Occasionally, Little Miss goes on picky eating streaks. I’m sure I’m the only parent who ever encounters this type of behavior…. During these phases, I try to get as creative as possible to ensure she is getting the nutrients she needs to support her optimal development and health and to prevent hangry behavior (an inherited trait she gets from her mom and dad). With the every bite counts mentality, I concocted a Helen-approved green smoothie. I hope you and your babes enjoy it as much as Little Miss and I do!
Tips for creating healthy smoothie drinkers:
- Get your little ones involved in the process.
- Helen loves collecting all the ingredients, “helping” me prep them for the week, putting the ingredients in the blender, and dancing to the sound of the blender once it gets going. Try anything that makes the process fun and engaging!
- Use cool straws or drinking contraptions; presentation is everything! This also saves on clean up time and stained clothes.
- Think about investing in a high-powered blender. It makes a major difference when it comes to texture. I use a Blendtec which works excellently and have heard great things about the Ninja and Vitamix as well.
For Healthy Snacks on the Go: Double the recipe and freeze the leftover smoothie in food pouches. They also make reusable pouches. I can’t tell you how handy these things are to support healthy eating on the go (as a heads up, I’m not being sponsored by any of the brands I provide links to).
- ~2 cups/1 big handful organic baby spinach
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or milk of choice
- 1 heaping tbsp almond butter or nutbutter alternative
- 1/2- 1 frozen banana (scale back once you get used to the greens to reduce sugar)
- • Break banana into thirds for freezing to make blending easier
- Add ice to achieve desired texture
- Optional: ground flaxseed, chia seeds
- Blend spinach and almond milk until smooth.
- Add remaining ingredients, and blend until smooth. Enjoy!
- Spinach: Go organic on leafy greens. They are on the dirty dozen list and it is worth the extra money to reduce the toxic pesticides that you are ingesting. Feel free to mix things up by using a variety of organic leafy greens in your smoothies such as Swiss chard, collard greens or kale (cut the stem out of the middle). This will diversify the nutrients that you are getting.
- Almond Milk: Try to find options WITHOUT added sugar (look for unsweetened) and WITHOUT carrageenan (particularly if you have a history of digestive problems) on the ingredients list.
- Almond Butter: For almond butter the ONLY ingredient you want to read on the label is almonds (or whatever type of nutbutter you are using); salt is ok too. Make sure the label does NOT have sugar or partially hydrogenated oils (contrary to JIF's slogan if you have JIF or Skippy you might want to rethink your choice...). These ingredients cause inflammation in the body and can contribute to weight gain and a number of health issues.
If you liked this post, stayed tuned for next week; I’m working on creating a super awesome printable chart you can put on your fridge to guide you in building your own delicious green smoothies!
To Getting in More Greens! Chris