Convince children to eat more fruit by helping them prepare their own strawberry smoothies. Smoothies typically consist of fruit, juice or milk, ice and, in some cases, yogurt. Together you can prepare the ingredients, toss them into a blender and puree. Pour the delicious smoothies into chilled glasses to share.
Fresh vs. Frozen
A child can make a smoothie using either fresh or frozen strawberries. Fresh berries won't make the smoothie cold enough, so add ice to cool it more. Frozen berries give you both flavor and iciness, so they may be preferable even in the middle of strawberry season. Frozen strawberries are also easier to keep on hand, as you don't have to worry about them going bad. Another option is to wash, hull and slice fresh berries and freeze them for an hour or so before preparing the smoothie.
Children can add any number of other ingredients for a personalized strawberry smoothie. A child who wants a banana-berry smoothie can carefully slice a whole banana and add it to the blender. Banana thickens the smoothie, making it quite creamy. Plain yogurt adds thickness as well as healthy protein. For some citrus flavoring, use orange juice as the base. Other juice options include blueberry juice or pomegranate juice. Instead of juice, let your child add milk, which provides calcium and protein. For lactose-sensitive children, use a non-dairy milk such as soy or almond milk.
A blender is a must for making smoothies. Whether a child uses a stand blender or an immersion one depends on his skill and age. A young child may find it easier to place the smoothie ingredients in the jar of a blender, then push the button to puree them. Older children may enjoy using an immersion blender for a more hands-on experience. Because blender blades are sharp, always supervise children when they use the equipment.
Making strawberry smoothies enables your child to experiment with ingredients to see how each affects taste. For example, a child can make a strawberry smoothie with orange juice one day and milk the next, then compare the tastes. Making smoothies also helps children learn to measure ingredients, become familiar with basic kitchen appliances and practice cleaning up after themselves.