Are you looking for a green smoothie that will provide PLENTY of nutrients to start your child’s day and tastes delicious? Are you feeling like your child could never come around to this? Well then read on for the recipe and how to wean your child onto this delicious breakfast OR snack.
Here is the recipe for one: (tip: write it out with the quantity for the number of people you are making it for and stick it up on the kitchen wall until you know it back to front!)
The ‘works’ green smoothie (AKA ‘the juice of a sea cucumber’)
- 1 kale leaf, washed and stalk removed
- 1 handful spinach, washed
- 1/2 orange, peeled
- 2 tsp almonds, soaked in water night before and drained (allows nutrients to be absorbed by your body better – ‘bioavailable’)
- 1 tbs goji berries
- 1 tbs chia seeds
- 1 banana
- 1 cup water (or equivalent ice)
- optional: probiotics, changing chia for sunflower seeds, linseeds or pepitas, 1 tsp Superfoods for Kidz ‘Vital Veggie Power’ (particularly used for Master 21 months who eats minimal orange or green veges if we’re being realistic!), swap 1/2 orange for 1/2 lemon + 1/2 pear.
Blend until smooth.
Here are some of the steps we took to wean the boys onto this smoothie….and who now SLUUUURRP it!
1. Start on an easier smoothie. We started with 150ml almond milk, 1/2 banana, handful of soaked almonds, 1 tsp carob powder, 1/2 tsp honey or 1 date, probiotics, pepitas/sunflower seeds thrown in. See my post, ‘What About A Brekky Shake‘ for further ideas. Adjust the carob/cacao/cocoa or slightly more honey to entice them in.
2. Make small changes…slow and steady wins the race! We started adding 1/4-1/2 tsp barley grass powder. This is a great start in developing a taste for some supergreens and the boys gradually got used to 1 tsp barley grass powder. This then became the green/chocolate smoothie.
3. Give it a name. The boys were used to names such as ‘choco-coco banana’ or ‘honey cinna-banana’ so by the time I announced we’d try a new smoothie, they were excited to name this new one. This time I drummed up more excitement by using Master 3.5’s new interest, sea animals. I suggested ‘what about the juice of a sea cucumber?’. A definite ‘YES’!
4. Introduce a new cup/straw. As we are trying to get rid of plastic and the chemicals that go with it, I decided to invest in some stainless steel cups and drinking straws. I brought these out on the day we tried the new smoothie.
5. Plan to drink the new smoothie yourselves first and only offer a taste for your kids – miracles can happen when there is no pressure and they see others enjoying it. The first morning I made the new smoothie (juice of a sea cucumber), I talked it up, but only made enough for my husband and I, not planning for the boys to drink more than a taste. They both had a taste and Master 22 months took the bait…. ‘MORE!’. So we donated one of our smoothies to him and made do that morning with some sneaky ‘low-fives’.
6. Slow and steady wins again. I then made Master 3.5 his usual ‘choco-cinna banana’ in WITH the remnants of the new smoothie. In fact, I knew half of the ingredients of the green smoothie weren’t THAT far off what he was used to. So I added the almonds, goji berries and chia but left out the orange and greens (there was already some taste of them in the dregs) and added almond milk instead of water. It was daring but he went with it!
7. Blend and blend again. Sometimes the smoother the better, particularly with fibrous foods like orange. Be sure to start weaning off super smooth once you have the kids hooked in so they don’t rely on ‘no bits’ forever.
8. Know went to step up, and went to back down. Again, slow and steady wins the race. Keep making your green smoothie first, and making your child’s preferred one with more and more dregs. I sensed that Master 3.5 was interested in the new smoothie after he saw Master 22 months slurp his up. He just needed a day or so extra to get his head around a change in his breakfast routine, not SO much the taste.
9. Give some warning. I planted the seed ahead of time and one day confidently announced ‘we’ll be getting up early to get out and go to the beach tomorrow morning, so we’ll all have the juice of a sea cucumber tomorrow okay?’. He agreed, although I was probably still prepared to make his back up if he needed. Nope, he was completely happy to enjoy the new drink with us!
10. Educate! We have drawn a picture and told the story of how each ingredient does something to help our body. Master 3.5 is learning to have a sense of ‘taking care of his health’ as he asks me to go through each ingredient and what it does again!
Of course another idea would be to get your children involved in making the smoothie and talking about all the yummy ingredients in it, pointing out the ones they already know and the ones that sound enticing (like goji berries). I didn’t play up the greens but maybe that was just me anticipating a reaction!
And the best bit about this shake is… you won’t even have to fake a ‘yummy’ smile as you drink, because it really is delicious!
Please let me know how you get on or other delicious variations 🙂 Heidi
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