Smoothies for kids are my favourite way to get a delicious boost of nutritious goodness into their bodies, even when we are rushing around like crazy coconuts.
Kids seem to love the novelty of drinking their breakfast or snack and the bonus is that they don’t have to sit still for long before they can zoom off to play.
All that you need to do is add chosen ingredients to a blender, whizz and off you go. You can take them with you and sip on the go if need be.
You don’t need an expensive blender, I use a basic one with a glass jug. A powerful blender will just the make the job a little easier and the smoothie a bit … smoother.
The flavour combinations are only as limited as your imagination. But there are definitely some combinations that work very well together.
I will give you a few tips on how to create your own smoothies for kids. I highly recommend getting them involved in coming up with their own combination of flavours too.
1 CHOOSE A BASE LIQUID – About 2 cups
It can be water, coconut water, coconut milk, nut milk ( home made is best as it is free from preservatives etc). If your children can tolerate dairy in their diet you could use milk but always full fat & prefferably organic. I often use a herbal tea that has been appropriately diluted for children such as chammomile, sencha, roobious, mint, lemongrass, lemon or ginger. They add extra flavour plus other health benefits too. Keffir (fermented) milk would add a whole boost of probiotic goodness. Add your liquid first as it is gentler on your blender blades.
2 -Add GREENS FIRST – or other fibrous fruits
This is to ensure they blend properly so you dont get leafy, green lumps in your smoothie. Some good options are kale, baby spinach or argular. Go easy with these at first so as not to overpower the flavour, little people will become suspicious. A sweet fruit such as banana or pineapple usually disgiuses any flavour or bitterness from the more bitter greens. If you are making smoothies for kids it is important it is appealing in flavour and apearance.
3 – CHOOSE A CUP OR TWO OF FRUIT
Bananas make it creamy and sweet. Avocado is an excellent way to make it creamy and add in some highly beneficial healthyfats (which are crucial to your child’s brain development and will assist assimilation of the other nutrients too). Berries make a delicious and colourful addition adding in some anti oxidant benefits and some vitamin C. Mango, passionfruit, pineapple, dragonfruit (especially the megenta one!) also make excellent choices. You can grate in apple or pear or chopped stone fruits.
4 – WANT IT THICKER?
If you freeze your fruit first it will make your smoothie chilled and deliciously thicker.
Add some healthy fats
By adding coconut milk, coconut oil, flaxseed oil, macadamia oil (or butter) or some avocado. Shelled hemp seeds are creamy and full of healthy fats as are chia seeds. Blend them in and then let sit for 5 minutes to soak up the liquid and swell. Ground flaxseeds also work well to thicken and add extra fiber.
5 – WANTING MORE ‘OOMPH’ – to keep tummies full longer?
Nut butters (if your child is over two and doesnt have allergies) will boost the protein and keep your child feeling fuller for longer.
Soaked, cooked and cooled grains will add a body to the smoothie and make it more filling. Choose those that are most gentle on young digestive systems. GF oats, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat. Add a little at a time to test and ensure it doesn’t make it too thick and gluggy.
6 – IF YOUR LITTLE SWEETIE PIES WANT IT SWEETER
I ususally find the fruits are enough to sweeten it. If you are low on the sweet fruits and your kids are needing it sweeter, you can add a little pure vanilla extract (especially good with mango/banana/coconut/creamy combos). Other sweeteners would be brown rice syrup, pure organic maple syrup, a sprinkle of coconut sugar or soaked and pitted dates. If your children are needing it really sweet perhaps try to cut back a little each time so it becomes less sweet over time and you can rely on the natural sugars from the fruits.
7 – IF YOU WISH TO ADD SOME EXTRA SUPER POWERS
Raw cacao powder would be my first pick of superfood powders, as it is high in minerals and makes everything taste chocolatey! This is best suited to creamy smoothies and works beautifully fruits like banana, mango, strawberries. My other recommendations would be a spirulina powder which is a highly nutritious blue-green algae sold in powder form. It is high in protein, essential amino acids, cleansing chlorophyl and makes your smoothie a luminous green! A liitle goes a long way and the flavour is easily disguised with a sweet fruit such as banana, pineapple or mango. You might also like to crack open a probiotic capsule and blend that in. There are many other superfood powders I love but these are my top picks, both can be found in health food stores or the healthy aisle of the supermarket.
Click here for three of my kid’s favourite breakfast smoothies
+ THREE WAYS TO USE SMOOTHIE LEFTOVERS
Often when I make a big smoothie, it gets demolished in seconds and if I’m too slow I miss out altogether. Howevever on the odd ocassion that I have left over smmothie I do one of three things…
1) Freeze in popsicle moulds and make delicious dessert or refreshing snack for your kids later.
2) Freeze it in small fun shaped silicone icecube moulds (we have cars, boats, dinosaurs, fairies, mermaids and happy faces) and when you need a fun topper for your child’s cooked porridge it sits on top, melts and adds flavour and colour to your bowl of breakfast. The creamy ones are best for this. This is great for encourigning fussy eaters to eat their porridge.
3) Stir or blend in chia seeds and make a chia pudding for dessert. Depening on how much you have leftover and how thick you want it , add approximately 1-2 Tbsp of chia seeds per cup of smoothie.
TWO MORE THINGs …
++ If you are beginning to experiment, is to start off with the basics and add a little something each time – not all flavours and ingredients are going to taste great together. Experiment slowly so you don’t end up wasting your precious ingredients.
++ Also note if you’re wanting a pretty colour avoid mixing greens and reds as you will end up with a not so pretty brown. It will still taste yummy but might be aesthetically challenged 🙂
For more smoothie recipes and healthy eats for breakfast lunch and dinner you can download my e-book for free here