Conquering the Veggie Hater: Green Smoothie 101

You know the song and the dance; I’m certain, mamas. Kid won’t eat any sort of vegetable. Mama tries to hide veggies in meals. Kid is on to mamas trickery and, therefore, refuses all homemade meals. Mama is desperate and searching for answers. Kid sits at table, happily eating his 15th bowl of goldfish for the day, knowing that victory is his.

This mama found the mother of all loopholes… the green smoothie.

Victory is mine, veggie hater.
Victory is mine, veggie hater. 

We started drinking green smoothies about two years ago when my then four-year-old was the stubborn veggie-refusing toddler that every health conscious parent dreads. Now, two years and thousands of smoothies under my belt, I have a few tips and tricks to share about how to make the most delicious smoothies that any kiddo would gulp down. We drink at least one 16 oz glass cup every other day!

A few house rules for smoothie success:

Equipment matters

After making so many smoothies, we felt comfortable investing in a Vitamix blender. And it is just as fantastic as all the hype suggests. But you don’t have to spend all your savings on a Vitamix or other expensive brand. When we were still green in the green smoothie department, we had this humble little blender, and she served us well. The key is high horsepower and the position of the blades. Certain brands leave little chunks of your greens, and that spells disaster when it comes to kids. It should be thick, but not chunky. Chunk is bad.

Ingredients matter

When starting out, we made the same exact recipe every day.

2 cups spinach

1 cup OJ

1 banana

Now that we are well versed in smoothie ways, we change up our greens to include kale and chard. I suggest starting with spinach because it is the mildest tasting green and is VERY easy to cover up the taste with OJ. The banana sweetens it up and makes it nice and creamy. Now, my son will pull out different ingredients, changing the liquid base to include almond milk or just plain water, and we have so much fun creating new recipes.

This website has A TON of recipes, and they happen to be starting a ’30 Day Challenge’ on April 1 where they email you a different recipe every day. It’s a good place to go for smoothie inspiration.

Timing matters

Especially if you have a lower horsepower blender, blend your greens and your liquid before adding any fruit. Blend it until you can’t see any chunks. This will ensure you aren’t chewing your smoothie, and, therefore, your kiddo won’t gag.

COLD matters

Adding at least one frozen fruit to your smoothie is always a good idea. I keep my freezer stocked with frozen mango, strawberries and pineapple. And when it comes to bananas, the riper they are, the better. So when I have a bunch that is starting to brown, I cut them into chunks and throw them in the freezer.

*Rookie tip: if you have a lower horse-powered blender, let your frozen fruit thaw on the counter for a bit. You don’t want to blow out your motor after one week of green deliciousness!

Pretty matters

Having fun glasses to drink from ALWAYS encourages my kiddos to gulp down the green. I stock up on fun straws when I find them on sale at Target, and hit up the out of season plastic cups after the holidays (Easter cups will be marked down soon! Check the end caps!). I also have a pack of these fantastic Popsicle molds. I fill them with the leftover smoothie and stick them in the freezer. The best part is that the kids think these are a legit desert! It’s not at all uncommon to hear me say “If you eat all your salad at dinner, I will let you have a popsicle when you’re done….” Queue maniacal laugh! Mama 1: Kiddos 0!

So there you have it! Before you know it, your own little Popeye will be begging to make a green smoothie. Cheers, mama!

This isn't a green smoothie. This is the makings of a mimosa. You should probably make yourself one as a way to celebrate your parenting success. If there are any raspberries left over, throw them in your smoothie.
This isn’t a green smoothie. This is the makings of a mimosa. You should probably make yourself one as a way to celebrate your parenting success. If there are any raspberries left over, throw them in your smoothie.
Bryna is a stay at home mom who recently moved to Riverside in Jacksonville, Florida after living in Japan for six years. From figuring out how to make a foreign country 'home' to figuring out how the heck her six year old son can get pee BEHIND the toilet, Bryna approaches life with humor and open-mindedness. A huge advocate for Waldorf education and an overall gentle approach to parenting, Bryna enjoys exploring the world with her two children through eyes of wonder and excitement. She loves to write and writes about what she loves; family, traditions, food, wine, and how to find happy in everything.


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