With a base of frozen banana and fresh kiwi, this playful smoothie — let's call it the Green Monster — is rich in fiber to keep your kids' little systems in good working order. It can also help ensure that the kids start the day with a dose of nutrition, which can be reassuring if they are sometimes reluctant to eat their fruits and veggies in other forms. The healthy fats from the avocado also fuels brain development, which is especially important in younger kids and toddlers.
If your kids turn up their noses at leafy greens, this smoothie can be a nice delivery vehicle. You can start with just a leaf or two to show them that you're not trying to be sneaky. Then once they know they like it, add the full amount called for in the recipe. With kids who are reluctant to try new foods, trust (and power!) is often key. If they know that you're being honest about what's in their food, they're usually more likely to try it. They might even be willing to add it to the blender themselves if given the opportunity to participate and take ownership in the process.
Depending on the milk you use, you may want to add one of the optional ingredients for a protein boost. I like a small amount of seeds and nut butter in the mix, but you can try it a few ways and see if your kids have a preference. And remember to resist the urge to go overboard on the ingredients — especially the veggies and the seeds — because that will ensure that the smoothie tastes great. And serving sizes that kids actually need are likely smaller than you realize.
Easy Banana Kiwi Smoothie
Serves 1 to 2
dairy or non-dairy milk
sliced frozen banana
kiwi, peeled and sliced
lightly packed baby spinach
Optional add-ins: 1 tablespoon hemp seeds, 1 teaspoon chia seeds, and/or 1 to 2 tablespoons nut or seed butter
Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until very smooth, 30 to 60 seconds. Serve immediately.