Sip The Rainbow

With loads of fresh, healthy fruits and veggies, these colorful treats are great for an after-school snack, breakfast or healthy dessert

Story & Photography By Kerrie Guice

 

These smoothies are better than a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, only because they're made of the rainbow! March is National Nutrition Month, so making these smoothies with your kids is a great way to show them that being healthy can be fun. My kids love to help in the kitchen, and juicing and blending is a great way for them to participate since all it takes is the push of a button for them to feel like they've helped out big time. Don't forget to keep the blender unplugged until the lid is in place—trust me on that one. 

*Throw a smoothie party with your kids and experiment with different fruit, vegetable and color combinations. 

*Throw a smoothie party with your kids and experiment with different fruit, vegetable and color combinations. 

 

If your kids get queasy at the idea of veggies in their smoothies, mix the ingredients ahead of time without the yogurt and banana and freeze them into ice cubes. When it's time to make the smoothie, just ask them what “color” they want, then add the cubes, yogurt and banana and blend them up. When they're slurping down the last little bit of yum at the bottom of their cup, you can share with them what they've just enjoyed. They'll learn that eating healthy isn't so bad after all! Some say not to be sneaky about veggies with your kids, but I'd say they must not have kids. We do the best we can as parents, and we can use all the sneaky help we can get!

I prefer to use a combination of blending and juicing for smoothies. Blend as much as you can, and only juice the few things that would create an inferior texture in your smoothies like carrots and beets. When you blend your fruits and veggies, you retain the fiber that slows your digestion and makes you feel full and satisfied longer than juicing. Let your kids have fun and create smoothie flavors with different combinations until they find their favorite mix! For the best tasting (and prettiest) smoothies, pair fruits and veggies with similar colors. 

 
Lawson Witcher with the Lucky Leprechaun smoothie.

Lawson Witcher with the Lucky Leprechaun smoothie.

Lucky Leprechaun Smoothie

Serves 2-4
½ cup packed fresh baby spinach
½ cup packed fresh baby kale
1 mango, peeled and cored
1 kiwi fruit, peeled and cut
1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
½ cup orange juice
½ teaspoon grated ginger
Juice from 1 lime
½ cup Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

 
Matilda Thessing with the Breezy Bunny smoothie.

Matilda Thessing with the Breezy Bunny smoothie.

Breezy Bunny Smoothie

Serves 2-4
1 cup carrot juice
1 ½ cups orange juice frozen into ice cubes
1 mango, peeled and cored
1 tablespoon honey
1 banana
½ cup Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

 

The Power of Healthy Eating
March has been named National Nutrition Month by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and this year’s appetizing theme is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right.” The goal is to encourage people to fully appreciate all the enrichment food and physical activity can add to their lives. It’s not just what we eat that affects our health, but also when, where, why and how. Nutritious food choices are a necessity, and a foundation of mindful eating patterns must be laid in order to reach the perfect Zen of a balanced food-healthy lifestyle. 

Fight Disease
Look for simplicity in healthy eating to control your weight. A diet that is high in lean protein, low in sugar and incorporates plenty of colorful fruits, vegetables and fiber is the perfect place to start. Whole grains and healthy carbs can be a part of your nutritious lifestyle, as well as the “healthy” or unsaturated fats. 

Maintaining a healthy weight and eating a healthy diet are key to avoiding type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Lowering your sodium intake alone helps with hypertension, which is directly related to high blood pressure. 

Get Energized
Keep your energy up by eating predominantly nutrient-dense foods. Vegetables and fruits are easily included in this category, while refined breads and fried, fatty foods should be avoided. High sugar and starchy carbohydrates make everybody feel lethargic and put strain on your body as it tries to metabolize them. 

Fuel Your Brain
Blueberries and salmon are two of the best foods to fuel your brain. Wild salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain function, while blueberries help protect the brain from oxidative stress. Exercise is also a great way to alleviate depression through the release of endorphins. Improve your memory by getting the heart rate up and increasing blood flow to the brain. 

Live Longer
Studies show that vitamin E—which can be found in nuts, seeds, spinach, turnip greens, hazelnut oil and sunflower oil—can help significantly extend your lifespan. 

Eat Healthy as a Family
Encouraging healthy eating in kids will lay the foundation for good nutrition choices down the road. The simple introduction of a meal and snack schedule can jumpstart their metabolism. When dealing with food choices for kids, remember to keep it fun and tasty. If your child protests to vegetables, then create a low-sugar/low-fat dip to accompany them. Most importantly, be a role model! If you have crazy eating habits or are always on a diet, your children will grow up thinking that is normal. Instead, send good, nutritious food messages through routine and example while also remembering to inspire activity and exercise! Laying this groundwork for yourself and your kids generates only positive results!

Choose This, Not That
Honey or agave nectar instead of sugar
Popcorn (plain) instead of chips
Guacamole instead of cheese dip
Whole grain pasta with tomato sauce instead of fettuccine Alfredo
Pureed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes
Skim milk mozzarella cheese instead of cheddar cheese
Oatmeal instead of cereal

 

Beet Berry Smoothie

Serves 2-4
1 cup frozen blackberries
1 cup frozen blueberries
¼ cup beet juice
½ cup orange juice
1 banana
½ cup Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

 

Pink Paradise Smoothie

Serves 2-4
2 cups frozen strawberries
¼ cup beet juice
¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup lite coconut milk
Juice from 1 lime
1 banana
½ cup Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.