School lunches are tricky because they need to be nut-free and also need to pack and store well for several hours. This is why I look forward to summer lunch-making. I make smoothies so often during the summer - they don't make it into our lunch rotation much during the school year, but are perfect for busy and hot summer days at home. They're easy to throw together, you can pack a tonne of nutrition into them and they keep kids cool, satisfied and hydrated throughout the afternoon. I use berries because they are some of the most nutritious fruits out there, packed full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, however you can use any frozen fruit that you have on hand.
Instead of adding juice to my smoothies, I add Greek yogurt and milk to give a protein boost (which helps to sustain fullness over the afternoon) and add creaminess. I also add a tablespoon of nut butter or seeds for extra protein, fibre and heart-healthy fat. Although I don't hide the fact that I also add greens to this smoothie - my kids often help me with this step - I find that smoothies are a fantastic way to "sneak" more greens into our day. Spinach and/or kale blend really well (you can't really notice a change in colour) and don't add a bitter flavour like other veggies might - they take on the flavours of the fruit instead. Adding shredded carrots and cucumber work well too! #You boost the vitamin and mineral content of the smoothie, but you also add more fibre which can help to keep tummies fuller longer.
Here's our go-to lunchtime smoothie that's both Mom and kid-friendly, nutritious and delicious:
Combine in a good quality blender:
Blend on low and continue to increase speed as ingredients blend together. Add more milk if needed (you may need to stir manually intermittently to help with blending
Once smooth, serve in a regular cup with a straw or in a spill-proof straw cup. Enjoy!
If you're looking for more easy, kid-friendly and healthy recipes for families on the go, check out my Facebook page where I post recipes, nutrition tips, and nutrition articles for parents and kids!