Everyone always seems to be looking for ways to get extra veggies and protein into their diets and especially into the diets of their kids. Smooties are a great and delicious way to do that. Veggie or Protein smoothies are great for breakfast or an afternoon snack. I usually give my kids their smooties after naps.
A key ingredient in any smoothie is a quality protein that you can be confident is made well and doesn’t contain artificial ingredients or fillers. I use Shaklee proteins for my family because of the Shaklee Difference. For my kids I most often use the Shaklee Meal Shakes or sometimes the Energizing Soy Protein. I stick with vanilla because I often make shakes for a before bed snack when we’ve had an early dinner so I avoid the chocolate. For myself, I use Shaklee180 smoothie mix (which is safe for the kids too, if you choose to use that one). These are also all great to make Peanut Butter Bites.
All of my smoothies contain almond milk as a base. How much almond milk (or milk or water) you use it mostly dependent on the consistency that you want the shake. My kids do much better with a more liquidy drink. I often add coconut milk to my children’s smoothies (full fat) to add fat and the health benefits of coconut milk. When I don’t have that available, I add straight up coconut oil and just blend really well.
Almost all my smoothies have banana in them as well. This is for flavor and consistency more than health benefits but bananas have great nutrients too. I usually do about 1/3 of a banana per person.
A veggie smoothie can be made with whatever veggies you have in the house, which is great. And the great thing is that often RAW veggies and the hardest for kids (especially little ones who are not great at chewing yet) to get and have the most health benefits. Just blend them up—even if it’s a small amount:
Carrots: These add a sweet flavor and a good color. Just make sure to blend well to avoid chunks.
Broccoli: Start with a very small bunch. Not an extremely strong flavor but evident.
Spinach: No flavor change! Just turns the drink green. Put in as much as you want (frozen works too).
Kale: Start with a very small amount. The bitterness can be offset by other flavors but experiment carefully.
Zucchini: Adds a creamy texture without a lot of flavor change
Avocado: A great addition for thickness (especially for those who use water)
One of my favorite smoothie sayings is, “Peanut butter covers a multitude of vegetables.” I often add peanut butter to the shakes. I can add raw broccoli, kale and such and they still mostly just taste the peanut butter. This also works by adding frozen berries.
Protein Milk Shake:
There are times when my kids just need a totally delicious yummy shake and they really only need protein and the other nutrients found in the protein mixes. Examples are when they have had a meal with too many carbs and need to balance it out with protein or when I really just need to get some vitamins in them (see below).
With those I just mix the milk, banana, peanut butter and protein mix. Or, today I did frozen berries, milk, banana, and protein mix. These are incredibly delicious and very nutritious. If you are trying to move your child away from an all-grains breakfast, I would start with a shake like this.
Protein shakes are a great way to get other vitamins into your kids if they do not want them mixed in something like applesauce. Some that I crush for my kids in shakes include:
Nutriferon: A very powerful immune booster for sick seasons and situations
Alfalfa: A great natural decongestant and anti-inflammatory
Defend and Resist: For when a cold or sickness is just beginning
Vitamin D: To boost the immune system and improve mood and energy
Sometimes I also add in Chia Seeds.
If the color of a green smoothie bothers your kids (I have one that it does), mask the drink in a non-see-through cup.
The kids drink up and get so many good things in those little growing bodies!
Hope this helps get you started with making protein or veggies smoothies for your family! Is there anything else you add that you can share with us?