Trying to get your kids to eat enough fruits and vegetables is about as tricky as, well, trying to get a young kid to eat their fruits and vegetables. That’s why smoothies can be the ideal way to conceal the food that’s nutritious for them while giving them their daily intake of fruits and vegetables in a form that almost feels like a desert.
In broad terms, smoothies can run the gamut of flavors and ingredients so it is best to begin with something simple. Try starting your kids off with a pure fruits and yogurt yogurt mixture and work your way to more complicated recipes from there. Green smoothies can be filled with essential nutrients and can be extremely tasty, they may not be the best option for kids who still make dramatic faces overtime they look at broccoli.
A simple recipe to start them off would include frozen strawberries, a banana, and vanilla or plain yogurt. Once they get accustomed to the the basic flavor and texture of those smoothies, you could slowly start reducing the sugar and use a healthier vanilla yogurt instead of the plain yogurt. At this point, you can also start adding additional ingredients, such as blueberries or mangos, a little at a time without drastically altering the overall taste.
As you try to expand the ingredients in their smoothie it is important to remember to always start with some of their favorite fruits, veggies and foods in general. For instance, If your child likes peanut butter, blend up bananas, berries, milk and a spoonful of peanut butter. If your kid’s favorite fruit is peaches, start with peach smoothies and slowly incorporate a bigger variety of ingredients.
After they’ve accepted that smoothies are a delicious and healthy option that doesn’t require them to eat whole Brussels sprouts, it might be a good time to introduce them to green smoothies. During the initial taste-testing phase it is best to start with more fruits than green vegetables so that they will still taste plenty of the natural sweetness and not be turned off by thought of drinking green leafy vegetables.
Start them off with small portions and and don’t try to overload them with taste sensations that they may not be familiar with. Most kids like any drink or meal that appeals to their sweet tooth so take advantage of that. A simple way to add flavor with green smoothies is to substitute apple juice instead of water or coconut water. Just like with the yogurt smoothies, you can slowly reduce the amount of juice and fruit while replacing them vegetables to make even them even healthier. You might have to do some parental marketing to help the green liquid gain acceptance at first. Try giving them a catchy name like “Hulk Juice” to help sell your case.
This method can also be employed for adults, such as spouses or significant others, who aren’t huge fans of green smoothies. Ultimately, the idea is to get extra greens into their regular diet so if you need to add extra fruit juice (like apple!) so it is more palatable, it is much better than the alternative like processed foods that are high in cholesterol.
With a little patience and, of course, some trial-and-error, you’ll be able to incorporate a whole range of fruits and vegetables into their daily diets and they won’t even fight you over it.