Smoothies are one of the most popular ways to get extra nutrients and vitamins into your kids’ diet. But are they worth it? How do you build them? How do you make them healthy? I’ve got all your answers right here in this smoothies for kids guide.
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Are smoothies good for kids?
Well, it depends on what your definition of “good for kids” is. My kids love them and I personally love giving them to them because: they’re easy, they contain fruits (and vegetables) and my kids get to pick the flavors which is a win for me as well. They can’t complain about not liking it! There is no limit to the combination of fruits you can add to a smoothie.
What can I add to smoothies?
- Vegetables: I toss a handful of spinach in my kids’ smoothies for some extra vitamins. The best part is they can’t even taste it.
- Protein powder: I add a little bit of protein powder to my kids’ smoothies also!
It’s important to remember that if you’re slipping vegetables into your kids’ smoothies, you should still be exposing them to the vegetables in their actual form on their plate. Hiding them gives them the nutrients, but doesn’t help with exposure and trying new things!
What are some products I should have to get started with smoothies?
- Kids’ tumblers: I use 2 different tumblers for my kids. This one and this one.
- Reusable straws: These straws are great and they wash up fine if you get them right when the kids are done.
- Ninja blender: This is the blender I use for the smoothies for my kids. I have never had a problem with it!
- Tumbler for yourself: This is the cup I have used for myself with smoothies.
- Protein powder: I keep this on hand and add it to some smoothies for my bigger 2 kids and for my husband and myself.
- Peanut butter powder: Great for adding a peanut butter flavor to your smoothie without having to use actual peanut butter which can get messy.
How do I build a smoothie?
A base liquid first: milk (almond milk, oat milk, pea milk, coconut milk, cow’s milk, etc) or fruit juice (orange juice, apple juice, cranberry juice, pineapple juice, coconut water)
A sweetener: honey, a banana, vanilla yogurt, stevia, maple syrup, agave nectar.
Leafy greens/vegetables: spinach, carrots, kale, cucumbers, lettuce, celery, beets, broccoli. If you’re making the smoothies for kids, be careful of which one of these you add. Some have a strong flavor. I also sometimes add a vegetable powder instead of the actual vegetable.
Protein/healthy fat: peanut butter (powder or regular peanut butter), vanilla Greek yogurt, coconut protein powder, nut butter, avocado, flax seeds, chia seeds.
Fruit: Frozen or fresh. This is where the fun comes in! Be creative with your fruits that you’re using. Keep track of what your kiddos like and don’t like. If you use fresh, add ice before blending.
How can I make my smoothie sweeter?
My complaint about smoothies for the longest time was that I could never get them sweet enough. I love sweet. Some things I like to add to my smoothie for sweetness are honey, vanilla Greek yogurt, apple juice (as your liquid), a banana, maple syrup, stevia, agave nectar. Any of these things will make your smoothie nice and sweet.
What are some tips when making smoothies?
Make sure you layer them correctly so your blender can get through them. Making smoothies (in my experience), takes some practicing to figure out ratios and measurements of what YOU like. When you’re blending, start with a medium speed to get things broken up and then increase the speed as it becomes a little smoother and more liquid. Check the thickness as you are blending and add more liquid if it’s too thick or add more ice or fruit if it’s too thin. Again, blend to your preference.