How to Make Healthy Smoothies Your Kids Will Love
Smoothies are not just for health-nuts anymore! They are a delicious and healthy treat that you can make in your own kitchen and enjoy any time of day. A smoothie can be a wonderful medium for getting a variety of nutritious foods into your kids and the flavour combinations are endless.
You don’t need a fancy blender to make smoothies at home.
Here are a few tips for getting your kids to LOVE smoothies:
- Buy them a special cup or straw to get them excited.
- Keep it simple. Start off with 2 or 3 ingredients that they already like and let them watch you make it (or even better – help you make it).
- Most kids like sweet foods so be sure to include something sweet in your smoothie. For example, choose ripe fruits that are on the sweeter side vs. tart fruits.
Once your child starts enjoying smoothies (and sometimes it can take several tries before that happens) then you can start adding new ingredients.
Here are some examples of what you can add to a smoothie to make it more nutrient dense:
- Nut or seed butters: A great source of calcium, iron, protein and healthy fats.
- Avocado: A great source of healthy fats, vitamins and minerals and adds a nice creamy texture to the smoothie.
- Cocoa Powder: Making a chocolate smoothie is great way to cover up other flavours/colours. It is also a great source of antioxidants. Just make sure to include enough sweet flavours to balance out the bitterness of the cocoa.
- Baby spinach: A great way to add vitamins and minerals including calcium and iron. Bonus – raw spinach does not have a very strong flavour, especially when combined with sweet fruits.
You don’t need a fancy blender to make smoothies at home. Generally speaking, a more powerful blender will yield a smoother texture and have an increased ability to “hide” those ingredients you do not wish to highlight. If you plan to make smoothies a part of your family’s daily routine, you might consider investing in a higher quality machine.
Important Smoothie Making Tips:
- Don’t try to trick your child! If they discover you have tried to pull one over on them, you will teach them that you cannot be trusted and potentially turn them off of smoothies altogether. If you plan to add something new to a smoothie, be sure to give it a different name (i.e. – Power Smoothie, Green Smoothie, Berry Delicious Smoothie). This way, if they do not enjoy it, you can simply say “Okay, we will try a different flavour next time”.
- Offer full, but delayed, disclosure: If you have added something new to your child’s smoothie (spinach for example), I would suggest you let them try it before telling them this. You can even make it a game and ask them to guess the secret ingredient. Once they decide that they like the smoothie, it is a good idea to let them know that they just ate spinach and enjoyed it! Just try not to make it a big deal and do your happy dance in another room.
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Aviva is one of Toronto’s leading nutritionists with a specialty in Kids’ Nutrition. For more info visit Aviva Allen’s Website