Become a green smoothie pro! Learn the fool-proof formula for creating these delicious, powerhouse drinks for kids.
This post teaches you everything you need to know to make consistently-great green smoothies that kids will actually like! First, let’s talk nutrition.
Are Green Smoothies Really That Good for You?
The short answer is: yes. The long answer is: absolutely, yes.
Fruits and leafy greens contain a plethora of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber that protect and promote health in people of all ages. And since fruits and veggies are the most under-consumed food group (especially among kids,) green smoothies can help reluctant veggie-eaters get the nutrition they really need to thrive.
So are there any exceptions to the green-smoothies-are-amazing rule? As with anything, balance matters. So drinking green smoothies every single day isn’t necessary, or necessarily best. These vibrant drinks tend to contain little to no fat or protein, so kids (and you!) should aim to round out your day’s meals with other foods like whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, meats, and dairy.
Another caveat about drinking green smoothies: because they’re so rich in fiber, you might notice changes in your kids’ digestion when you start serving more green smoothies. Start with small cups to give those little tummies time to adjust.
How to Make Green Smoothies
Just getting into green smoothies? Creativity and an adventurous spirit will take you far! All you really and truly need to make a great green smoothie is fresh and frozen fruit, a handful of raw leafy greens, and a splash of water.
But if you want a little more of a road map than that, we’ve created a template that can serve as a guide for your blends. This template yields a tasty, drinkable green smoothie that feeds about four people. Print it, laminate it, and stick it to your fridge to stay motivated. (Click here to print it.)
Tips for Success with Introducing Green Smoothies
Here are a few insider tips to help you introduce these super-nutritious drinks to your kids:
- When you’re first starting out, add fewer greens and more fruit. Then work your way up so kids can get accustomed to these new flavors.
- Baby spinach is the mildest green you can add; if you need the flavor of greens to “disappear” in your smoothie, go with baby spinach. Chard and kale have a slightly more earthy and vegetable-y taste. If you’re up for it, you can get creative with the greens you add. We love a little parsley in green smoothies!
- Bananas sweeten green smoothies more than most other fruits. The more banana you add the sweeter your smoothie will be.
- Kids not going for the bright green color? Dark berries, especially blueberries and blackberries, mask the color of the greens in your drink. Alternately,if you want the green to really shine through, choose fruits with paler flesh, like apples, pears, and pineapples.
- Let kids mix and match their own ingredients. Even toddlers can lob fruits and veggies into a blender. The more involved they are, the more likely they are to enjoy the final product.