Get your kids eating fruit with a smoothie
It seems to be a constant battle trying to get Emma to eat more fruit. Josh on the other hand will eat fruit constantly. We often try to hide fruit in deserts and have found letting the kids make fruit salads seems to work well. The excitement around the preparation and mixture goes down a storm and gets them involved. We have to be a little careful as our two monkeys are a too quick with the sprinkle of sugar because “the strawberries are a bit sharp”.
Smoothies… why didn’t we think of this earlier
Bring on the smoothie maker. There are a million smoothie recipes out there on the internet to choose from. In our house the sweeter fruits seem to have the best results. We tend to have a lot of banana based drinks with a little added honey. It seems with these two ingredients we can pretty much add whatever else we like and the kids will still drink it.
Calcium and probiotics
One way of getting more calcium in there is to add natural yoghurt as well as the milk. It doesn’t alter the flavour much either. On the other hand, if you want more flavour and some of those pro-biotic benefits, go for Onken or Activia.
Endless fruit possibilities
Our regular smoothie for four of us is made up of 3 bananas, three Actimel coconut drinking yogurts (3 x 100g bottles), half a tablespoon of honey and enough milk to bring the total volume to 1 litre.
Bananas will give you Vitamin C, Potassium and Manganese, and are a very good source of Vitamin B6. The only downside really are the amount of calories from the natural fruit sugars in them.
When we have other fruit in the house we often add it for variety and to get the kids onto different flavours. I have tried most things including grapes, apples, fresh coconut, pineapple, apples, pears, kiwi and satsumas. You have to be a little careful with the more acidic fruits and balance them out with honey or another sweeter fruit.
Now these are not my kids favourites and we struggle to get Josh and Emma to take these in large quantities. Adding uncooked baby spinach to smoothies adds amazing nutritional value (Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Manganese).
I play around a lot with green recipes and it is a little tricky to get the amounts right to get the taste good. It’s best to start with small amounts of the green stuff mixed with something to sweeten it. One of our favourites is a small handful of raw baby spinach, two bananas and two or three cups of water. Swap the water for ice if your blender will cope with it and you will produce a nice cool drink which goes down better.
Thing is with green stuff, don’t add milk to the smoothie. Use ice-cubes or water. I find about a cup or two gives a nice smooth, drinkable result. Don’t be surprised if you here “eeeew it’s green!” from your little ones.
There are smoothie makers and there are super smoothie makers
We managed perfectly well with a Russell Hobbs smoothie maker that we purchased for about $30 in Australia for 10 years. Eventually the plastic jar cracked and the rubber seals began to leak. After much research I finally went for a new Magimix ‘Le Blender’. At £140 I was hoping it would be good. It turned out to be better than good, it is awesome. Looking at the construction I reckon it will still be making smoothies for me when I reach 1oo years old. It also whizzes the ingredients at such a speed that all the drinks come out as smooth as silk. I’ll put together a detailed review in the “stuff” section when I get a minute and tell you why it was worth the money.
If you tried smoothies on your kids let us know how it went. Please leave a comment with any other great smoothie recipes you have.