This green smoothie is a fantastic way to add greens into your child's diet. Deliciously sweet and creamy with no taste of spinach!
It is estimated that less than 1% of Australian kids eat the recommended serves of vegetable each day (1). For this reason, we need to find easy ways to incorporate more veggies into our children's diets.
This is where green smoothies are perfect. The fruit content makes them deliciously sweet and you can slowly adjust the fruit to veggie ratio, to favour the leafy greens, as your child becomes used to the flavour.
Starting the day with a serve of vegetables is only one reason to love the green smoothie, other reasons include...
- Quick and Easy - perfect to make on busy mornings.
- Flexible - Can use both fresh or frozen fruit/veggies and can mix and match to suit what you have available.
- Less Waste - Great for using up fruit/veggies towards the end of their life.
- Veggie Exposure - Allows children to see how versatile and taste fruit and vegetables are.
How to Make a Green Smoothie
You can really mix and match ingredients, this is the ratio that we follow
- LEAFY GREENS (AROUND 2 CUPS) - This recipe calls for spinach but you can really use any greens you wish. You may wish to try.. kale, bok choy, swiss chard, collards, celery. Spinach has a milder taste and is less detectable, if using other greens you may wish to start with a little less.
- FRUIT (AROUND 2 CUPS) - Frozen banana, apple, kiwi and blueberries are used in this recipe but you can mix and match the fruit to what you have available. You may wish to try...avocado, berries, grapes, mango, peach, pear, pineapple, papaya. Frozen banana produces a beautiful thick and creamy smoothie, avocado does the same but you will not have the same level of sweetness.
- LIQUID (AROUND 2 CUPS) - You can use Milk (dairy or dairy-free), Coconut Water, Water. Only ½ cup of milk has been added to achieve a thick and creamy texture. You can add more if you prefer your smoothie on the runnier side.
- HEALTHY ADD-INS (1-2 tbsp) - Add one of below for extra fibre, protein and healthy fats. Chia seeds, flax seeds, nut butter, hemp seeds, oats, nuts.
- BLENDING - The order you add your ingredients can make a difference to how easily your smoothie will blend. You want the liquid and easier-to-blend fruit at the bottom, nearest the blade. In some blenders, this will involve you adding them first and in others (where you have to screw on a lid with a blade and flip), you will have to add them last.
- GREENS - Spinach is the mildest tasting green. Chard and kale have an earthier taste that some children may not like. With these greens, you may wish to add a little less to start with.
- COLOUR - The green colour will differ depending on the fruit you add. If your children "eat with their eyes" you may need to tailer the fruit to suit this. For a bright green smoothie add lighter fruits. Add raspberries, blackberries and blueberries to disguise the green.
- SERVE - Serve in an open cup, in a bowl with a spoon or in a reusable pouch.
- GET KIDS INVOLVED - Getting kids involved is a great way to encourage a more adventurous eater. Let them choose the fruit and help you add the greens.
This smoothie is best eaten straight away. However, if you find that your child one only wants a little when you make it, you can cover and refrigerate. It will last well for the day but the consistency will not be as creamy.
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- High Speed Blender
- 2 Cups Spinach (roughly 58g)
- 1 Frozen Banana
- 1 Apple cored and chopped
- 1 Kiwi peeled and chopped
- 1 Handful Blueberries (roughly 35g)
- 1 tablespoon Chia Seeds
- ½ Cup (125ml) Milk of choice
- Place all ingredients into the blender (see note 1 below)
- Blend on high speed until the mixture is smooth.
- Serve straight away.
- The order you add your ingredients can make a difference to how easily your smoothie will blend. You want the liquid and easier-to-blend fruit at the bottom, nearest the blade. In some blenders, this will involve you adding them first and in others (where you have to screw on a lid with a blade and flip), you will have to add them last.
- Using frozen banana gives the smoothie a lovely thick and creamy texture.
- You can replace the apple, kiwi and blueberry with around 1.5 cups of chopped fruit (of choice). Fresh or frozen will work.
- You can use milk of choice, dairy and dairy-free milk both work.
- Chia seeds are added for extra nutrition. You can miss out or replace with flaxseed, nut butter, hemp seed, nuts or oats.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics, (2012), Australian Health Survey: Consumption of Food Groups from the Australian Dietary Guidelines, 2011-12 , accessed Aug 14 2020, <https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/Lookup/4364.0.55.012main+features12011-12>
*This post was first published March 2014, it has been updated with new photos, tips and recipe information.