I strive to feed my boy as many healthy meals as I can, but I was really struggling getting quality veggies, especially greens, in his diet. Because he tends to be a bit selective regarding vegetables with certain textures, I dealt with a lot of foods being, in a more polite term, "rejected." I figured getting some more veggies into breakfast would be an extra chance at fueling him up with vitamins and minerals. However, breakfast to me was full of fresh fruits, dairy, and carbs. Still good, but I wanted to go for the rainbow of colors...you know, "eat a rainbow" (which translates to needing more green). Then I came across some green smoothie "pins" on Pinterest. Lightbulb moment! We set to work right away and the result, with a little tweeking from the original pin, was the single most amazing thing to happen in our kitchen this year. Now, every morning, Ben starts his day off with a (mostly organic) smoothie made fresh of a mango, a banana, several handfuls of baby spinach leaves, generous amount of ground flax seed, a little yogurt, a splash of OJ, a scoop of peanut butter, and a squirt of honey. Of course, don't forget plenty of ice! Voila! This 2 year old kid sucks these things down and often times ask for a refill. I couldn't be happier knowing that he is getting fruit, greens, dairy, fiber, and protein all in one delicious cup. Do you know about the benefits of flax seed? Read about it here and here.
If you are skeptical, just know that you really can't taste the spinach. I've gotten some friends and their picky eaters hooked on these, too. You can try adding other fruits in it too, just be aware that adding strawberries and blueberries will give the smoothie a browner color. It still tastes decent, but you might want to play around with the amounts of the fruits and the spinach if you want a prettier color. I made what I would call a "garbage" smoothie last week that consisted of leftover chopped kiwi and strawberry, along with the aforementioned ingredients. It tasted interesting. If you're nervous about introducing green smoothies to your family, start by adding a small amount of greens and work your way up. Why don't you go ahead and give it a try!!
You can find the original article that prompted me to start this wonderful breakfast tradition at Publix GreenWise website here. Enjoy!