Green smoothies are delicious and good for you, but try telling that to a 5 year old who is 100% against greens! I have some pretty picky kids and I’ve found a few good ways to get kids drinking green smoothies over the years.
1. Don’t start with green. I made my kids banana, coconut milk and strawberry smoothies for weeks before I started adding green. They didn’t even notice at first! Starting out with flavors kids love is a good way to help them adapt to the idea of drinking a smoothie, then you can start working your way up to greens.
2. Use a cup with a straw. One of those opaque cups with a straw is a great way to get kids drinking smoothies without focusing too much on the green part. They can’t really see it if you get one of the cups with a lid, so there’s more of a chance they’ll drink it.
3. Start with spinach. When you’re adding some greens to a smoothie, I highly recommend starting out with some baby spinach. It doesn’t flavor the smoothie (unless you use 50% spinach) and is nice and easy to assimilate.
4. Blend the greens first. When adding everything to the smoothie, start by putting the greens in first. This ensures that they will blend easier and faster and there will be fewer green flakes in the mixture.
5. Add chocolate. Well, cocoa powder, that is. What kid can resist a chocolate banana smoothie? Not mine, that’s for sure! With a little cocoa powder, you can hide a lot of green!
6. Tell them it’s a Shrek Shake. Sometimes all they need is a cool name for the stuff they’re drinking. It’s also helpful to let them know just what this shake will do for them. Emphasize the fact that it will give them more energy for playing ball and help their bones and teeth stay strong. Building muscles was always a good reason for my son to drink one of these green smoothies.
7. Experiment with flavors. Maybe your child isn’t a fan of strawberries. Try some pineapple and coconut milk. Or mix some blueberries into your banana smoothie. Let your child suggest some ideas for ingredients and he’ll be more likely to try it.
8. Freeze them. Try freezing your green smoothies if you have leftovers. What your child won’t drink, he might eat as a Popsicle. It’s worth a try, anyway.
My kids are a bit older now, but they still drink their green smoothies in the mornings. I’d call that success.