How to Make a Great Green Smoothie

Become a green smoothie pro! Learn the fool-proof formula for creating these delicious, powerhouse drinks for kids.

healthy fresh green smoothie

Green smoothies, like our Basic Green Smoothie and Cherry Pineapple Smoothie, can completely transform  how we get fresh fruits and veggies into our kids’ growing bodies.

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.

cute little boy drinking a green smoothie

Are Green Smoothies Really That Good for You?

The short answer is: yes. The long answer is: absolutely, yes.

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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.

green smoothie ingredients, green fruits and veggies

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.)

How to Make a Green Smoothie. Let your kids make their own green smoothies with our easy to use chart!

 

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.

 

How to Make a Great Green Smoothie | Healthy Ideas and Recipes for Kids

How to Make a Great Green Smoothie

How to Make a Great Green Smoothie
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Serves: 4

Peaches and Cream Green Smoothie

  • 3-4 handfuls of greens
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 2 cups frozen peaches
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
Blend together until smooth and creamy.

Pineapple Dream Green Smoothie

  • 3-4 handfuls Spinach
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1 cup frozen grapes
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 cups coconut water or milk
  • Juice of 1 lime
Blend together until smooth and creamy.

Choco-Peanut Butter Green Smoothie

  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 2 handfuls baby kale
  • 2 cups chocolate soy milk
  • 1 1/2 frozen bananas
  • 2 Tbsp All-Natural Peanut Butter
  • Ice
Blend together until smooth and creamy.        
written by
Natalie Monson

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Comments(44)
Robin says:

Thank you for your post, you made it very simple to make a green smoothie. Seems I never had all the right ingredients for other recipes I looked at. Can’t wait to share this with my daughters and grandkids.

heather says:

My children are enjoying this recipe. I am wondering how much is a serving, especially if we use it as a meal?
Thanks!!

Hayley says:

We are new to smoothie making, we have just purchased a breville smoothie blender which is great. I am just wondering about the whey protein powder is this ok for children to have as I am a newbie to this I am quite curious to know and also I what quantity. Thanks

Natalie Monson says:

Hi Hayley! Exciting about your new blender!! Whey protein is fine, but we believe that if your child is eating a balanced diet, they don’t need additional protein in the form of supplements and powders.

This guide is fantastic! My kids love these recipes, and I just included this in my post on how to help your kids get better faster when they are sick. Greens are such healing food. Thank you for sharing! http://www.fitnesstranslator.com/healthy-recipes-to-help-your-kids-get-better-faster/

Tina Smith says:

where do I purchase protein powder? Also what is is best brand to buy?
thanks♥
Tina

Jackie says:

Hi Tina, You can actually purchase protein powder at a number of locations. You just want to be sure that it is coming from a reputable company such as those brands found in Whole Foods. For a number of years I have been using Juice Plus Complete. For many reasons it is my favorite, one important reason is that it mixes very well, in the simplest of ways. I will sometimes just toss some powder in a shaker bottle with almond milk post runs or during my kids running events. –some powders can be chalky and forms chunks when not mixed in a blender. Here is a link where you can find my favorite! http://realfood.juiceplus.com/content/JuicePlus/en.html#.VQJc8hDF9uo

lois says:

I enjoy green smoothies and now keep ripe peeled bananas I haven’t had time to eat in the freezer ready to add for the cold ingredient. NO more wasting food!

Natalie says:

You can half the recipe for sure. I don’t think smoothies are as good the next day – I like them fresh 🙂

Nancy says:

Do u have to make so much at a time? It’s just for me can u keep it in the frig for the next day? I have a magic bullet I think it will work to mix it. Thank you

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Taylor Kirby says:

I’ve been wondering how I could add peanut butter to a smoothie, but I never could figure out how I could make it work, and I don’t know what else I could put in it (I like my smoothies creamy with chunks of some sort of fruit in it).

Amy says:

We do cut them up pretty small, and then with a little water, cook them down (in the microwave). Then, you can chill it till you are ready to make your smoothie.
Or, try applesauce, made from only apples (no sugar!)

Amber says:

Have been wondering for quite some time what the best way is to put apples in a smoothie? I always found they made my poor smoothie really grainy, even when I removed the skin.
I thought perhaps grating the apple might help? Or is it better to give it a quick blast in the microwave before pureeing or even make my own apple sauce? Then I thought perhaps instead of all this cooking (which destroys nutrients) I could freeze them – would that work? What have you found works best for apples?

Natalie says:

1. I add all of it. I have a Blendtec and it blends things really fine. If you don’t have a high powered blender, I would suggest getting rid of the stemy parts…..or purchasing a high powered blender if you are going to be making a lot of smoothies 🙂 2. No, you can’t taste them at all depending on what you add. If you any sweet fruit, I can never taste them.

Natalie says:

1. When adding things like kale, bok choy or Swiss chard to the smoothie, do you put it all in or do you get rid of the stemy parts?
2. I don’t care for avocados, can you actually taste them in the smoothie?

Natalie says:

It will be just fine. Bananas and avocado just make it a little thicker, and sweeter. I make them all the time without either of those and they are delicious. I have found that frozen mango makes a smoothie thick and sweet, so you might want to try that!

I was able to find good advice from your articles.

May says:

I have a family member who is allergic to both bananas and avocados. Any ideas for substitutions for these? If I just omit them, what will that do to the smoothie?

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Cristina says:

Can someone please tell me how not to make smoothies so thick? I just have a regular blender. Where can I buy a blendtec and how much does it cost? I usually put a cup of skim milk or unsweetened vanilla almond milk, a cup and a half of frozen chopped kale or Swiss chard or fresh kale/spinach/Swiss chard
mix, a scoop of greens powder, a teaspoon of spiralina, a scoop of whey vanilla protein powder, three tablespoons ground flax seed, two hemp and chia, 1 banana, 1/2 cup frozen berries and peaches or frozen pineapple fruit mix/mango, 1 cup coconut water. Thanks!

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Natalie says:

Karen – Not a stupid question at all! Typically you would just choose one of the items from the section, except for the fruit section. Once you have started making them for a while you can mix it up. You could add a few different greens, 2 different healthy fats, etc. Hope this helps and good luck!

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Incredible story there. What occurred after? Take care!

Keep this going please, great job!

KAREN says:

This may sound like a dumb question to you Green Smoothie regulars, but I’m a newbie, in your template, am I to use all the ingredients in each section or choose one from each?

Natalie says:

Thank you Mikayla! What a nice thing to say!

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Stefan S. says:

Pineapple is a great fruit to add some natural sweet flavors into any veggie smoothie. My mom used to add it to this mix of spinach, broccoli and celery when I was a kid and I used to just drink it up because of the pineapple. One question for you: to drain or not to drain? My mom kept always all the fibers and everything, but as an adult I now prefer to filter all the solids.

Natalie says:

It really depends on what else you put in your smoothie. Banana does have a strong flavor, but a lot of times when combined with other fruits it is very subtle and not distinct banana – just more sweet. If you absolutely hate banana, try avocado for your creamy option.

Robyn says:

Cannot wait to try with my kiddos! Do these have a banana flavor, and if so, what is another creamy option?

Thanks.

Natalie says:

Thanks for reading – I’m so glad you enjoy our recipes! And yes – dust off your Blendtec!

Natalie says:

That is awesome! I hope to be up to 1,000 blends at some point!

Terita says:

Yum! Green smoothies were my daily breakfast for years. Maybe it’s time to dust off the Blendtec and buzz one up again!

I really love your website and blog, by the way. So many healthy, creative snacks! My son is almost two, and we’ve enjoyed your recipes very much, especially the “cheesy spinach bites.”

I’ve been blogging pictures and recipes of real food for little ones on my blog, Kid Can Eat! if you feel like looking. 🙂

Keep up the good work!

Sabrina says:

My Blendtec is hands down my favorite appliance. It’s truly an amazing machine. I’ve owned mine for almost 2 years and used it over 1,000 times. Thanks for the tips on green smoothies. I have made many in my day, but there are a few things on here I hadn’t thought of. I am always interested in new combos to keep things exciting.

Gina F says:

Thank you so much!

Natalie says:

We actually have a blog post on this! https://www.superhealthykids.com/blog/stop-food-waste-quick-tip-plus-new-meal-plan.php

You can freeze the leaves whole, or puree them and freeze them. Check out our post for instructions.

Gina F says:

Thanks! I’ve discovered my 3 year old loves green smoothies. Do you know if you can use frozen spinach or cooked and cooled greens? It’s hard for me to have fresh greens on hand especially during the winter, but I wondered if I froze small servings to throw in. I’m just not sure if it is food safe or would taste weird. Thanks!

Tia says:

I also always add rolled oats for the fiber and protein as well as greek yogurt for the low calorie protein.

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