If you think there’s no way your kids would start liking vegetables, think again – by the end of this post, you’ll have the means to get them to not just like it, but be excited about vegetables!
It all has to do with smoothies – a beverage that’s made out of whole real ingredients and keeps most of the original nutritional value of the vegetables and fruits inside.
Here are some very important reasons why you just have to try giving your kids smoothies:
- The biggest advantage of smoothies, if done right, is that they tend to mask the taste of vegetables, which is probably not your kids’ favorite taste.
- It will not only mask the taste of the vegetables, but also mask the texture of cooked vegetables, which is often also another cause of children refusing to eat certain foods.
- You can use raw vegetables for smoothies, which means none of the nutritional value is lost through cooking.
- When you blend vegetables you get a lot of veggies into just one cup meaning there is a whole lot of goodness in just one small cup. Even if your child only manages to drink half a cup that is a higher concentration of nutrients than you child would normally get.
Before going into the tips, here’s the definitive guide on how to make a healthy smoothie, so you’ll know how to choose ingredients and get it right each and every time.
Smoothie Tips to get your Kids to Love Vegetables
1 Get Your Kids Involved
Involve your children in the entire process of making the smoothies, from buying the ingredients to pushing the button on the blender.
The reason is simple – the more involved your children are the better the chances are that they will drink the entire smoothie.
You can even make a game out of it by giving your children a few options of health benefits and they should choose which health benefit they want and once they have made their choice you tell them which vegetable or fruit to add that gives those benefits.
Part of the fun will be experimenting with different ingredients and seeing how they come out. Sure there will be some epic failures but in the long run letting your kids get involved with making their own recipes will pay off.
You can also get your kids to give the different smoothies names, like they are exotic cocktails.
Think about it, they will be much more likely to say yes if you ask them if they want another “Orange Bunny Hopper” than a “carrot smoothie”.
2 Start with Milder Tastes
Start with milder tasting vegetables such as spinach since it will be easier to conceal it with other ingredients. Avoid things like Kale and collard greens when you start.
In the beginning include more of the things that you know your children do like before you start moving on to other ingredients.
3 Add Beet for Colour and Sweetness
Beet is excellent to add to smoothies. When you add beet to your smoothies it gives it a red or pink colour which is a lot more appealing to look at than green.
It also adds extra sweetness which will help to make the taste a lot more appealing to little taste buds.
Beet also is considered a super food that offers the health benefits of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification.
4 Serve it in a Fun Cup with a Straw
Sometimes your smoothie may taste great but it the colour may not look to appetizing. If this happens try giving it to your kids in a fun cup that is closed with a straw. This could increase the chances that your child drinks the smoothie.
5 Grow Your Own Veggies
This goes hand in hand with getting your kids involved from the beginning. Growing your own vegetables has so many benefits, from not being exposed to pesticides and other toxic substances to getting your kids involved in the process of growing their own food.
This is an incredible life skill to acquire and once again the more involved your kids are the better the chances are that they will eat the vegetables.
6 Watch the Fruit
Fruit is tasty and sweet which makes it tempting to add lots of fruit ingredients.
While fruit may be a much tastier option, it is also packed full of sugar. Try and keep your fruit ingredients to 30% or less otherwise your kids will be going over their recommended daily sugar intake.
If you want to get that sweet taste without sugar try adding coconut milk, coconut water, a teaspoon of honey (note no honey for children under 1 year old), some unsweetened cocoa powder, raw cacao or some cinnamon.
You can also blend in prunes, dates or other dried fruit. These do also have sugar but you only need a small amount to make the smoothie sweet so it is less sugar than fresh fruit.
7 Fun Serving Ideas
You don’t have to just chuck it in a glass and give it to your kids. There are lots of ways to make the smoothie look very appealing and fun.
You serve it in a pretty bowl with a spoon and add an attractive topping such as strawberry and whipped coconut cream.
You can make it look very pretty in a glass by choosing different colour ingredients and blending them separately. When you add them to the glass layer all the ingredients so when your kids eat it there are different colour layers. They can then eat it layer by layer or they can mix it themselves in the glass before eating it.
Adding a slice of fruit to the top of the glass will make it very enticing. You could even stock up on cocktail umbrellas and fancy straws.
Remember this is all about fun, so you are only limited by your own creativity.
Daniel Pelegreen is a “smoothie guru”, founder of Easy Healthy Smoothie where you’ll discover natural, easy nutrition hacks for maintaining a healthier lifestyle and tackling excess weight, fatigue and stress. For more recipes and smoothie ideas follow their Pinterest.
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