We all know how hard it can be to rally our kids into eating well and fueling their bodies for success, especially at the beginning of the day. That’s why Ruth created the XTEND5 Top 5 Smoothies for kids. Each smoothie is nutritionally dense and could be a great addition to your morning routine. With five smoothies to choose from, there is plenty of variety that could unlock your children’s curiosity and developing minds. As with all the XTEND5 blogs and recipes, we really hope to educate and inspire you as we take a deep dive into the ingredients Ruth (and her kids) ended up choosing.
Motivation is at the root of the why, and this is where we want to begin today. As Ruth experimented with ingredients, she got her kids involved, asking them what could work in a smoothie, what colors they liked, and even having them search google to find out why certain ingredients were so good for them. Planning a discovery session with your kids is a great way to get them involved in what they are putting in their bodies. Bringing awareness to the countless combinations, for example, engages creativity and imagination. Of course, a little guidance goes a long way, too, and it’s essential to find ways to educate on texture, flavor, and quantities.
Ruth’s recipes are packed full of nutrients and deliciousness, and today we want to highlight some of those ingredients and their properties. Also, integrating these smoothies alongside other nutritious breakfast items like eggs just adds to the fuel we are kick-starting our kid’s days with. They could also be an excellent option for a filling after school snack.
As you know, XTEND5 advocates for good gut health, and plain natural yogurt or Greek yogurt are noted as being an excellent source of live cultures that can support the gut microbiome. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence and pediatric reviews that support probiotics having the potential to support children as they develop. Some reviews suggest that probiotics could help children with acute constipation, colic, and acid reflux.1 A 2015 research review even showed that probiotics could play a role in reducing upper respiratory cold symptoms. The consumption of probiotics against placebo showed that they reduced the use of antibiotics needed, and the colds that would mean children would miss school also reduced.2 Finally, the American Family Physician review found that kids’ consuming probiotics could help with bowel discomfort in general.3
Getting our kids to eat vegetables and fruit can be one of the biggest battles, but hiding these in smoothies is a creative way of getting these nutrients into your child’s diets. Green vegetables and fruits like apples are rich in vitamins and minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. They are said to be great prebiotics too. Prebiotics4 act as a food source for probiotics. They are indigestible fibers that go to the lower intestinal tract and fuel probiotics to create good bacteria in the gut. Prebiotics are said to help with the absorption of calcium and keep the cells that line the gut healthy. Prebiotics are another element of the process which happens in the gut to promote good gut health.
Apples, bananas, cherries, berries, and many other fruits, vegetables, and even grains, contain quercetin. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that boasts neuroprotective qualities.5 Simply put, quercetin is an antioxidant, and antioxidants fight free radicals in our bodies that can cause harm to our cells.6 So, as the old saying goes, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” and well, they certainly carry a powerful punch in the healthy eating department, as well as an abundance of other organic fruits and vegetables.
Speaking of oats as a great prebiotic, we all know these can be a staple breakfast option in many households, and adding them to a smoothie can be a great alternative to the traditional morning bowl. Oats are also famed to be one of the healthiest grains available, full of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and fiber. Studies also show that they have many health benefits, including helping with weight loss and lowering blood sugar levels.7 In our opinion, a couple of spoons in any smoothie works just great and adds a vital source of soluble fiber.
As you will see, Ruth switched up ingredients in her smoothies to bring an array of color and even texture. Smoothies can be such a fun and simple way to keep things varied and yet packed with some of her favorite go-to ingredients. On top of that, things like cherries, pineapple, and spinach contain powerful properties worth mentioning. For example, cherries8 are full of vitamins C and potassium, as well as antioxidants. On the other hand, spinach is rich in iron and is excellent for supporting red blood cells and energy.9 After all, if the blood is enriched and robust, so are many body functions in general. Spinach can also be called a restorer of energy in the ways that it supports red blood cells. It is available all year round, although specifically in season in California, where the XTEND5 offices are based, between November and June.10 Finally, pineapple11 is full of vitamins and also enzymes that can support gut health. They are also high in the B vitamin, Thiamin, which helps change food to energy in the body.12
All of Ruth’s XTEND5 Top 5 Smoothies for Kids have been a big hit with her kids, and at the end of the day, that’s the goal. Fueling our kids well in the morning or even for an after school snack is important. We hope that these smoothies will encourage you and your children to notice the difference a smoothie could make to energy, motivation, and a general feeling of well-being. Having a list of easy go-to smoothies are a great resource, and we are glad you stopped by today to read the why behind the choices Ruth made. Now, grab the kids and enjoy diving into these delicious and nutritious smoothies.
1. Ruth’s Hidden Veg Smoothie
- 1 Cup frozen cherries
- 1 Banana (Frozen will make it extra smooth)
- 1 tbsp plain yogurt
- Splash of almond milk
- 1 tbsp nut or seed butter
- ½ Cup raw zucchini
- ½ Cup raw cauliflower
2. Ruth’s Perfect Pineapple & Coconut Smoothie
- 1/4 cup uncooked rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/4 cup yogurt (preferably Greek yogurt)
- 1 cup frozen, fresh, or canned pineapple pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 teaspoons honey or another sweetener
3. Ruth’s Fantastic Orange Popsicle Smoothie
- 1/2 cup coconut water ( Make sure to use pure coconut water without any added sugar)
- 1/2 cup nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup frozen mango
- 2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
- ½ cup of raw cauliflower
- 1 cup ice
4. Ruth’s Powerful Protein Breakfast Smoothie For Kids
- ¼ cup old-fashioned oats uncooked
- ½ medium banana
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- ¾ cup frozen pineapple or any other fruit they like (mango works great)
- ¾ cup frozen strawberries or ½ cup frozen blueberries
- ¾ cup milk of choice dairy, almond, etc.
- To add some extra superpowers to this smoothie, you can add a scoop of powder protein.
5. Ruth’s Green Machine Smoothie
- 2 x Apples
- 1 Cup Spinach
- ¾ Cup natural plain yogurt
- 2 Tbsp porridge oats
- ½ lemon, juiced
- ½ Cup milk of choice (coconut, almond etc)
- A squeeze of honey (optional)
Put all the ingredients into a blender with some ice and blend until smooth. Add water if the mixture is too thick. Serve immediately and enjoy.
Yours in health,