When I had my first child, I did not start her on solids until she was 10 months old and then it was raw fruits and veggies. I remember she was close to two years old before she had her first fry because we were out of town and she was screaming in the car. I was very particular about what she ate. Then my second child came along and I was a little less particular. Well, as you can imagine, with my fifth we are not at all particular and take the standpoint of, “all things in moderation.” He definitely has a sweet tooth, but will also pull out a carrot or a pickle to snack on.
I am a firm believer in getting as many greens into kids as possible. Kids need vitamins and nutrients to help them grow and green smoothies are a great delivery system. My kids love them. Santa even brought our 8 year old her very own blender with frozen fruit so that she can make her own. Every day she gets a request to make one for someone.
Will all kids like them? Maybe not at first. I’ve found that every person has their own preference for taste. My kids love adding almond milk to their smoothie and make it more of a milkshake, but that is not one of my favorites. Here are a few tips to help kids enjoy them when they are picky or hesitant eaters.
First, if you don’t think it looks good, or show that you are not excited about trying it, they will catch on. It is so much harder to get kids to try something that they see us forcing down. Act excited. Give it a special name like Monster Juice or Hulk Power. I have a really nasty herbal remedy that I’ve nicknamed Dragon Juice and the name adds that bit of bravado that, “Yes! I drank DRAGON JUICE!”
Second, you could act like they can’t have any because it’s all yours. Act like you are drinking a decadent chocolate drink and you don’t want to share. There are some kids that will see you act like that and want it. After a bit you could casually say they can have some, “but just a sip, this is my favorite!”. This is one that you have to have the right child for. Some of my kids would just say, “I can’t have any? Fine, I didn’t want it!” and some would really beg for it. If you think your child would want to try something they can’t have, this might work!
Third, start small. Don’t make a full blender until you hit the right combination. Once you find something that they enjoy, up the amount that you want them to drink. It might be a shot glass amount at first, but right now I’m up to 8oz per child per drink. And that’s where I stop them because even that can deplete my supply quickly.
Fourth, use citrus. It masks the taste of a lot of things that are otherwise nasty. We use orange juice or pineapple juice. I’ve also used water but with pineapple chunks. Citrus is your friend! Don’t know how they will enjoy kale in a smoothie? Douse it with pineapple and you will be surprised at how good it can taste!
I love this smoothie because not only does it give you the greens, but it also adds in those oh-so-important Omega’s. If you don’t have the Omega that she has on hand and don’t want to rush out for something that could potentially be a disaster, don’t fret. Leave that bit out while you figure out the green smoothie and then add things in later.
This one uses canned pineapple, which really helps if you are like me and consistently run out of freezer space!
This one is pretty awesome. It gives you the base (milk, frozen fruit, banana) and then you choose your add-ins. I add flax meal to my kid’s smoothies and overnight oats and they don’t even know it’s in there. Score!
This is another great how-to. Choose your liquid, fat, fruit, etc. and get creative! I love these that give you license to be creative while also allowing little room for nastiness.
This is for when you are craving tropical. Picture yourself sitting on a beach somewhere scrolling through curriculum sipping your Greena Colada. It’s heavenly!
Let me know how you enjoy these recipes and how your kids enjoy them!