i’m still figuring a lot of stuff out when it comes to mothering. but one thing that’s evident after the last nine years of raising my five children is — there is not one specific parenting method/approach/style/book that fits all children. you’re in big trouble if you assume it’s a one-glove-fits-all sort of situation. which is why i always get a little weary when someone says, “this worked for my kid. so this is how you do it.” the same concept rings true when it comes to feeding your children. taste buds will be taste buds, and they’ll differ from one sibling to the next in the most fascinating of ways. i have one child who requests a kale salad every day and another who has refused to go near a kale salad for years. it doesn’t mean you don’t keep trying to introduce the things you hope your child might eventually take a liking to and benefit from (in fact, we are finally SO CLOSE to having all the kids eat kale salad!), it just means you might have to be extra patient and take different approaches with each of them. today i’m sharing one of the approaches we have tried for getting some much needed extra nutrients into our family diet with the hope that it helps one of you out there.
while at times some of our household hasn’t cared for anything green beyond green peas and edamame (i mean!), every single one of them has always gone bonkers for green smoothies and green popsicles. i don’t deliberately hide the green stuff in there, either. my big kids are usually the ones who make their own smoothies now in the morning and they’ll happily throw piles of kale into the blender faster than they can put coins into an arcade game. i think some of this has come from doing it since they were beatrice’s and madalena’s age, and also from the green stuff tasting so sweet thanks to bananas and other fruit we might use.
my kids like to make “chunkies” as they’ve named them, which is a green smoothie, but at the end they throw a few extra pieces of frozen fruit and pulse the blender two or three times so they’ll get big chunks of fruit in their final cup. i don’t understand the appeal and to be totally candid, it grosses me out considerably, but they are drinking kale smoothies so… i go with it.
ANYWAY! green smoothie recipes are all over the internet, and we don’t measure or pour exact ingredients every time since we prefer to eye ball it, but here is our go-to recipe:
- start with lots of kale leaves pulled off the stem (we do about 4-5 large leaves of green curly kale – or more)
- add 2-3 frozen or fresh bananas
- add about 10-16 ounces of frozen fruit (we tend to favor a 50.50 split of pineapple and mango over here for green smoothies since the color stays green and it tastes super fresh and go so well together)
- pour 1-3 cups of unsweetened unflavored almond milk (do more or less to get the consistency you want…start with less…you can always add more later)
- add in any of your favorite vitamin or protein or probiotic or whatever powders for your kids if you want
- mix on high in a blender for 30-45 seconds until completely smooth
and you have yourself something really delicious that somehow no one over here can deny!
pro tip – starting first with the kale on the bottom under the heavier ingredients pushes it down in the blender with the milk so nothing gets stuck and you don’t have to stop and push anything down either!
josh also shared his version of a green smoothie HERE when eleanor and samson were like, beatrice and madalen’s size?! it might not work in your home with your littles, but somehow it’s working over here and i feel relief that a few of my kids are getting some nutrients from more than just their vitamins.
i’m linking to the MINI POP MOLDS we use to throw some of our smoothie into popsicles for later. i like this one especially because the size of the popsicle molds are perfect for toddlers, since by the time it’s beginning to melt into a mess, they’ve pretty much devoured it. we’ve used these same molds for years, too. you can make any sort of smoothie concoction and turn it into a fun treat with the molds. (for the record, this is not sponsored.)
lots of photos below because i miss this blogging space and i’m determined to pull out my big camera more often this spring. :)
snuggles from my madalena! poor girl has a chin boo-boo right now we’re trying to nurse back to health (hard when you can’t keep a band-aid on a chin very well with a toddler. if anyone has ideas of how to encourage a band-aid on a chin, I’M LISTENING!)
i don’t think a smile will ever melt me the way beatrice’s beautiful smile does. :)
teeny tiny helpers!
a little thing i’ve learned when it comes to kids helping with things like blenders or mixers, is to keep everything unplugged until you’re ready to blend or mix. most of these kitchen tools have a safety switch in the back as well which is really great.
into the popsicle molds it goes! and in a few hours, GREEEEEEN TREATS!
would love to hear different approaches and ways you’ve conquered vegetables in your home with little ones. happy smoothie-popsicle making!
also, yep. taking these photos reminded me today we’ve been missing a kitchen cabinet knob for moooooonths and should probably do something about that. lol.