Kids are great but they can be an utter nightmare sometimes! Every parent needs a bunch of kid friendly ideas up their sleeve at all times, and that can be draining.
One day they love cucumber, the next they treat every scrap you try and smuggle into their diet like their personal kryptonite. Kid friendly is a serious buzzword.
When fruit and veg are met with turned up noses and scoffs and refusals, how are you supposed to inject some of those essential vitamins and minerals into a child’s diet without putting them in the chokey and recruiting Mrs Trunchball to do the job for you?
Thankfully, this is where Booseblend and smoothies can be a real saving grace.
You can put nearly everything your child or grandchild loves to hate into a delicious smoothie, and with one crafty stroke, completely mask their taste with something else.
I mean, who isn’t going to consume a smoothie when you’re presented with it? Put yourself in the eyes of a child. What could be more fun than whizzing something up at a million kilometres an hour to create a lovely, smooth juice?
There’s the noise, the carnage, the transformation of a bunch of solid ingredients to something that can be slurped down has got to be one of the most satisfying culinary sites for a kid.
Now we’re learning a lot more about nutrition and starting to question some things that previous generations took for granted, we’re almost bombarded with information and that can make it difficult to know what to put in.
You can go down the non-dairy route and that opens up heaps of different options for you. One of those would be to use soy milk, which is naturally high in protein, although some new research has linked it with negative side-effects.
To avoid that, rice or oat milk would be a good secondary option, although you might need to use something to thicken up the smoothie. Yoghurt, dairy or non-dairy, is a good option for that and if you buy a vanilla flavoured one it could add a really creamy, light flavour to it all.
But be careful about how much sugar is going into that smoothie. It’s not that kid friendly, all that sugar, and it could lead to a tremendous sugar rush, an overtired tantrum and then a daytime snooze.
For the real young ones, smoothies shouldn’t be an everyday thing because of their sugar content and the acid within the fruit. If you’re worried about the little one’s teeth, take a quick look at this handy guide.
One ingredient that’s awesome to put in a smoothie, and that might take you by surprise, is the avocado. They have more than 20 vitamins and minerals per serving, say WebMD, including potassium as well as B vitamins.
The flavour or texture might be a little intimidating at first, which is why the smoothie is such a good idea. Avos are high in the ‘good’ sort of fat and they’re low in sugar, which makes it easy on the kids little teeth.
Children are really visual creatures, so you’ve got to make sure that whatever you serve them has some bright, bold, vibrant colour in there. It’s got to look pretty.
It’s a hard enough sell to try and feed some kids healthy stuff without them arguing with you because it doesn’t look nice. So go for a quick, easy win and use plenty of ingredients that are going to be visually appealing.
In other words, it’ll be kid friendly if it looks yummy and enticing.
Every child out there knows that green is a colour to be avoided. Green means those pesky veggies and threats and bribes and ‘oh my God pleeeaase eat your veggies, they’re good for you’. But the thing is, good for you sucks. We all know it, but we’re old enough to force it down our necks.
Children aren’t like that, and sometimes will straight up refuse green things because it’s ickey, green and good for you. So, start them off with those bright colours. Get them to associate smoothie with yummy, and after a while throw something green in there to see what happens.
Putting cucumber or kale is a great start, but don’t go overboard because kale will give it a murderously green colour - so maybe keep this one up your sleeve until the kids are used to smoothies. Kale has got a tremendous amount of vitamins and minerals in, and if you add some pineapple with it it can soften out the flavour of the kale.
Being kid friendly is a delicate game sometimes, but with these tips, it’s a game you can win.
So, to avoid those strong colours, try this berry smoothie out. It’s packed full of antioxidants, which are really good for you, but more important than that (for these purposes), it looks amazing as well.
Antioxidants are good because they help rid the body of free radicals. These are made when oxygen is metabolized, and can lead to some health problems. Berries look good, sure, but they are also a really good source of antioxidants and they can help neutralize these free radicals.
So even if the little person you’re making a smoothie for doesn’t realise it, they’re consuming something that looks good, tastes good, and is doing good within their body. And if there are some leftovers for you, bonus.
If you keep your berries frozen, you can decide how much liquid you add to the mix and how much or little you want it to resemble a real frozen treat or a more traditional smoothie. You can even make sorbet in the Booseblend, which could be a real hit after dinner when sweet tooths come into play.
Frozen berries, generally, are going to be a bit easier on the wallet so this could be a real win/win scenario.
Another top tip would be to keep it simple. We don’t want to overload their developing taste buds with too much at once - remember, they probably won’t like your five-fruit masterpiece that’s topped off with chia seeds. Also, do you really wanna waste your chia on a youngster who won’t properly appreciate it?
To start with, go for a milk - non dairy tends to separate less after blending, which is great if you want to store it in the fridge for a bit - throw that in with a banana that’s ready to go as well as one bit of fruit. Then add one veggie, don’t overload on the veggies, and one extra thing to give it that added protein, healthy fat or fibre benefit, and make sure you whizz it until it’s smooth.
Lumps are gross and nearly everyone on the planet hates them, especially kids. So try and make sure it’s as smooth as possible to take away lumps and bumps and increase the kid friendly nature of the healthy smoothie.
A couple of fun ways to get a fussier eater to entertain the thought of having a smoothie is to blend it all up as usual, but then make popsicles out of them. Obviously this is seasonally dependent, but it can make it a really fun option out of something that might not appeal in a glass. Everyone likes popsicles right? Just make sure you do the freezing in summer!
One other option is to pour it into a bowl and sprinkle some cereal on the top and serve with a spoon. If the smoothie has a thicker consistency, this one could work really well and provide a fun twist on the traditional bowl of cereal. Just make sure the cereal going on top isn’t packed with sugar and other nasty additives or you’ll destroy the goodness within the smoothie! Try using granola or something like that so you get that lovely contrast of the crunch and the smoothie.
So basically, being kid friendly can be broken down into a few categories. Don’t over complicate things, especially for the really little ones. They don’t want to be overwhelmed with too much going on, so keep things simple. Add something yummy with some colour in there to make it look attractive and delicious, appeal to the primal instincts within their brain.
Get creative with the delivery method. Smoothies don’t have to be consumed within a glass or something like that - you can put them as a popsicle or with a little cereal topping to make it into a fun little treat.
Smuggle some veggies in there like cucumber, but be careful not to overload on the green stuff until you can consider them to be smoothie veterans who aren’t afraid of some whizzed up greens.
And for goodness sake, make sure it’s blended to within an inch of its life because you don’t want them to force down some lumpy smoothie and they definitely don’t want to do that either.
As always, with everything new involving children, good luck and don’t get too despondent if it doesn’t work straight away!