, or organic peanut butter.
Several dietitians recognize popular smoothie ingredients – and a few lesser-known ones – as vital for kids’ health. Try a smoothie with oatmeal in the morning to give your child steady energy throughout the day, or a smoothie with peanut butter to boost choline for better brain cell production.
There are dozens of healthy smoothie combinations for kids, but you’ll need to experiment with a few to find the go-to recipe for your child, unless you hit the jackpot first time. Kids can drink smoothies with fruits, vegetables, coconut milk, yogurt, kefir, flaxseeds and most of the ingredients that adults also enjoy. However, it’s a good idea to take it easy on spices in smoothies for young kids as the taste may be too intense for them.
What kind of smoothies do you or your kids love?