Kid Approved Healthy Smoothies

I get a lot of questions about what my kids eat; what do they snack on, do they eat vegetables, what are good portable snacks, how often do they eat, what do their meals look like…  For the most part, my kids eat many of the same foods that I do.  I would say the biggest differences in their diet compared to mine is that they eat more frequently and they consume a lot more “snacky” foods (like crackers, pretzels, fruit).

I tend to prefer a low carb diet for myself, but I don’t restrict my kids’ carbohydrate intake.  I believe that children need more carbs in their diet because they are still growing, soaking in an abundance of new information each day and they are extremely active (or at least they should be).  Of course there are always exceptions 😉

Before I go into more detail on what my kids do eat, I want to first list what they don’t eat.

My kids DO NOT eat:

  • gluten
  • vegetable oils (like canola oil, soybean oil, corn oil)
  • hydrogenated oils
  • refined sugar or processed foods high in sugar
  • conventionally raised animal products (meat, eggs, dairy)
  • soy
  • artificial sweeteners
  • chemical dyes
  • cashews (because my 4 year old is allergic)

Note: from time to time some of these ingredients sneak into their food but I don’t worry about it.  For instance, if we eat out I try to pick gluten free options but don’t worry about anything else.  We don’t eat out often so unhealthy meals out from time to time are just fine IMO.  Also, I will buy “unhealthy” food from time to time like corn chips (that have a mix of sunflower and canola oil) or chocolate that contains refined sugar and soy lecithin.  Another food my kids don’t eat because my 4 year old is allergic is cashews (sad, I know).  Some products (like RXBARs) that have cashews are allowed in our house because they are packaged and easy to keep out of reach, but I will not bake with cashews.

What my kids DO eat:

  • tons of fruit
  • a variety of vegetables (raw and cooked)
  • potatoes
  • gluten free crackers, chips, pretzels…
  • organic, grass-fed/pastured meat
  • wild caught fish
  • pastured eggs
  • organic cheese (although I limit their intake)
  • homemade treats (cookies, cakes, muffins, energy bites…)
  • homemade waffles/pancakes
  • rice
  • rice noodles
  • beans (but not often)
  • nuts
  • healthy oils/fat (avocado, coconut, olive, butter, ghee)

I try my best to buy all organic, but sometimes products I purchase don’t have all organic ingredients.  For the most part, we to stick to Paleo friendly foods, although I am lenient on their consumption of gluten free grains because they seem to tolerate them well.

My one year old is a lot pickier than my 4 year old, which has been quite a challenge.  BUT, I have not given up on trying to get him to eat more nutrient dense foods.  Just because he doesn’t like grass fed beef one day, doesn’t mean he never will.  I also try to find ways to “sneak” veggies into his food such as: adding spinach to his eggs, adding vegetables to baked goods (muffins, pancakes…) and smoothies/popsicles.

Today I’m going to share 3 different smoothie recipes, all of which were eaten and enjoyed by my kids.  I know it’s not quite smoothie season anymore, but I imagine I’ll be making these year round.

Strawberry - Banana Smoothie (2).jpg

(1) Strawberry – Banana Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup (rounded) chopped, frozen strawberries
  • 1 small banana
  • 1/2 cup steamed then frozen cauliflower
  • large handful spinach
  • 2 Tbsp collagen
  • 1 tsp beet powder
  • 1 probiotic capsule
  • 2 Tbsp coconut cream
  • almond milk

Instructions

  1. Simply add all ingredients in high powered blender and blend until smooth, adding almond milk as needed.
  2. Freeze any leftovers in a separate bowl or popsicle mold.

Strawberry - Banana Smoothie (1).jpg

About the Ingredients

Cauliflower: It’s important to steam and then cool or freeze cauliflower prior to using in a smoothie.  Raw cauliflower will not taste good and the texture will be off-putting.

Spinach: I always add spinach to smoothies because it is a great way to get in greens and doesn’t have any taste (unless you add WAY too much).  I typically freeze my spinach (a great way to save greens that are about to go bad) but you can use raw spinach as well.

Collagen: Collagen is optional.  I see no problem with giving my children collagen in small doses so I add it to their smoothies.  In my opinion, it’s a healthier alternative to protein powder.  That being said, if you don’t feel comfortable giving it to your child then you may omit it.

Beet Powder: I use BareOrganics Beet Root powder.  Beets have amazing health benefits and I like adding this powder because it is tasteless in small amounts, convenient and a great way to add veggies to my kid’s meals.  This powder is also a fun way to add color to meals.

Probiotic: I think probiotics are beneficial to nearly everyone.  I’ve used Bio-Kult probiotics the past few years and love them.  I will often add a capsule to my boys’ smoothies.  This ingredient is absolutely optional.

Coconut Cream: My main reason for adding coconut cream is to boost the fat content of the smoothie.  This ingredient also adds to the texture and flavor.  I recommend keeping this ingredient, but you may omit or substitute with another fat if you wish.  Some good substitutions are: full fat yogurt, nut or seed butter or heavy cream.

Mango Smoothie (2).jpg

(2) Mango Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups frozen mango
  • 1/4 Cup steamed then frozen carrots
  • 1/4 Cup raw zucchini (or steamed then frozen)
  • 1 medjool date, pitted
  • 2 Tbsp collagen peptides
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • Coconut water

Instructions

  1. Simply add all ingredients in high powered blender and blend until smooth, adding coconut water as needed.
  2. Freeze any leftovers in a separate bowl or popsicle mold.

Mango Smoothie (1).jpg

About the Ingredients

Frozen Mango: Costco carries delicious organic frozen mango at a decent price.  You can use any brand, fresh or frozen.

Carrots: It’s important to steam carrots prior to adding them to a smoothie since they have a hard texture.  This also makes it easier for your child to digest.

Zucchini: I don’t always steam zucchini prior to using it in a smoothie since it has a soft texture and blends well.  You may use raw or steamed.

Medjool date: I added a date to help balance the turmeric, but you may omit this ingredient or substitute with a bit of maple syrup.

Collagen: Collagen is optional.  I see no problem with giving my children collagen in small doses so I add it to their smoothies.  In my opinion, it’s a healthier alternative to protein powder.  That being said, if you don’t feel comfortable giving it to your child then you may omit it.

Turmeric: You may omit this ingredient, however turmeric is shown to have amazing health benefits.  If you are unsure about the taste then add only 1/8 tsp.

Coconut water: I used C2O coconut water.  It tastes great with mango, but you may substitute nut milk or water.

Blueberry - Blackberry Smoothie (2)

Blueberry – Blackberry Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 Cup fresh blackberries
  • large handful spinach
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax
  • 1-2 Tbsp almond butter
  • almond milk

Instructions

  1. Simply add all ingredients in high powered blender and blend until smooth, adding almond milk as needed.
  2. Freeze any leftovers in a separate bowl or popsicle mold.

About the Ingredients

Blackberries: You can use fresh or frozen, I just used fresh since that’s what I had on hand

Flax: Ground flax is a great source of Omega-3 Fats and will help thicken the smoothie.  It is optional.

Almond Butter: I like adding nut and/or seed butters for additional fat and to help thicken smoothies.  You may use any nut or seed butter you wish.

 

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