The Smooth Way to Eat Veggies
The picky eater; every family has one. It’s the child that won’t lay a finger on a fruit or vegetable without serious threat or bargaining from the parent. The fact of the matter is kids have a lot of fear when it comes to trying new and unusual looking foods (vegetables often fall into this category). As they are developing through life, they will become more open to trying new things and their diet will naturally become well rounded. Until then, it’s the role of the parent to ensure the child is getting proper nutrition to help in growing big and strong. Sometimes this requires a dash of creativity, and a whole-lot of sneakiness! The key to success is thinking outside of the box, and into the blender!
Getting your kids to drink fruits and vegetables is one way to get the seriously picky eater to swallow them, and this is where the smoothie comes into play. Kid Ventures knows both parents and kids love smoothies, which is why they are a big part of the KV café menu at the indoor play center. Smoothies taste as bright and pretty as they look, they don’t require a lot of fussy ingredients, and they are a great way to sneak more fiber and antioxidants into your kids.
As we know, smoothies are packed with fruits, but they can also be a great vessel for vegetables. Often, vegetables such as spinach, carrots, and broccoli can be blended into a fruit smoothie without having great effect on the sweet taste or the appealing color. What these vegetables provide for your child is more calcium, vitamin C, iron, fiber, potassium and an entire slew of long term health benefits. Try sneaking these ingredients into your child’s smoothies at first, but later take the opportunity to explain the ingredients to them and even let your child take an active role in making the smoothie for themselves (with parent guidance of course). Measuring, mixing, and choosing the smoothie ingredients are not only great activities for kids, but will also help them become involved in their nutrition at an early age.
Below are some great DIY (do-it-yourself) fruit AND vegetable smoothies that pass the picky kid taste test. Try some of these sneaky and healthy recipes and you’ll be surprised at how positively your youngster will respond!
- 1 cup of frozen blueberries
- 1/2 cup of steamed broccoli
- 1 cup of 100 percent cranberry juice
- 1/2 cup of low-fat plain yogurt
- Add strawberries or blackberries for an additional burst of nutrition.
- 1 cup apple juice
- 1 cup of sliced apple
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 1/2 cup sliced carrots
- 1/2 cup of cucumber (peeled and sliced)
- 2 cups of ice
- a dash of nutmeg or cinnamon (optional)
- 1 Banana (ripe is best – frozen if desired)
- 1 cup Apple Juice (or apple slices and water)
- ½ cup of orange juice
- 1-2 cups Baby Carrots (or chopped carrots)
- 1 cup Plain Non-Fat Yogurt
Make each smoothie with love, and blend until the nutrients are singing!
Extra tip: When experimenting with adding vegetables to fruit smoothies, don’t shy away from using food coloring. This can be especially helpful if you add a vegetable that changes your drink from an appealing color to something not quite so appealing. Add a few drops of food coloring and the smoothie will take on a new life!