Sneaking nutritious foods into any child's diet can be a difficult task to accomplish. However, fruit smoothies are an easy way to get kids enthusiastic about healthy food. The creamy drinks have the smooth texture of a milkshake with the sweet flavor of fruit and are versatile enough to customize for even the pickiest eaters.
While bananas are commonly used as thickeners and background flavor in smoothies, they can become the star of the drink. Try mixing banana, banana yogurt, chopped walnuts and ice to create a smoothie that tastes like banana bread. Banana, vanilla yogurt, brown sugar and ice blended together makes a smoothie that tastes like banana pudding.
Berry smoothies are simple snacks for any time of year. Keep things budget-friendly by using frozen berries during the cold months and fresh berries during the warm months. Frozen berries are also helpful for adding bulk and chilling the smoothie without using ice. Blend cherry yogurt, strawberries, raspberries and ice for a simple smoothie, or blend frozen mixed berries, berry-flavored vegetable juice, banana and honey to create an ultra-healthy smoothie tasty enough for little ones to enjoy.
A breakfast smoothie is a quick way to give kids the nutrients they need for the day, especially if you're running late. Pack in the protein with a peanut butter, banana, ice and milk smoothie with a little oatmeal thrown in for fiber. Try a strawberry yogurt, blueberry and ice smoothie with a little wheat germ added. As long as you use enough wheat germ to boost nutrition, but not enough to change the flavor, kids may not even notice the difference. Pour the smoothie into a lidded mug and kids can drink breakfast in the car.
Sneak an extra punch of vitamins into dessert with a fresh fruit and sherbet smoothie. A little orange, lemon or lime sherbet enhances the silky texture of the drink and provides an extra hint of sweet flavor. Balance out the sugary sherbet with a healthy banana and add the remaining fruit. Throw berries, peaches or apricots into the blender with some ice to finish the cool treat. Try lemon sherbet, cantaloupe, blueberries and ice for a light treat or orange sherbet, peaches, cherries and ice for a rich treat.
You don't have to rely on milk to create kids' smoothies that are nutritious and delicious. Use bananas, applesauce and/or ice to create a thick body for the drink. Add fruit puree, frozen fruit or fresh fruit to the blender to perfect the flavor. Try a tropical twist with banana, mango, orange juice, ice and pineapple chunks or a berry blast with applesauce, cranberry juice, ice and frozen mixed berries. Other non-dairy ingredients to thicken the smoothie include ground nuts, ground grains, soy milk and oatmeal.