A smoothie is a concoction of chopped fruits swirled with milk and crushed ice. The beauty of this frothy beverage is that many healthy foods can be churned in a blender to produce a wholesome drink. Those over-ripe berries, pineapples or bananas that your kids won’t touch become fodder for your smoothie maker. Even spinach becomes liquefied oomph. Energy-boosting breakfast smoothies are easy ways to slip a lot more fruits and vegetables into your children’s daily diets without the hassle of coaxing them to eat right.
Protein instills energy into kids’ systems and leaves them feeling full. Many smoothie recipes use cow’s milk, which is naturally loaded with protein. A glass of blended strawberries, bananas, skim milk and ice holds the mid-morning slump at bay for you and your youngsters. Infuse some extra protein by stirring in Greek yogurt or cottage cheese. A spoonful of peanut or cashew butter also introduces additional protein to a breakfast smoothie, so does a handful of flax seeds.
Carbohydrates, such as those found in fruits and whole grains, turn into fuel that keeps young bodies operating. A cup of pineapple holds 19 g of carbs, and a large peach adds up to 17 g. Toss some cantaloupe into your blender for an extra 15 g of carbs. Another idea is to fortify your morning beverage with some whole grains. These complex carbohydrates take longer to digest and help keep energy levels constant until lunch For example, mix uncooked old-fashioned oatmeal in your blender with all the other ingredients. Then, sprinkle some whole-grain cereal for a tasty topper.
Roughage prevents kids from feeling hungry. Combine high-fiber fruits like kiwi, apples, pears and berries with milk and ice chips. Sprinkle in some wheat germ to boost the fiber content. Leafy greens like chard, kale and spinach are loaded with fiber and take the edge off everyone’s hunger. Run these green veggies through your blender along with your kids’ favorite fruits as a way of working some extra wholesome ingredients into their breakfasts.
Antioxidants are nutrients that put up a good fight against diseases including cancer. Strawberries, blueberries and blackberries are high in this compound, but give vegetables equal billing when you fortify your breakfast meals with antioxidants and energy. Tomatoes are high in lycopene, a compound that increases immunity. Whirl whole tomatoes or canned juice or sauce through your blender along with tarragon or dill according to your kids’ tastes.
- Bon Appetit; Morning Glory: 10 Energy-Boosting Breakfast Foods; Katherine Kims; December 2010
- Mayo Clinic: Nutrition and Healthy Eating
- Diet Health Club; Carbohydrates In Fruit: Are Carbohydrates In Fruits Essential For Body?; April 2008
- American Association of Retired Persons; Beyond Your Basic Smoothie; June 2011
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