As the school year gets underway and family schedules become more crazy, it’s all too common to succumb to the temptation and ease of processed foods as you dash out the door. Getting your family to consume enough fruits, greens and other veggies on a daily basis can be pretty challenging, especially when you have fussy eaters. Smoothies are a great way to sneak some healthy produce into their diet but looks and tastes quite like a milk shake. What’s not to love?
Begin with trying out with some simple fruit and yogurt smoothies. Don’t get too exotic right away. While green smoothies are delicious and good for everyone, your kids might be wondering what the green stuff is. Blend some banana, frozen strawberries, and a bit of vanilla yogurt for your kids. As smoothies become part of their routine, you can slowly cut back on the sugar. This is easy to do by reducing the amount of banana and adding more berries. Then you can switch the sweetened vanilla yogurt for plain or Greek yogurt.
Once your family members have become smoothie fans (meaning they actually start asking for them!) you can begin to branch out and introduce them to the green stuff. Start with just a few greens and lots of fruit. If your kids are younger, give the smoothie a cool name like “Green Monster Mash” will help to increase the appeal of green smoothies. Be sure to keep the portions small. Sample a bit yourself and make sure there is no veggie taste before offering it to your kids. A good trick to sweeten up a green smoothie is to add some banana. It cancels out the taste of greens. You might also want to consider adding apple juice instead of water.
This same trick also works well for adults who aren’t green smoothie fans. Your priority should always be to get them to drink the smoothie so they’ll get those nutritious extra greens in their diet. If that means you have to add half a cup of apple juice to make it drinkable, that’s better than succumbing to a convenience meal of cereal, frozen pizza or a plate of chicken nuggets and fries.
Here’s a few more smoothie hacks to encourage them to drink up. Start with some of their favorite fruits, veggies and foods in general. Do you have any peanut butter and in the house? Try blending up bananas, berries, milk and a spoonful of peanut butter.
You can save money and streamline the process by purchasing bags of frozen fruit from your local warehouse club (organic varieties are becoming more available) and the big tubs of organic greens.
Here’s a few healthy smoothies to get you started:
- 1 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond or cashew milk
- 1 cup kale
- 1 ripe banana, cut into pieces
- 2 cups mango, frozen (generally available at your warehouse store)
- Ice if Needed
Add everything to your blender. Blend until smooth.
Simply Green Smoothie
- 1 small or half a medium banana
- 1/2 cup frozen fruit such as berries
- 1/2 cup low fat, plain Greek yogurt
- Splash of milk such as almond or cashew milk
- 3/4 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 1 to 1 ½ cups baby spinach or kale
- Ice if needed
Banana Strawberry Smoothie
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 banana
- 6 frozen strawberries
- ½ cup of orange juice
Add everything to your blender and blend until smooth. This makes one serving for a meal replacement, or divide it up for a snack.