Healthy Smoothies for the Whole Family

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Smoothies are an excellent way to get more greens and nutrients into your diet.  They can provide a lot of nutrition in an easy to consume package. They are great for busy moms on the go who want to stay healthy.

Imagine trying to eat a cup of spinach for breakfast along with some healthy protein, some spirulina, some chia seeds, some healthy fats, and other micronutrient dense foods.

It would be hard to eat all that. Plus, who has time to make that in the morning, much less sit down and eat it all.  

Shakes and smoothies are a great way pack a nutrient dense punch and fuel your body with real food.  It’s perfect for your whole family to get the nutrients they need to have energy throughout their day.

Smoothies and shakes are a great way to get healthy micro and macronutrients into our bodies and the bodies of our kids. These tips help you make smoothies that the most health benefits while still tasting good.

Are smoothies good for kids?

Smoothies are fantastic for your kids, in fact they are highly recommended.  They are quick and easy meals that allow you to get your kids to eat foods that they might not ordinarily eat.

Your kid might snub their nose at a spinach salad, but give them a chocolate protein smoothie with a handful of spinach in it and they will down that spinach. The same goes for other healthy foods like kale, flax-seeds, and chia seeds.

Unlike juicing, smoothies allow you to blend the whole food which keeps the fiber content of the food intact. This fiber is also good for your health and aids in digestion.  

It is important to be cognizant of the amount of fruit that you put into the smoothies that you make for your kiddos. Fruits have a higher sugar content than veggies, too much of which is not good for our kiddos.  And since they are drinking the food, the sugar can enter their system more quickly than if they were eating.

Fruit should serve as a condiment to the smoothie, not the base of it.

Common mistakes when making smoothies

Recently Shawn Stevenson released a podcast episode on the Model Health Show regarding 5 mistakes people are making when they consume smoothies.  It’s a really great and informative episode which you can find here.  I definitely recommend checking it out when you have the time.

But, if you don’t have time to listen to it right now (it’s over an hour long), the biggest mistakes are summarized as follows:

  1. Too much sugar - Remember fruits contain sugar.  I’m not saying to not add any fruit to your smoothie, but be conscious of the amount of fruit and types of fruit you are putting in.  Don’t put in an entire banana if ½ a banana will do the job.

    Also, if you are consuming store-bought smoothies, be conscious of the sugar amounts in those as well.  You might pick up the Naked green smoothie and think you are doing something good for your health only to find out that it actually contains 53 grams of sugar.  That’s over 13 teaspoons!

  2. Not enough fiber - Fiber is super important for your health and digestion and smoothies are a great way to get more fiber into your body.  You can get fiber in the form of green bananas, ground flax-seed, or chia seeds.

  3. Not enough protein - Protein is not absorbed as quickly as carbohydrates, so proteins (along with healthy fats) really help to keep you satisfied longer because it has a slower burn effect.  It also as a thermogenic effect as well in order to digest and breakdown the proteins. You can get your protein from powders as well as nuts and seeds like hemp seeds or quinoa.

  4. Not enough nutrition/too many empty calories - Smoothies are a great way to get a lot of nutrition into your body quickly and easily, so let’s not waste it.  Make sure you get your veggies in there or use quality green powders to get a full range of super foods into your smoothie.

  5. You drink them too quickly - Smoothies done correctly are an entire meal in a bottle. If you drink them too quickly, you are likely to not give your body time to digest and actually absorb what you drank. It’s easy to over-consume if you guzzle it too quickly.

Even if all of the ingredients are healthy, too many calories are still too many calories. So take your time as you drink your smoothie and give your body time to digest before you decide if you are still hungry.  

Healthy Smoothies for Kids and Adults

Here are some easy to make smoothies that both kids and adults can enjoy.  These smoothies pack in key micro and macro nutrients that help you feel your best.  

Quick and Easy Blender-Free Smoothie

This smoothie has only 4 ingredients (besides water) and can be made in a shaker bottle so there is no need to whip out the blender.  You can just throw the ingredients together and go. It’s perfect for busy mornings and is my go to smoothie during the week.

Technically you can use other protein powders and green powders, but these two are my favorites.  Orgain received the cleanest packaged food award for it’s quality ingredients. This powder is USDA organic, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, lactose free, low net carbs, no added sugar, soy free, kosher, non-GMO, carrageenan free, and no artificial ingredients.

Organifi provides high quality super foods in powder form. These are gently dried in order to maintain the nutrient profile of the foods. It is also gluten free, non-GMO, soy free and vegan.

Smoothies and shakes are a great way to get healthy micro and macronutrients into our bodies and the bodies of our kids. These tips help you make smoothies that the most health benefits while still tasting good.

The following smoothies all require a blender, so here are the instructions to create them.  They are still very easy smoothies to make.  Just add chosen ingredients to a blender and blend until very smooth, stopping every so often to scrape down the sides of the container and adding more liquid if needed.

Almond Banana Smoothie

  • 1 1/2 oz collard greens

  • 1 banana, peeled

  • 1 zucchini, chopped

  • 2 coconut flakes

  • 1 1/2 tbsp cacao powder

  • 1 cup almond milk

  • 1 cup ice

Spinach Orange Smoothie

  • 1 navel orange, peeled

  • 1/2 banana, frozen and peeled

  • 1 cup tightly packed spinach

  • 1/4 cup coconut water, adjusted as desired

  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds, optional

Hulk Smoothie

  • 1/2 cup coconut water

  • 1 cup plain whole milk yogurt

  • 1 cup chopped pineapple, fresh or frozen

  • 1 cup chopped mango, fresh or frozen

  • 2 ripe bananas

  • 2 cups greens of choice kale, collards, spinach, or an assortment of baby greens.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

  • 1 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)

  • 1 small banana, fresh or frozen

  • ½ cup strawberries

  • ½ cup cauliflower

  • 1 tsp hemp seeds

Orange Kale Protein Smoothie

  • 2 scoops Vanilla Protein Powder

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 cup raw chopped kale

  • 1 orange, peeled and seeds removed

  • 1/2 tsp spirulina powder

  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon

  • 1 pinch ginger powder

Apple Kale Protein Smoothie

  • 2 scoops Vanilla Protein Powder

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

  • 1 cup raw chopped kale

  • 1 mini cucumber, chopped

  • 1 small green apple, cored and chopped

  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Blueberry Cocoa Smoothie

  • 1 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)

  • 1 small banana, fresh or frozen

  • ½ cup blueberries

  • ½ cup spinach

  • 1-2 tsp cocoa powder

Cocoa Banana Smoothie

  • 1 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)

  • 1 small banana, fresh or frozen

  • ½ cup spinach

  • 1-2 tsp cocoa powder

  • 1 tbsp nut butter

Smoothies and shakes are a great way to get healthy micro and macronutrients into our bodies and the bodies of our kids. These tips help you make smoothies that the most health benefits while still tasting good.

How can I get my kid to eat smoothies?

If your kids are not already used to drinking smoothies, it may be a little harder to get them to jump on board. Here are some tips to consider when making fruit and veggie smoothies for your kids.

  • Try storing your greens in the freezer. This reduce the taste of the greens that you add, but will have the same nutrition. In order to do this, make sure the greens are dry, then put them into a zip top freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

  • Make sure to blend your smoothie really well to get a very smooth consistency. If you need to thin it out a bit you can add a little more milk or even water as needed.

  • You can get a less thick texture in your smoothies (which some kids prefer) by using fresh fruit rather than frozen—and this is also a good option for winter days when a frozen drink is less than ideal.

  • On the other hand, some kids may prefer a creamier texture.  In that case you can try using half milk and half yogurt for your base.

  • If your child is used to using squeeze packs, try putting the smoothie in a reusable one. We like these from Squooshi.  

  • Serve it in a bowl and treat it like a yogurt.

  • If none of these ideas work, freeze them into popsicles!

Can I freeze smoothies?

You can definitely freeze your smoothies and there are several ways you can do it. Your choice will depend on the amount of freezer space you have and how you or your kids like to consume the smoothies.

  1. Mason Jars

If you want to save some time in the morning, you can actually freeze your blended smoothies in freezer safe mason jars.  You can make enough smoothies for the week on prep day and then just pop them in the freezer.

Then the night before you want to drink it, place the smoothie in the fridge.  The smoothie will defrost and be ready for drinking the next morning.

This method of freezing makes for super quick mornings so long as you remember to defrost your smoothie the night before. If worst comes to worst you can also defrost it on the counter in the morning, but it may take a few hours to defrost.

The drawback is that the jars may take up a lot of freezer space.  On the other hand, they can last 3 months in the freezer.

2. Ziploc Bags

If freezer space is at a premium, you can freeze the fruit and veggie portion of a smoothie in a ziploc bag. Then in the morning you can just dump the frozen foods into the blender, add the liquid ingredients, and blend.

These will last in the freezer about 2-3 months.  

3. Popsicles

A third option is to blend your smoothie and then pour it into popsicle molds or push up molds. These are great for grab and go snacks. They are good for kids lunch boxes too.  

Will a smoothie last overnight in the fridge?

If you just want to store your smoothie overnight, putting it in the fridge is sufficient. Smoothies can last up to two days in the fridge.  While they may separate by the 2nd day, you can just stir or shake it up and it will be all good.

What is your favorite veggie to mask in a smoothie? Let me know in the comments.