By Lisa Holcomb
Do you need to find a way to get your kids to “eat” their vegetables? Maybe when you serve your child spinach he or she looks up at you with adoring eyes and says, “Oh thank you, Mom! May I have seconds?”
Not your child? Not mine either.
So, I’d like to introduce you to the sneaky smoothie. That’s not an actual recipe, but what I call a smoothie that is disguising healthy greens. I’m sure you’ve heard of green smoothies. Same thing, different name. When it comes to getting your children to consume their veggies, who cares if it’s done through a straw?
One trick you can try is to ask your kids if they like the smoothie you just made them. When they say, yes—and I’m sure they will—ask them if they noticed anything different from their usual smoothies. Tell them how proud you are that they tried something healthy and liked it. Now that’s sneaky! Or, you can choose not to tell them and keep it your little secret.
Adding fruits to the Sneaky Smoothie is a great help as it sweetens and disguises the veggie taste. You can turn any fruit smoothie into a green smoothie simply by adding veggies. Spinach is a popular green to add to smoothies. Kale is wonderful as well. Start teaching your young ones at an early age that “green is good.” Below are some of our family’s favorite Sneaky Smoothies and my kids actually do “eat” them. They’re easy to make and don’t require many ingredients; always a good thing in my book.
Green Slime Smoothie
The name might disgust you, but—trust me—kids love drinking “slime.”
1 banana, cut in chunks
1/2 an apple, cored and chopped (or sliced)
1 cup white grapes
1 cup fat-free vanilla yogurt (or plain yogurt and 1/4 tsp. vanilla)
1-2 cups fresh spinach leaves
Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
The Basic Green Smoothie Recipe
1 or 2 ripe bananas
1/2 cup of another type of fruit: pineapple, blueberry, apple, peach, or mango
1-1/2 cups fresh greens: 2 chard leaves or 1 handful spinach
12 oz. water (or to desired consistency)
Green Apple Glory Green Smoothie
1 ripe banana
1 large apple, cored
1/2 medium ripe avocado
1 cup packed spinach
1 cup packed romaine (about 3 large leaves)
1 pint of water
Irish Banana Split Green Smoothie
2 frozen ripe bananas
1 cup frozen pineapple
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
2 cups packed spinach
1 pint of water
Lisa Holcomb and her husband, Will, have six children (her oldest two children are married and have babies of their own) and live near Austin, Texas with their four boys. Lisa is co-founder of Build A Menu and is known as the “Queen of Meal Time Makeovers.” She is an author, speaker and an advocate for adoption, family nutrition, savvy grocery shopping and family dinners. Feel free to email her at [email protected].