Healthy Smoothie Recipes for Kids
As we’re rounding the corner into summer, many of us are thinking about what to feed our kids to keep them healthy, hydrated and fueled up for summer fun. We’re also thinking about how to keep things simple, spend less time in the kitchen and more time outside! Healthy smoothies for kids are a parent’s perfect summer nutrition partner, and you can dress smoothies up in different packages to keep kiddos interested all summer long!
Keep It Fresh
Starting the day off with a nutritious meal is good for kids and a win for us parents. That's why healthy breakfast smoothies for kids are a go-to for active summer kids and busy parents alike. Refresh your smoothie strategy without compromising on nutrition and taste by offering up some varieties of a classic. All it takes is a little creativity, some healthy "condiments" and a willingness to mix it up!
Top It Off
There are a number of ways to dress up smoothie recipes for kids that get their attention and add a big nutritional punch. Start with the smoothie as your base. This is where you pack healthy organic fruits and vegetables into a delicious and easy meal that you can enjoy right away or use as a launch pad to other innovative smoothie offerings, like the smoothie bowl.
To make a smoothie bowl, you'll want to make your base thicker by blending it together using less of your liquid of choice. I'm a fan of plant-based milks like Almond and Oat because they deliver a creamy consistency as well as added nutrition. If you eat dairy, adding a scoop of full-fat greek yogurt also does the trick. After you blend your extra-thick smoothie, place it in a bowl rather than a glass and add some fun and healthy toppings. Look at this as an opportunity to bump up the nutritional density as well as create some novelty, both so important for kids!
You can really let your creativity shine with the many varieties of smoothie toppings. My kids might look at me sideways if I did this now (they are teenagers, after all) but for younger kids, use toppings to create faces or designs on top of their smoothie bowls. Or, let the kids be the smoothie artists in the family and serve the smoothie bowl with a selection of toppings on the side. Use granola, seeds like pepita, sunflower, chia, or hemp, nuts and nut butters, berries, sliced banana, apple, kiwi, or whatever fruit is in season, raisins and unsweetened coconut shreds or flakes. Hot tip: Unsweetened shredded coconut makes great “hair!”
Mix It Up
Make a healthy version of the DQ “Blizzard” that starts with an organic smoothie for kids and adds chunks of seasonal fresh fruit and nuts. I'm a fan of green smoothies for kids (try Blendtopia Glow, filled with banana, mango, pineapple, spinach and some superfood goodies) because I can pack in the veggies, plus the colors of the fresh fruit against the green are really beautiful!
Whichever smoothie recipe you use, go a bit lighter on the liquid so the smoothie comes out nice and thick. After it is blended and smooth, drop in blueberries, raspberries, seasonal fruit chunks like peaches and nectarines, and your nut butter of choice. Add some crunch with granola, seeds or nuts and stir it gently with a spoon. Pour it into a glass and top it off with more berries, fruit and granola. It should be so thick, they’ll have to eat it with a spoon!
Cool It Down
This strawberry banana smoothie for kids might look a little different but frozen-on-a-stick has real appeal on a hot summer day, for kids and adults alike!
To make popsicle out of your smoothies, you can use little paper or plastic cups and wooden popsicle sticks (available at Michael's Crafts, among other places) or you can invest in your own reusable, freezer-friendly set like these pops molds (I like that these are made out of metal and not plastic.) Blend up your favorite strawberry banana smoothie recipe (try Blendtopia Immunity, strawberry and banana plus pineapple and blueberry, boosted with chia seeds and flax seeds, goji berries and lacuma.) Pour the smoothie into the cups or molds, add the sticks and put them in the freezer for six hours or so. What kid could pass up a popsicle for breakfast?!
What's your summer breakfast go-to for your kids? Share your ideas and experiences in the comments below. Be sure to come follow Blendtopia on Facebook to stay connected, and follow us on Pinterest to get even more ideas for maintaining our mental, physical, and emotional wellness.