Smoothie Your Way to Health

by Elaine Egan on June 19, 2011

smoothies

Fruit & veg are essential for good health, helping to prevent heart disease, stroke, obesity and certain cancers

Experts recommend that we should all eat at least 9 portions of fruit and veg every day – eating a diet rich in fruit and veg may help prevent heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and some cancers.

Smoothies are a great way to get your kids eating fruit. If your kids are reluctant to try different fruits, smoothies are a good way of introducing new flavours. Full of vitamins and antioxidants, smoothies are a tasty and healthy snack.

Easy and Tasty!

Making your own smoothies couldn’t be easier – all you need are the raw ingredients and a blender or smoothie maker.You needn’t buy the most expensive smoothie maker either – a basic blender will do the job just as well.

You don’t need to spend a fortune on fruit – wrinkled, tired or over-ripe fruit all work well in a smoothie. Look out for special offers in the supermarket or your local fruit and veg shop.

Frozen fruits are often a good alternative and usually reasonably priced. If your kids love raspberries a bag of frozen raspberries in February can be a great “pick me up”.

Get the Kids Involved

Let the kids help choose, wash and chop the smoothie ingredients. If they’re involved in making it they may be more likely to try it. Let them feel that it’s their creation and let them serve it up to the rest of the family.

Smoothies are usually served in a tall glass with a straw. Why not let the kids try experimenting by serving their smoothie in novelty glasses or using character straws?

If the smoothie is thick and slushy try serving it in a bowl with a spoon. Have fun and let your children’s imagination go wild – let them create new recipes and maybe write their own Smoothie recipe book.

Get Creative!

Smoothies are so versatile – you don’t have to stick to one particular recipe. Experiment with different fruits and juices and create your own family favourites.

Frozen berries will make a smoothie thick – almost like a sorbet or a slushy. Bananas or mangos give smoothies a thick consistency. Try using different flavour fruit juices to add some interest to your smoothies.

Smoothies don’t have to be made with fruit – there are plenty of recipes that use carrots, beetroot or spinach. Check the internet, magazines and books for inspiration.

Full of Fibre

When you use fruits for smoothies, you’re using the whole fruit as well as the juice. This means you’re getting all the benefits of the fibre in the fruit. Fibre is very important and sadly a lot of us are not eating enough fibre. Our modern diet of processed food and white bread lacks fibre, which can lead to constipation and may even be linked to bowel cancer.

Fruit is an important source of fibre – not only is it good for your insides it leaves you feeling fuller for longer, so you’re less likely to snack on junk.

Get some Dairy

If your children aren’t keen milk drinkers, try using milk in a smoothie instead of juice. Use low fat or full fat milk, whatever you prefer. Try adding some (unsweetened!) natural probiotic yoghurt which is full of protein, calcium and B vitamins.

Out and About

It’s great to make your own smoothies because you can control what goes into them –  but sometimes this is not possible or convenient. If you’re buying smoothies look for ones that have a high fruit content and aren’t just full of cheap fruit juice concentrate.

Avoid smoothies that have chocolate, sweet sprinkles, or are full of cream or ice cream. Pay attention to the ingredients list and if you aren’t happy don’t buy it!

Smoothie Summary!

Smoothies are a tasty and fun way for your kids to eat fruit and veg. Why not try a smoothie next time your kids need a snack – and be confident that you are giving them a health boost!

Check out some of our smoothie recipes:

Do you think smoothies are a good way to make sure your family eats enough fruit? Do you have a favourite smoothie recipe that your family loves? Share your tips and ideas in the comments box below.

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