This Green Smoothie for Kids is quick to blend up and made to taste great so that it get kids excited about eating vegetables! Made from simple, easy-to-find ingredients and naturally sweetened—it’s easily adaptable to fit your child’s eating style and needs!
For some kids, getting jazzed about trying green vegetables can be a tough sell. I know it was for my daughter and many of my preschool students.
But you know what I learned? That a fun name, a quick hands-on-experience, and a delicious green smoothie can be a TOTAL GAME CHANGER when it comes to kids being open to trying green veggies.
I started by making smoothies with my-then-toddler daughter in the morning, just as a way for us to get veggies in at breakfast. But when I saw how effective a simply green smoothie was for getting her excited about green veggies, so I tried it out on my preschool students.
I used to drag my blender into my classroom and set up a smoothie station. The kids would help me make the smoothie so they could see alllllll of the ingredients being tossed in (no sneakiness) and then got to hit blend and watch the magic happen. The kiddos felt excited about being part of the smoothie making process, got to control how much spinach went into the blend and then got to be pleasantly surprised at how delicious the veggie-loaded smoothie they had just made was!
My students used to get SO excited when they saw me bring my blender in and we would write the recipe down so they could take it home to make with their families.
Why this green smoothie for kids is awesome
- It is easy to make in your blender, so kids can be a big part of the “cooking” process. Let them dump the ingredients in. Put the lid on. Press the buttons. Making a smoothie is simply enough that even very young kids can be part of the process safely.
- It is made from simple, accessible ingredients. Some smoothie recipes call for things I have never heard of, can’t pronounce and simply have no clue where to even find. But not this green smoothie for kids. Its made from really simply ingredients that you can find at pretty much any grocery store any time of the year, no matter where you live.
- It is naturally sweet so that when kids take a sip, they are jazzed at how delicious it is! But it is not loaded with sugar from things like ice cream or sugary yogurts, so you feel pretty awesome abut giving it to them for breakfast.
- It is veggie-loaded. And kids love it! Enough said.
Why green smoothies help kids love vegetables.
My experiences with my own daughter and preschool students showed me that veggie-loaded smoothies (and other veggie-loaded recipes) are a great way to give children a positive experience with green vegetables. Which, in turn, can pave the way for them being open to trying vegetables in other ways.
Why? Because children will remember how many good feels came with the green smoothie. They liked how it tasted. How they got to help make it. How they didn’t feel pressure to eat it. Children will hold onto those positive associations and this Green Smoothie for Kids can help children remember that spinach isn’t so scary the next time it’s served up.
How to get them excited to try this green smoothie for kids.
- Let them make it! With supervision, of course! Let the kids dump the ingredients in so they can see exactly what is going in AND they can feel invested in the smoothie. Oodles of research shows that children who participate in the kitchen are significantly more likely to try new foods.
- Let the kid(s) decide how much spinach to add. Even if they put in just one leaf, the kids will remember there IS spinach in there and have a positive experience. Then the next time they make it, challenge them (gently) to add a little bit more and remind them how much they enjoyed the smoothie before!
- Give it a fun name! Silly names can be a total mindset changer for kids when it comes to food. Try Hulk Juice, or Gecko Smoothie, or Monster Mash! Find something green that your kid gets excited about and then work that into the name. That positive association might be all they need to get excited about taking a sip.
- Make it into a popsicle! If they are feeling extra iffy abut taking a sip, pour the smoothie into a popsicle molds for a fun any healthy treat! Plus, popsicles are a great way to use up leftover smoothie.
Can this Green Smoothie for Kids be made ahead of time?
I have found that if I store it in a mason jar with a lid in the fridge, it can be good to go for about 4-5 hours after making it. Since the ingredients will naturally settle and separate while it is chilling in the fridge, give it a good shake before serving to mix everything back up.
And if you have leftovers, freeze them into a popsicle and serve as a fun and healthy dessert later.
Or in an ice cube tray to add to another smoothie on another day.
How to make this Green Smoothie for Kids taste great!
“How ‘green” does this smoothie taste?”
I get this question all. the. time! Because it is a legit hurdle when trying to get kids excited about drinking something green. You don’t want them to take a sip and then be totally put off by the taste of too much spinach.
- Start slowly and skip the urge load up this smoothie with as much spinach as you can pack into your blender. When it comes to warming children up to vegetables, less is more. A small handful is perfect. If your kid is extra iffy about greens….try even less! As they get used to the smoothie, you can up the greens until you find your family’s perfect amount.
- Use frozen spinach. Freezing helps to reduce the bitter flavor of greens AND is a great way to not stress about using up a big bag of spinach before it goes bad in the fridge. TIP: spinach shrinks when its frozen, so you are going to want to use significantly less then you would when using fresh.
Tips for making this Green Smoothie for Kids.
- Play with the amount of liquid to fit your child’s personal preference. Use less to make it like a scoopable ice cream and serve it in a bowl (who wouldn’t get excited about ice cream for breakfast?!) or more to make it extra thin for kids who love drinking through a straw!
- Blend the spinach and milk first. If you don’t have a high-speed blender like a Vitamix, blending the greens and liquid first will ensure those greens get pureed really well and you won’t have little chunks of leaf in the smoothie.
- Add in extras! We love to add some cocoa powder, plain yogurt, chia seed, flax seed, or even collagen powder to our smoothies for an extra boost of goodness.
- Serve it in a bowl and let your child add fun toppings like granola, dye-free sprinkles or sliced fruit.
- Make it into popsicles!
Other kid-friendly smoothie recipes
- Vitamin C Smoothie
- Kid-Friendly Pink Beet Smoothie
- Chocolate Banana Smoothie (with veggies)
- Green Grinch Smoothies
- Healthy Peanut Butter Chocolate Smoothie (with greens!)
Easy Green Smoothie For Kids
- 1 handful spinach
- 1 tbsp natural peanut butter or nut butter of choice. Omit or sub sunflower seed butter for nut free option
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 large orange peeled
- 1 banana frozen
- 1 cup frozen mango or frozen pineapple
- Blend the spinach, water and nut butter until smooth.
- Add the remaining ingredients and blend again. Taste and add more milk/water if needed for desired consistency. Or add more banana for extra sweetness.
The nutritional information is provided as an estimate only and may vary based on the product type, servings and other factors. If you are following a diet, please consult with a professional nutritionist or your doctor. Stay healthy!