Kids have boundless energy! From the minute they wake up until they’re tucked in bed, they are a whirlwind of activities. Where do they get all these energy? Well, the answer is simple. It’s all coming from the food they eat. This is why it’s important to know what goes into their favorite food, from the pizza they love eating for lunch, to the juice box they have for snack. Reading food labels is one way to monitor sugar levels and fat levels in foods. This also gives them an early start on good food habits that will serve them well for the rest of their lives.
One way to ensure that your kids get all the vitamins and nutrients they need to keep them going is to prepare the meals and their drinks yourself. This is easier said and done because of the busy lives we lead these days. Plus, they can always throw out that healthy sandwich you packed for lunch. But one thing that irresistible is a smoothie. Yes, learn to make healthy smoothies for kids. Choose the fruits and vegetables that can give them energy without undermining its taste. Trade tall glasses of healthy smoothies for kids for that juice pouch that’s loaded with sugar. A typical 200ml juice pouch has 100 calories and 22 g of sugar! This is why kids are all sugared up. Sugar sneaks in from their ready to eat snacks and foods. Change their eating habits now and introduce them to fresh fruits and yummy vegetables through healthy smoothies for kids.
To start, make sure that your kid has no food allergies that might inadvertently get into his smoothies. Choose fruits that are familiar to him and gradually move on to fruits that pack a lot of taste and flavor (even if he does not recognize them). Then add milk or yogurt so it becomes super creamy and smooth. A lot of kids don’t like chunky drinks, so for now, skip the oats and nuts that you can include in smoothies (for protein) and concentrate on fruits that blend very well. You will be rewarded for requests for more. They’ll find it incredibly delicious and you’ll love it because they’re totally healthy.
Kids love banana smoothies because it’s smooth, creamy and has a nice appealing color. Now add frozen strawberries or blueberries and watch their eyes grow big with wonder as the colors change from creamy white to pink or to blue. But what they don’t realize is that healthy smoothies for kids like these ones have lots of antioxidants and vitamins! Plus, with the natural sweetness of fruits, there’s no need to add sugar, thus cutting down their sugar intake for the day.
Healthy smoothies for kids can also be made with vegetables. You can sneak in pureed carrots and pumpkins. And you can use coconut milk, almond milk or soy milk to make them healthier. In fact, adding plain Greek yogurt is another way to add nutrients, Vitamin A and Vitamin C to healthy smoothies for kids you make at home. This creamy and thick yogurt will make your smoothie even more creamier and will give it a consistency of soft ice cream.
Other fruits you can use for healthy smoothies for kids are mango, papaya, kiwi, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, watermelon, grapes, peaches and oranges. You can even combine them with each other so it never gets boring. Healthy smoothies for kids can be an alternative snack since it is an energy booster and a refreshing treat. Here are some recipes that you can start with and customize. Healthy smoothies for kids should be a fun drink, so put it in a tumbler that’s nice and fun. Use a big and playful straw so it makes sound when they sip and slurp. Making a great and healthy drink into something they want is what mom’s do best.
Hello Banana Smoothie
2 pcs bananas
1/2 cup yogurt (plain, Greek)
1/2 skim milk
1/2 cup ice
Mix together in a blender until ice is crushed and smoothie is smooth and creamy. Pour into a tall tumbler. To this basic smoothie, add other fruits to give it another layer of taste and flavor. See what fruits make the best colors and what combinations work best. Avoid making very dark drinks for kids as they tend to not like it and may think that it’s bitter. With healthy smoothies for kids, you can experiment until you get the perfect combination and color.
Options to add the Hello Banana Smoothie: (pick one or two or even three different fruits!)
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup fresh mangoes diced
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup frozen peaches
1 cup watermelon (no seeds)
1 cup honeydew melon (diced)
1 cup cantaloupe
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 cup ripe papaya (diced)
1 whole avocado (diced)
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 kiwi (cut in small pcs)
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
1/2 cup apricot
1 cup Mandarin oranges
If you see that your child loves your concoctions of healthy smoothies for kids, then start to add vegetables or other sources of fiber. The sweet fruit will mask the veggies and he’ll never know that he’s actually drinking his vegetables instead of drinking them! Here are some vegetables that you can add:
1/2 cup pureed pumpkin (the lovely orange color will be a great addition to the creamy banana base)
1/2 cup diced steamed carrots blended well
1/2 cup carrot juice
1 cup frozen spinach
3 leaves of kale
1/2 cup silken tofu
1/2 cup cooked oatmeal (add to bananas and blueberries, this purply smoothie will really look terrific!)
1/4 cup cashews (nuts can also be added if your child has no food allergies)
1 tbsp peanut butter (natural and organic)
1 tbsp grated ginger
Healthy smoothies for kids are fun to make. They are not only refreshing but healthy, too. So next time you reach for a juice box for your child, think how easy it is to make a smoothie with fruits and vegetables you already have in your fridge. Remember that kids appreciate foods that look good, so make sure he knows that if it looks good then it tastes good. This will give him incentive to try a purple smoothie or a red smoothie or an orange smoothie. Your child doesn’t need to know that it’s loaded with Vitamins A and C, beta carotene, lycopene and a host of other nutrients that will make eating healthy so much fun!