By Jessica Corwin MPH RDN — One of many Nutrition blogs on SmartLivingNetwork.com
Wondering how you and your family are going to squeeze the recommended 5-9 produce servings into your day? Why not start the day off right and enjoy them within a delicious breakfast smoothie. A quick morning blend will not only taste great on-the-go, it will also help you accomplish mission impossible: getting your youngsters to enjoy fruits and veggies with a smile.
A smoothie becomes a powerhouse of nutrition when made with wholesome ingredients such as fruit, nuts, yogurt, and, yes, even vegetables. While the sight of leafy greens edging toward the blender may draw apprehension, when combined with berries the color is quickly camouflaged by the blues, blacks, and reds. As for the taste, unless you witness the addition of greens, it is very unlikely that you would even notice the addition (especially if you are using baby spinach).
Not sure if your morning will allow time for a fresh smoothie? Simply prepare them a batch ahead of time and store it in the freezer. Be sure to portion the smoothies into smaller containers, either Tupperware containers or resealable baggies, to ensure each serving will thaw out overnight and be ready to drink by the morning rush.
Once you become familiar with a few smoothie recipe favorites, invite your kiddos to help out by selecting and adding the ingredients for their own creation. Just be certain to teach them how to safely use the blender (e.g., never put their fingers near the blades, keep the lid on while blending) to ensure a safe and child-friendly production.
Ice cubes or frozen fruit? If your smoothie is already quite nutrient dense, ice cubes are an easy way to thicken your concoction and increase the volume without adding calories. Ice cubes are also a great option for times when frozen fruit is simply not an option.
5 ice cubes
¼ cup water
1 cup fat-free Greek blueberry yogurt
1 sliced banana (frozen if possible)
1-2 handfuls of fresh spinach
¼ cup blueberries (optional)
1 cup chocolate flavored non-fat Greek yogurt
1 banana, sliced, frozen
2 TBSP cocoa powder or chocolate protein powder
2 tsp honey
Splash of fat-free or reduced-fat milk, plain or chocolate, if needed for mixing
1/2 cup fresh or frozen berries
1 cup plain or vanilla non-fat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons nut butter
Splash of milk or water, if needed for mixing
1 fresh pear, sliced
1 cup fat-free or reduced fat milk
2 TBSP vanilla protein powder
Splash of water, if needed for blending
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