How to Drink Your Vegetables
Your kids happily eat plenty of vegetables. They look forward to lettuce, zero in on kale, and beg for broccoli. Right?
Chances are, they don’t. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a four-year-old child should eat 1 1/2 cups of veggies a day. That can be a tall order especially when you have picky eaters on your hands.
Enter NYC mom of two VanTrang Manges. VanTrang began experimenting with green drinks for her youngest daughter when she realized that the toddler ate virtually no vegetables. One delicious drink led to another and VanTrang abandoned a career in finance to launch Green Mustache, a line of organic fruit and vegetable juice smoothies for kids. Green Mustache features three yummy flavors and is currently sold throughout the New York area.
If you can’t find Green Mustache at a store near you, or if you simply wish to DIY it, VanTrang shared with us a simple formula for blending up one of these nutritious drinks at home.
Start by enlisting your kids to help choose ingredients from each of these categories:
First, pick one of these for your base:
- Almond milk
- Rice milk
- Soy milk
- Low-fat cow’s milk
- Coconut milk
- Orange juice
Next, choose a green veg:
- Swiss Chard
Then, pick a fruit (or two or three):
- Kiwi Fruit
Finally, supercharge it with one of these power foods:
- Greek yogurt
- Chia seeds
- Nut butter
- Raw cacao
Then simply blend it all together!
More smoothie tips from VanTrang:
Make It a Family Activity: Allow your child to choose which ingredients she would like to try mixing together—experimenting with different combinations is part of the fun! And this simple formula is a great way to start teaching children about proportions and how to follow a recipe.
Color is Key: Use berries to help turn your smoothie a reddish or purple color, which might make it more visually appealing for your child. Or use lighter-colored ingredients like peaches, bananas, and mango for a paler shade of green.
Choose Dark Leafy Greens: Dark leafy greens contain high-quality amino acids, important minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and beneficial phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are plant-based chemicals that support your immune system, improve health and longevity, and may reduce life-threatening diseases.
Freezer Fun: Keep some frozen fruits on hand, especially some of your favorite seasonal fruits to ensure that you can have your tasty smoothie anytime. Freezing fruits is also a great way to not waste ripe fruit. If you like your smoothies extra cold like we do, use at least one frozen fruit to help chill the smoothie. And of course, you can turn your smoothie into an ice pop and serve it to the kiddos as a healthy treat!
Smoothie Sweetness: You’ll notice we didn’t add any sweeteners to the smoothie formula. Using fruits like bananas, mangos, or apples will naturally sweeten your smoothie and help mask the “green” taste of the veggies.
2+2+3 Rule: Part of the fun of making smoothies is experimenting with all the different possible flavor combinations. But keep in mind the following proportions to ensure a tastier experience: 2 cups greens + 2 cups liquid base + 3 cups fruits. Adjust as needed to make it more palatable for your child.
Thanks for the tips VanTrang!
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Tags: cacao, chia seeds, childhood obesity, children, family dinners, greek yogurt, green mustache, healthy children, healthy nutrition, nut butter, smoothies, spirulina, VanTrang Manges, vegetables | Categories: Food, Green, Time for Fun, Your Child