Healthy, homemade smoothies can be one of the fastest (& easiest!) way to feed children their recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables.
Smoothies may work well for children who are; picky eaters, struggle to sit still to eat a whole plate of food, quite active & children with food allergies.
All you need is a high-speed blender, food processor or a thermomix.
- 2 frozen bananas, chopped
- ¼ avocado
- 1 cup almond milk or rice milk
- Handful of ice
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- Optional: 1 tablespoon of nut butter such as almond.
- Add all ingredients into blender and blend until combined
Starter Green smoothie
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 2 frozen bananas
- 1 handful baby spinach
- 2 cups water (or 1 cup water and 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice)
- Handful of ice
- Optional: 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed or nut butter
- Blend spinach, with a little water until smooth.
- Add the remaining fruits and blend again.
Blueberry ‘Yoghurt’ Green Smoothie
This tastes like it has yoghurt in it, but it is dairy free. The creaminess comes from the cashew or almond milk, along with the frozen bananas.
- 100g raw cashews or almonds
- 2 frozen bananas, chopped
- 100g frozen blueberries
- 1-2 big handfuls of cos lettuce or baby spinach
- 300g coconut water or water
- 2 handfuls of ice
Grind up the dry nuts first for 10 seconds on speed 9. Then add remaining ingredients and blend on speed 10 for 2 minutes.
If you don’t have a thermomix, just blend on high speed in your blender/food processor.
Green Chocolate Smoothie
From Quirky Cooking– this is a fabulous blog!
- 4-5 pitted raw dates
- 100g raw almonds (if you can’t have nuts, try sunflower seeds instead)
- 2 Tbsp of seeds (chia, sunflower, pepitas, linseed, flaxseed)
- 200g ice (or more, depending how thick you like it)
- 30g raw cacao powder (if you use regular cocoa or carob powder, you may need a bit less)
- 2 frozen bananas, chopped in pieces
- 1 avocado, chopped.
- 60g (2 big handfuls) of baby spinach or butter lettuce
- 600g unsweetened coconut water, or filtered water
Leave out the banana, add a handful of fresh mint, and add a few more dates.
Leave out the avocado.
Use more or less ice depending on how thick you like it – you can always add more ice at the end if it’s too thin, and whiz it up for another minute.
Try frozen berries instead of frozen banana or a combination of both.
- First grind up the nuts, seeds and dates on speed 9 for about 10 seconds:
- Next add the ice and grind on speed 9 for about 10 seconds:
- Add cacao powder, banana and avocado and grind on speed 9 for 10 seconds, mixing with the spatula if needed:
- Add the greens and water and mix on speed 9 for a minute or so, until well blended and creamy:
- If you don’t have a thermomix, just blend on high speed in your blender/food processor.
1. How do I Make My Smoothie Thicker?
If your smoothie is thinner than you would like it to be you have several options to make it thicker. Frozen bananas, avocado and nut butter are your best options here.
2. My smoothie needs to be sweeter, what should I add?
To sweeten a smoothie, add a dash of raw agave, coconut syrup, some pitted fresh medjool dates or raw honey.
3. I like my smoothie to be icy cold. Can I use frozen fruit?
Use at least one frozen fruit to make the green smoothie cold. Bananas are perfect for this. This is the perfect place to use your slightly over ripe bananas. Peel them and place in a large Ziploc bag in the freezer so you always have them on hand.
4. I want to make a green smoothie, which greens should I start with?
Milder tasting greens like baby spinach and romaine lettuce are mild tasting and good to use when beginning to test green smoothies.
6 Kid-friendly green smoothie tips
- 1. Make a Transition Smoothie: Being bold and extra green on your first smoothie attempt will not win new green smoothie lovers. Baby steps are the key to making a smooth transition to developing a taste for greens in your child’s smoothie. So make those first few smoothies creamy with a lot of fruit, and then start adding a hint of greens. Then with each smoothie you serve, add a little less fruit and a little more green leaves. Also a little less juice and milk and a lot more filtered water. Your goal is to pack in your child’s daily needs for green vegetables.
- 2. Be a Model Smoothie Drinker: Have a smoothie every day yourself. Children model their eating habits on their immediate environment so you could start the daily smoothie routine yourself and then include your children.
- 3. Start a Smoothie Race: Kids love a challenge, and a smoothie race is a great way for you and your child to gulp those nutrient packed smoothies down super fast. This is the best fast food you could ever have.
- 4. Novelty factor. Everything is better with a bright or bendy straw & you can buy big packets of colourful straws that are quite inexpensive. Another idea is to name your smoothies. Do your children have a favorite green or purple character? Why not name it after them? The Hulk? The Ironman smoothie? Dora the explorer smoothie?
- 5. Prep Together: Let your child participate in the whole smoothie preparation from the shopping to the blending. Have your child help pick out which fruits and veggies to buy, wash the fruits and veggies in a colander and measure and pour the water into the blender.
- 6. Encourage Healthy Choices: Add the term “growing food” to their vocabulary. Ideally, most of the food we eat should be live; fruits & vegetables, eggs and other proteins such as meat and fish, nuts and seeds.
- When you blend leafy green vegetables, they are a lot easier to digest. The fibers are liquified making nutritional absorption easier.
- Studies have shown that children and adults alike generally accept a new food by the eleventh try.