Smooth Operators — Using Blenders to Encourage Children to Eat HealthierLeafy greens less than popular at the dinner table these days? Get your kids to eat their five-a-day by sneaking them fruit and vegetables in a form that resembles a milkshake from a fast food chain. Often associated with post-Pilates meal substitutes or tropical locales, smoothies are somewhat undervalued when it comes to nourishing the younger members of your family. Notoriously picky about foods that grow in the ground, kids are more likely to warm to the ice-cream colours that occur and to mixing ingredients and foods when berry meets blender.
For a dose of antioxidants, whip up a raspberry red smoothie complimented by blueberries and strawberries. Kids tend to gravitate toward the colour when it’s used in ice pops and candy, so they may naturally associate this smoothie with a treat! Berries are easy to find year-round; once the season has passed, most supermarkets will carry frozen varieties. One cup of your favourite berries, one small banana and a cup of vanilla yoghurt will serve at least two. Blend in half a cup of milk or less until you reach your desired consistency.
If summer fruits aren’t exactly the hardest sell, challenge yourself—and your daring little ones—to a ‘green machine’ packed with superfoods. One banana, 5 ounces green grapes, half an apple and a cup of vanilla yoghurt will keep them from guessing the main ingredient: 2 ounces of fresh spinach leaves! If the result is too thick, add a bit of milk to your blended green drink. Boys in particular will like its Ninja Turtle tones, and it contains some of the nutrients most needed by the short set.
Overall, sweetness is key when catering to kids; bananas help conceal more vegetable tastes, and vanilla yoghurt is preferable to plain. And if all else fails, reach for the peanut butter: Blended with a banana and milk, it’s sure to please any cheeky monkey!
Image by kartfamily, used under Creative Commons licence.