This was probably the very first smoothie I made for my girls when I started making smoothies in my old blender. I hadn’t yet bit the bullet and bought a vitamix so my smoothies were a little lumpier then but the strawberry banana was my starting point. Around 18 months twin-A decided she would no longer drink milk or nurse and only drank a little water. As a nervous, sleep-deprived mom I started to panic and worry about my daughter getting dehydrated, not enough calories and of course no calcium in her diet. What would happen to her beautiful, new baby teeth? How would I keep her little belly full? Enter the smoothie. She had tried my smoothies from the local organic health food store before so I began trying to replicate these at home. I tried a little too hard at first, packing in way too many nutritional goodies into a picky baby’s smoothie (spinach, rice milk, flax, avocado and only a little fruit). This didn’t go over well with either of my daughters or my blender. Taking a step back I started with a basic smoothie: rice milk, apple juice, bananas and frozen strawberries. This worked. Not everyday mind you, she was still a picky toddler, but 4-5 days out of the week she would slurp up one of these and panicky mom felt good. I then started to experiment and play around with different ingredients, adding in a little greens, some flax and I invented games around the “cool and fun” drink we were drinking. Green smoothies are now the norm in my house and little do they know what I add in them! If you are a newbie to smoothies, try this one out. The orange juice masks the flavor of the spinach or if you want something sweeter try apple juice. So many options for kids smoothies and they are great ways to add in a little extra nutrition into your family’s meals or snacks.
Smoothies are great to whip up in the morning for part of breakfast or mix together for an afternoon snack to hold people over until dinner. Throw in some greens when you can to hide the flavor with a cup of frozen fruit or a splash of fruit juice. Try adding in some fiber and omega-3 with a tablespoon or two of chia or flaxseed meal. We often like to make these extra thick by adding in some extra frozen fruit and ice to make smoothie bowls for both dessert or breakfast. Can’t beat a bowl of ice-cream-like yumminess on a warm summer day.
Kids Favorite Strawberry Banana
1 cup vegan milk
½ -1 cup apple or orange juice
1-2 cups baby spinach (optional)
1 cup strawberries, frozen
2 bananas, frozen
1-2 tbsp flaxseed meal or chia seeds
3-4 ice cubes
1. Measure milk and juice into blender first, then greens if using and blend these three first.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. To thin out add a little extra liquids if desired, or extra ice and frozen fruit to make a thicker ice-cream-like smoothie bowl.