This is a guest post from my friend Catherine McCord with One Potato Box (meal service) and Weelicious (blog and cookbooks).
Without fail, every single morning, our family has a smoothie and has done so for over four years now. Truth be told, my husband and I have been smoothie drinking obsessives for almost ten years, but it wasn’t until we had a health scare with my oldest son, Kenya, that we got our kids on board as well.
What started as a way to nourish our bodies daily with real food became our family meal each morning. Instead of reaching for pancakes and waffles covered in syrup, crepes filled with cheese or Nutella, or bowls of processed cereal, we instead reached for fresh and frozen fruits, vegetables, and a mix of proteins to fire up not only our brains but also our bodies. If it sounds simple…it’s because it is!
- You don’t have to add a banana.
- You don’t have to use cow’s milk or any type of milk—you can use water as your liquid!
- You don’t have to add green vegetables (there are many colors to choose from).
- You don’t have to use expensive fruits.
- You don’t have to drink the same thing every morning.
- If you’re feeling drab and dreary, you can help brighten your mood with a bright pink or yellow smoothie.
- If you feel a cold coming on, add some honey and ginger to your smoothie.
- If you struggle to get enough iron in your diet, add some nuts, greens, and molasses to your smoothie, along with kiwi or oranges to aid iron absorption.
I try to add a vegetable into most smoothies I make as well. Getting vegetables (especially into kids) can be a feat within itself, but since you don’t taste them in most smoothie creations, it’s the perfect opportunity to get them in. Grab a generous handful of fresh baby spinach, kale, a sliver of beet, or even frozen cauliflower, and toss it in for a boost of vitamins and minerals.
The best part is that there’s little to no cleanup and, especially when it’s warm outside, your kitchen will stay cool as you’re only using your blender. How great is that!?
Get the Kids Involved
Have a picky eater in your home? Get your kids involved by having them make smoothies with you. Allow them to pick the ingredients to add from the fruits, the vegetables, the proteins (like nuts, seeds, protein powder and more), and their favorite type of milk or liquid, and then let them whip it up. Once they get into the rhythm, it will become an addictive habit that’s much less costly, and far more healthy, than the drinks at your go-to smoothie shop.
Need more inspiration? Print out the Smoothie Project chart, laminate it and let them use a dry erase marker to circle what they want in their daily smoothie. It will take the guesswork out of what to make for breakfast and make them feel incredibly empowered too!
Here are some of my favorites
- Dragon Berry Smoothie
- Blueberry Chia Smoothie (no veggies in the recipe, but you can say to add a handful of spinach, kale, zucchini or frozen cauliflower)
- Tropical Lassi
- Vanilla Avocado Greens Smoothie