Ways to Get the Whole Family to Enjoy Healthy Smoothies
I really want to get my family into drinking a daily smoothie. My kids are two, five, and ten. Do you have any tips to make this fun and sustainable so that they enjoy smoothies?
Making a daily smoothie has been a Sears’ family nutritional adventure for many decades. Our children grew up on daily smoothies and now their children are helping them to make smoothies too. Here are some smoothie-making and smoothie-marketing tips:
Smoothie “Marketing” Tips
1. Radiate your enjoyment.
Kids are copycats. As you make your own smoothie exaggerate your facial expressions followed by a “yum, this tastes good!” as you sip your smoothie. If mom and dad enjoy it, the rest of the family is likely to want to share in that enjoyment.
2. Make your older child the model.
Ask your ten-year-old to help you make a smoothie. When the younger kids watch their older sibling doing something fun, they’ll want a part of the action. Encourage your ten-year-old to experiment with different fun and nutritious foods that she already likes. Younger kids often want to copy what their older siblings do.
3. Put color in your smoothie.
Call it “my big green smoothie” as you color it with greens and spirulina; your “blue smoothie” where blueberries shine; or, your “red smoothie” made with beets and pomegranate juice. Start with familiar foods that you know your children already like, such as peanut butter. As they’re helping you make their smoothie, put in that tablespoon of peanut butter, a handful of their favorite fruit, and some chocolate or vanilla protein powder. (The one I use is Juice Plus Complete.) Even a bit of cocoa powder or a square of an 85 percent chocolate bar is an added treat. If one of your children has a sweet tooth, figs add just the right sweet touch.
4. Try “sneakies.”
What really got our family attracted to smoothies was it allowed us to use one of our favorite nutritional principles that we’ve always tried to do with our children – shape young tastes. You want them to develop a healthy sweet taste like those from fruits. Smoothies are also a great way to sneak in nutritious foods for little picky eaters who may balk at eating spinach, yet when you throw in a handful of organic spinach in their “green smoothie” you get a “like!”
Speaking of picky eaters, we find smoothies are a great way to get through that picky-eating stage, especially if they need more nutrition. Try sneaking in some into the smoothie for healthy fats:
- A teaspoon or two of MCT oil or coconut oil
- Half of an avocado
- Nut butters
- Whole-fat organic yogurt or kefir
These fats also give the smoothie a yummy mouth feel that children enjoy.
One of my fondest memories is making a morning smoothie for our “tribe,” and then loading what we called “the Sears’ family bus” – our 12-passenger van – as those little riders became little sippers on the way to school. As I’ve said in many of our MWM’s, parenting is giving your children the tools to succeed in life. Being raised on frequent smoothies is likely to be a fun and nutritious eating habit that will last for generations. Enjoy!