For two years now, my son has had a smoothie for breakfast almost every morning. And I don't plan to stop making him one any time soon. It's the perfect breakfast - easy to prepare, easy to self-feed, packed with good ingredients (including a VEGETABLE), and great to share with an adult!
If I'm in the mood to have a smoothie in the morning too, I'll make a little extra so there's enough for both of us. And I'll add a few extra ingredients to boost the flavor.
There are a few tools that will make this even easier. Not necessary of course - all you really need is a blender (even a stick blender works) and a cup that your kid can drink out of - but these certainly help.
- High Speed Blender. We are lucky enough to have a Vitamix at home, and it makes the smoothest, creamiest mixtures. We've used other blenders to make smoothies for F, and there are always large pieces of greens or chunks of fruit in the mix.
- Reusable silicone pouch (for babies). When F was smaller, these silicone pouches were ideal. They are super easy to fill and clean. The spill-proof caps were great for him as a smaller baby, and as he got older (around 21 months) we switched to the "squeeze with ease" caps. However, if you've got a kid who likes to chew on straws and caps, skip these - the silicone doesn't hold up and can break apart easily.
- Straw cup (for toddlers). You'll need a free-flowing straw rather than one with a spill-proof valve (a la Camelbak), in order to get a thick smoothie to flow through easily. We have been using very simple Take N Toss Cups with a lid, and these stainless steel straws which fit in the straw hole perfectly.
Here's our basic recipe, but we're always switching up the fruit and greens. Experiment and see what you and your kids enjoy!
Finn's Green Smoothie
- 1 banana
- 5-6 organic strawberries (throw the whole berry in, no need to hull)
- 1 tbsp organic chia seeds
- 1 large handful organic kale leaves (stems removed)
- 1 cup (ish) organic unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- The strawberries can be replaced with any berry or fruit of choice!
- We also add other fruit on top of the strawbs - mango, kiwi, apple, pear, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, pineapple, cherries, etc. I'm a BIG FAN of kiwi in smoothies - it adds a wonderful bite to the flavor.
- FROZEN fruit is a great option in summer - Finn doesn't like his smoothie too cold, so we generally do fridge or room temp ingredients, but I love adding frozen fruit to mine.
- For extra protein & good fats: 1 tbsp almond butter, 1/4 cup plain yogurt, 1-2 tbsp coconut oil, 1 tbsp cashew butter, or 1 tbsp hemp seeds (or another tbsp of chia seeds!)
- Greens can be swapped out for any other dark leafy green, but always choose ORGANIC. Spinach makes for a milder flavor. Romaine is even milder.
- Instead of almond milk, use whichever milk you prefer (dairy or otherwise), or filtered water. Add more milk/water for a thinner smoothie. Less milk/water if you like a thicker, milkshake-style smoothie - or a smoothie bowl (which is eaten with a spoon).
This recipe makes enough for two people - 1 adult and 1 kid, or 2 smoothie-loving kids :)