As you’ve probably inferred, I’m obsessed with vegetables, especially green vegetables. Getting toddlers to eat veggies can be challenging—in particular, bitter greens and vegetables with rugged textures will often be rejected.
A Smooth Way to Include Veggies in Kids’ Diets
To get dark, leafy vegetables into my two grandsons, I often blend them into smoothies.
Felix is skeptical of green drinks, and doesn’t trust us when we say, “It’s delicious; just taste it!” So, the first time I gave him a green smoothie it was a fail.
The next time I outwitted him. I put the green smoothie in a paper cup with a straw so he couldn’t see the color. He tasted it, loved it, and then noticed the color on the inside of the straw! Later he bragged about enjoying a green smoothie. Mission accomplished!
Best-Bet Veggie Blends
If you make veggie smoothies for your kids or grandkids, you can experiment with various greens (as well as other veggies). I have used spinach, mesclun greens, romaine lettuce, butterhead lettuce, red and green leaf lettuce, and kale. For Theo’s smoothies (he is less picky than Felix), I’ll sometimes add carrots, beets, or squash.
Of course, smoothies also require a healthy amount of bananas and berries and something rich and creamy like hemp seeds, almonds, raw cashews, or yogurt.
I tend toward the milder tasting greens when making these smoothies for kids. When I don’t have much in the fridge, I’ll grab some parsley from the herb garden and throw that in the blender.
Two smoothie suggestions are outlined below. Please send along your own variations!
Creamy Almond Berry Blend
Start with a handful of nuts (almond or cashew) or a seed (hemp or chia). Blend this with a little water, and then add fruit (banana, dates, and/or berries) and then spinach or other greens. Voila! It’s yummy, rich, healthy, and kid friendly!
Super Food Smoothie
My husband, John, makes smoothies with the same base that I’ve outlined above but throws in a host of healthy additions: spirulina, raw cocoa nibs, maca powder, and flax seeds. He admits that he cares less about flavor and simply wants ALL the good stuff in his smoothies, but often his concoctions are delicious! Note that cocoa nibs contain caffeine, so you will want to skip that when making a smoothie for a child.
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