If you’re anything like me, then you’re always looking for new ways to get your kids to eat more fruits and vegetables. The reality is that most of our kids don’t get excited to eat a big plate of kale salad or roasted vegetables. Fruit is usually more acceptable but I still have clients tell me their kids don’t eat a lot of it. So how do we get them to eat more?
Hiding vegetables in food is a hot topic. On one hand, you don’t want to deceive your child and teach them that the only way to eat vegetables is when you can’t taste them. You want your child to learn to like and appreciate the taste of vegetables. On the other hand, hiding vegetables in kids’ food does increase their intake. And if you have a picky eater like I do, you’ll try anything to get them to eat veggies. So while I don’t believe that you should hide all vegetables, there is no harm in giving your child an extra boost here and there. Just make sure you keep exposing your kids to vegetables and have a conversation about them. Smoothies are a great way to boost your child’s nutrition. Almost every child likes smoothies. It’s easy to pack a lot of nutrition into an easy to drink, great tasting smoothie.
The following recipe is a family favorite. It’s a great first “green” smoothie to try because it’s sweet and creamy. You really can’t taste the spinach because the banana and peanut butter flavors dominate. If your child is picky and put off by the green color, try adding unsweetened cocoa powder or frozen berries to mask the color.
Makes 1 large or 2-3 smaller servings
- 1 cup milk of your choice (I prefer unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
- 1 frozen ripe banana
- 1 handful spinach or kale
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- 4-5 ice cubes
- Add all ingredients to blender. Blend on high until smooth and pour into glasses.
There are hundreds of delicious, nutrition-packed fruit and vegetable smoothies to try out. All you have to do is search Pinterest or Google. I rounded up a list of interesting variations to try, but you don’t have to follow a recipe. Get creative and blend up your own creations that your family will love.
Cauliflower smoothies are the new kale smoothies. What I love about adding cauliflower is that it’s white. Your smoothie won’t be green unless you add a green vegetable. If your child won’t eat anything green, this a great option. It’s the way to go with picky eaters.
- Strawberry Banana Cauliflower
- Blueberry Cauliflower
- Green Zucchini and Cauliflower (this one is green)
- Malted Chocolate Cauliflower
Add beans to your smoothie for a fiber and plant based protein boost. The beans will add creaminess to the smoothie. I promise you won’t be able to taste it.
Other yummy combinations to try:
- Blueberry Avocado Banana Smoothie
- Kale Cucumber and Pineapple Smoothie
- Very Berry Beet Smoothie
- Cantaloupe Veggie Smoothie
- High Fiber Broccoli
- Power Gold Smoothie
- Any of these smoothies would be delicious frozen into popsicle molds.
- Involve your child in picking ingredients and blending up the smoothie.
- Be a role model. Whenever I make a smoothie, my 18 month old runs into the kitchen for a taste.
- Save time by adding smoothie ingredients (minus the liquid) into single serving freezer bags. They’ll be ready to grab and blend up at any time.