Good Smoothies for Kids
Smoothies are one of the most delicious and healthy snacks that you can provide for yourself and your family. Not only is it a good way to make sure that they are staying hydrated, but with all the stuff that you can add you can boost the vitamin, mineral, and protein intake of your family.
Something that I absolutely love about smoothies is that they are so customizable. If you don’t like a certain ingredient, you can either omit it completely, or add less of it so that you still get the benefits from it but don’t necessarily taste it.
So when you make a smoothie you will generally want to start with a base. Some of the more common base ingredients are milk, yogurt, soy milk, almond milk, fruit juice and water. This will vary depending on personal preference, tastes, and of course any allergies.
Another more adult option would be coffee or tea. These can be used for the smoothie first thing in the morning instead of(or in addition to) your morning caffeine intake
There are so many types of fruits you can add. Your imagination is your limit. I will suggest that you try to get fruits that are in season to maximize their flavor and the nutrient content that they carry. If you want to get something that is out of season, or not readily available in your area, you can always go frozen.
Most frozen fruit is IQF (Individually Quick Frozen) when it is in season and the reason it is my second choice. One of the benefits of using frozen is that when you blend it up it will be more thick and cooler without adding ice which can water it down. Some people prefer this.
Lastly would be canned. If you decide on canned, or have to, try to get ones that are packed in 100% fruit juice. The syrup and heavy syrup varieties just add sugar.
Yes you read that right! Smoothies are a great way to get some extra veggies in you and your kids diet. This doesn’t have to be a lot if they are particularly adverse to veggies. Literally just a handful of spinach, half a carrot or zucchini will boost the healthiness of the smoothie. I do suggest that you experiment, try to pair strong flavored veggies with strong flavored fruits if you are trying to mask the veggie flavor.
Another aspect you will want to look at is color. If you have a reddish smoothie with strawberries and raspberries and add spinach, your smoothie will quickly turn into a murky brownish color. IF you or your kids are not open to trying different colored food I suggest trying to stay within a color for your smoothies.
Protein powder is a common additive to homemade smoothies. It can come in many flavors. If you do decide to add this there are a few things to keep in mind.
Make sure you read the ingredients on the protein powder container. Sometimes they will come fortified with other stuff that you might not want you or your family to be consuming.
Remember that most protein powder is whey based. This means that it comes from milk. There are other protein powder sources that you can buy, but the majority is from milk.
Another source of protein is nut butters. You can get this in powder form or the more traditional jar of smooth or crunchy you can find on most grocery store shelves. One thing to keep in mind with nut butters is that they will(usually) increase the fat and calorie counts in your smoothie.
The sky is the limit when it comes to the Add-Ins you can use. Some of the more popular ones are flax seeds, chia seeds, oats, hemp seeds, turmeric, and cacao. Each of these can add different textures, flavors, and possible health benefits to your smoothies. This is something that you will have to test out with your family to see what they like and don’t like.
If you want a more sweet smoothie, there are a number of ingredients that you can add. Sugar might be your go-to, but just remember that added sugar can pile up in all the food that we eat. Honey is another alternative that has potential benefits. Agave is plant based and also has potential health benefits.
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup fruit
- 1 cup frozen fruit
- 1/4 veggies
- 1 scoop protein powder
- 1/2 cup coffee
- 3-4 ice cubes of frozen milk/creamer
- 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
The sky really is the limit with the combinations of flavors that you can make. You can go all fruit, mix your fruit, add nut butter or chocolate, or even add coffee for an adult to enjoy. Some ingredients will make the smoothie more watery while others will make it thicker. Depending on what you like will depend how you tweak a recipe.
If you are new to smoothies you can have a tasting time with your family. Make up 5-6 (or more) different smoothies with different thicknesses to see what everyone prefers. You can use ingredients that you have on hand and then maybe get a couple extra that you don’t. Once you find out what everyone likes you can go from there with your flavors and add-ins.
Suggested Resources & Reading
All links will open in a new tab/window so feel free to click and explore!
- 100 Healthy Smoothie Recipes
- Ninja Personal Blender for Smoothies sold on Amazon
- Frozen Fruit Smoothie Recipes on FoodNetwork
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I would love to hear from you!
Thoughts, comments, critiques and questions are all welcome. I would love to learn your favorite smoothie recipe.