By: Lauren Lowery
I have nightmares from childhood of sitting at the table for what seemed like hours with different colored vegetables staring me down. I hated them. I didn’t care if they were good for me. And I definitely didn’t appreciate having to stay at the table until I ate them all. As I matured, I learned to like them somewhat better, and I definitely gained respect for their health value in my diet.
Then I had my own kids and faced the same fight I put my parents through as my kids wanted nothing to do with these same foods. I felt my kids’ pain remembering many of the bitter flavors that made me wish we had a dog who would rescue me from this torture, and yet I understood the need for nutrition in their growing bodies.
My world was turned upside down, in a good way, when I finally tasted my first fruit and vegetable smoothie and realized it was really good. I had heard of people adding things like kale or broccoli to a smoothie, but the thought of it made me cringe imagining how terrible it would taste. But one afternoon, I was convinced to taste a smoothie with broccoli and spinach, balanced with yogurt and fruit. To my delight, it was delicious, and I haven’t looked back since.
I started making them more and offered them to my children as well. To my utter surprise, even my pickiest little eater drank it all right up. As we have grown more adventurous in our smoothie making, we have tried all different kinds of vegetables, fruits, texture enhancers (i.e. yogurt or avocado), and add-ons (which can add flavor and/or nutrition). Almost every time, we have a winner that the whole family enjoys.
The post A Healthy Beverage is a Choice, states, “Health begins with what we eat and drink.” It was difficult for me to believe that drinking blended fruits and vegetables counts towards health. I figured blending it up stripped it of its nutritional benefits. However, my doctor persuaded me that blenders keep good nutrients and fibers in the smoothie. Further, I’ve learned that you can pack a smoothie with such a variety of powerful ingredients that you end up getting more nutrients and benefits in one smoothie than you would often get in one meal.
The key is making sure you are putting good items into your smoothies and using a quality blender that can provide a nice consistency. The post Health Benefits of Smoothies suggests, “The best smoothies are made with natural, all real, nutrient-dense ingredients that provide vitamins and oils necessary for good more complete nutrition.”
So what are you waiting for? Go try a fruit and vegetable smoothie today, and don’t be surprised when your kids ask for seconds.