Snack time for us is usually a carbfest. Pretzels. Cheese and crackers. Peanut butter and crackers. Hummus and pita chips. These are all fairly healthy, hold-them-off-until-dinner options but it feels like I’m giving my kids the same brown and crunchy foods day after day.
At an annual physical last week, the doctor reminded us that kids need at least five servings of fruit and vegetables every day. This probably means I should be adding some of each into our snack time ritual.
My kids will eat a piece of fruit at any time of day. But, if you’re on your way to the park, and you forget baby wipes, well, let’s just say, that sticky peach juice that looked so cute rolling down their chins and wrists, doesn’t feel so great later when you have to brush it out of everyone’s hair.
Instead, try bringing a smoothie along. We’ve been experimenting with them a lot lately. Not the hopped-up Jamba Juice-style smoothie with flax seed and protein powder and special enzymes that help grow your nails and hair. No, these smoothies have five simple ingredients and the kids can almost make them by themselves. Almost. Except for the time that my son stuck his hand into the blender just as my daughter was about to push “Power On.” I had a “Goonies” moment, reminding me never to plug in the blender until the very last second.
You can substitute any type of fruit into this recipe. I’m sure you could also sneak in some sort of vegetable too, Jessica Seinfeld-style, but my kids love these as is, and if it ain’t broke …
My current version uses frozen blueberries because that’s what I have. Frozen mixed berries are also a great option. You can use fresh fruit too, but I prefer frozen because it cools down the liquid. The frozen fruit chunks that didn’t fully blend also feel great on teething gums.
- ¾ Cup low fat vanilla yogurt, like Stonyfield Farm
- ½ Cup low fat milk
- ¾ Cup orange juice
- 1 banana, peeled
- 1 ½ Cups frozen fruit (berries are great, peaches by themselves can be a little bland)
- Add all of the ingredients into the base of a blender, THEN plug it in and blend for a minute or 2 (I usually let each kid take a turn pressing the button for a bit). You’re looking for a fairly smooth consistency with some small frozen chunks (no bigger than a blueberry – otherwise they’ll get caught in the straw).