I used to brag all the time about how much my kids loved green smoothies, but one day I realized the smoothie I was giving them wasn’t actually GREEN. Because of all the strawberries I was putting in there, it was more of a pink color – so did this still count as a “green” smoothie? I decided to research a little what actually qualifies as a green smoothie.
I learned that the term green smoothie doesn’t actually mean just the color of the smoothie. It means that you’ve blended leafy, green veggies into your smoothie (such as spinach, chard, kale, etc.) These greens are very nutritious and can sometimes even be added to a smoothie without affecting the flavor. Spinach tends to be the most mild in flavor of the leafy greens, so it’s usually best to start with if you’re introducing your kids to green smoothies.
I’ve come up with a little formula that seems to work well for my kids and me when it comes to making smoothies that are both healthy and yummy. I start with 1 cup of liquid (water, milk, almond milk, etc. I tend to stay away from juice) and I add 1 cup of fresh spinach. I then add 1 cup of frozen fruits, could be strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, pineapple, mango, bananas or any combination thereof, but approximately 1 cup is what you should shoot for. Depending on how my kids are feeling that day I’ll add a tablespoon of natural peanut butter for added protein or a tablespoon of flaxseed for the essential fatty acids. Sometimes I’ll add some ice to make it a little thicker, but they tend to like it thinner because it’s easier for them to drink. I blend all this up and it’s enough for my 3 and 5 year old to share.
Once they are accustomed to the spinach in their smoothie you can get a little braver and try some other greens, but for us I feel good using spinach as our source of greens and playing around with all the other ingredients. For example, today my kids asked for Greek yogurt in their smoothie, so I put a spoonful in there. I asked them how it tastes and they said, “good!” so I guess we have another option now. Green smoothies are especially great if you have kids that are pickier eaters and tend to shy away from veggies. So play around with it and you’d be surprised what you can get your kid to eat when you make it into a treat!
Consider adding one of Liquid Health’s liquid children’s multivitamins to your child’s smoothie for an added nutritional punch!