Two years ago I started making more green smoothies and found out it was a delicious way to add greens to my diet. I like smoothies better than juicing because I also get the fiber from the fruit- smoothies keep me fuller a lot longer!
Luckily, my son loves smoothies and when he hears the blender whirring comes running to see what I’m making. I know that for some families shoving greens into a smoothie makes the kids run away, so here are some tips I collected from my own experiences for kid-friendly green smoothies.
Tip #1- Color is Key
Adding some spinach or kale to your fruit smoothie mix may literally ‘muddy’ up the smoothie and turn it a weird brown color. Up the berry factor to make a reddish or purple smoothie, or use lighter colored ingredients like peaches, bananas and melon to make it a more vivid green when adding things like kale and spinach. Look up recipes online or make your own recipe collection on Pinterest.
Tip #2- Hide the Truth
I don’t really like to ‘hide’ veggies in food, but what you don’t know won’t hurt you when it comes to kid-friendly green smoothies. Luckily, spinach blends in well and doesn’t change the taste unless you put it too much- no more than half of my smoothies are spinach, but for my four-year-old I go with about a third.
Make their smoothies on the sly and serve them in an opaque cup with a lid and straw. Tell them it’s a [insert fruits here] smoothie and don’t admit to the spinach or whatever that hides inside. Repeat as needed.
Tip #3- Get them Involved
Blending ingredients can be a great science experiment. What fruits and vegetables will make what color? Let your kids try their own kid-friendly green smoothies, using fruits, spinach, yogurt, almond milk, carrot juice, coconut water or whatever else you want to add to the mix. Blend, sip and make a note of what you did right for next time!
Tip #4- Smooth Rules
The chunkier a smoothie is, the more likely my son is going to leave part of it unfinished, either from not being able to suck it through the straw or the weird feeling associated with ‘chewing’ a drink.
I make almost all of our smoothies with a stick blender, so I am sure to remove all of the stems from the spinach and skip kale, which requires a more powerful method blender.
Tip #5- Reward Good Eating Habits
Right now my son’s goals chart has a line for drinking two glasses of water in a day, something we’re working on. Add a line for finishing their kid-friendly green smoothies (in your presence, no cheating!) so they can reap the rewards on their chore chart as well as in their new healthier lifestyle.