“But he won’t drink anything green!” You say.
So here’s my advice:
Kids’ Starter Smoothie
Berries are King
. Some of the healthiest fruit and low in sugar. Plus, you can get them frozen all year round, and it helps make the smoothie nice and cold! I also recommend frozen mango for kids who like that tropical taste.
An Apple a Day.
Or maybe half an apple. Gives great flavor and sweetness.
Kids need high quality protein and this is usually an easy sell. Experiment with peanuts, cashews, or pecans to find out which your kid prefers. Raw and organic is best. If you’re a no-nut family, try pumpkin or sunflower seeds, or use a protein powder.
The Elixir of life. Virgin raw is best. Kids don’t typically get enough healthy fat, and here it is, pure and easy, just a spoonful away.
Yikes! Did I just say that? Okay, break him in slowly. You can start with spinach, which has a milder taste, or parsley. Use just a little the first time and increase quantity over time.
Only add banana if you feel that it’s necessary, but be careful about sugaring up your kid. There’s already plenty of sugar in the apple and berries (fructose is sugar), and eating unlimited fruit is not a good idea (although it’s being balanced here with protein and fat). So sweeten as needed in the beginning and try to scale back over time.
Mix it up and Make it smooth
. A lot of kids are very sensitive to texture, so blend it well. This is easy in a Vitamix and a bit harder with a less powerful motor like a Nutrabullet. So you’ll have to cut things into smaller pieces and blast it for longer. I never measure anything because I just have a sense of what will work, and it’s not critical, like baking, but here are some guidelines:
- pick two: handful of frozen blueberries, strawberries, mango
- handful of kale or other greens
- half an apple
- handful of nuts
- tablespoon of coconut oil
- cup of water or unsweetened coconut/almond/hemp milk (with no carrageenan)
- scrumptious extras: teaspoon of cocoa nibs or a few drops of peppermint oil
Special Smoothie Cup (consider lid)!
If your kid is really sensitive to the idea of veggies or green food, use a mug, stainless steel container, or something with a lid so that they’ll see less of it, and hopefully be distracted by the cool cup. Check out these from Greens Steel Kids. And this one from Things Remembered can be monogrammed! I love stainless steel straws! And Klean Kanteen is pretty ubiquitous online and in upscale and organic groceries.
Give it a cool name:
- Fire and Ice smoothie (if dominant color is mango-orange). “Hey Grayson, come have some Fire and Ice!”
- Clifford the Big Red Smoothie, for a strawberry blend.
- Purple Heaven for a blueberry blend.
You could play with the cup graphics, too: Panda Leaf Drink, Penguin Iceberry, Rhino Raz-mattaz, Power Gorilla Drink. Make it fun!
Let me know how it goes! I’d love to hear your stories–what you tried and what worked!
If you’re ready for a heavy-duty, life-enhancing cancer-prevention smoothie, try this.
The Good Food Fighter just designed and produced a card game for kids! It’s a fun family food game where players race to build the best Smoothies. Kids will learn about good healthy ingredients that help them win, and the villains that will penalize them (There may be some surprises!). All the charming fruits and veggie art in this article are part of the game and their friendly cartoon style is meant to appeal to kids and to make vegetables irresistibly friendly and cool! Subscribe to this blog to get announcements and special offers! Find the game here.