A nutritious smoothie recipe for kids should include fiber and protein
When I was a child, I remember trying my first milkshake. Not like the milkshakes of today, where it’s really a huge cup of ice cream, but the type of milkshake you could drink from a straw. It’s only been since the 90’s that a healthy version of the milkshake- smoothies- have gained popularity, especially among the 2-8 year old crowd! And it’s obvious why! Kids get the same sweet, delicious, and easy to consume beverage, but with ingredients that parents can get behind!
A healthy smoothie recipe has a balance of nutrients from whole foods, to get the most from your drink. We have shared in the past our ultimate smoothie building chart (How to make a green smoothie) because it has a variety of ingredients you can use in making a smoothie.
This time however, I want to share the TWO nutrients that are essential to making a smoothie healthy for kids!
Each smoothie recipe for kids should have FIBER
This smoothie recipe has bananas, but you could also add spinach, without affecting the flavor (or even the color!) that much. Unlike juicing, including fruits and veggies in their whole form keeps the fiber in tact. Kids need fiber to stay regular, and smoothies are such an easy way to get it in each day.
How much fiber do kids need? Toddlers (1-3 years old) should get 19 grams of fiber each day. Kids 4-8 years old should get 25 grams a day. Older girls (9-13) and teen girls (14-18) should get 26 grams of fiber a day. Older boys (9-13) should get 31 grams and teen boys (14-18)should get 38 grams per day (source)
Each smoothie recipe for kids should have PROTEIN
There are so many ways to get protein in a smoothie! We love using Greek yogurt, milk, peanut butter, seeds, etc. This recipe has milk and peanut butter, but we also added some protein powder. This can be left out, but we like it for the chocolate flavor. There are some clean sources of protein powder for kids on the market. We like Kidz shake (see the ingredients on amazon here), but any plant based protein powder works as well. Kids don’t need the boost of protein from powders, it’s just a simple way to increase the protein if you are concerned. Here’s an alternative smoothie recipe that is high in protein, without the powder (Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake for Kids)
So, there you have it. While an ice cream milkshake from the 80’s was a childhood favorite of mine, smoothies of today can be an easy way for kids to get fiber and protein each day.
This Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie:
For this smoothie recipe we included honey and bananas to make it sweet and irresistible to kids. The peanut butter and milk give it the boost of protein. The ice helps to make it thicker, and more like ice cream. Give it a try and let us know what your kids think!