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The Power of Colors

Frozen treats like smoothies or “fruit shakes” are an easy (and sneaky) way to incorporate fruits and vegetables into children’s diets, especially if they’re picky eaters. The enticing colors are an easy sell and the flavors do not disappoint.

The electric green in our Green Machine Smoothie delivers a good dose of vitamins A and K from spinach and over 100% of your RDI (recommended daily intake) of vitamin C from one kiwi. Combined with banana and fresh pineapple, the fruity treat tastes anything but healthy. The addition of banana adds a boost of potassium, as well as the ability to disguise any “green” flavor.

Our Purple Banana Nut Bread Smoothie is both fun and delicious while providing substantial amounts of fiber and protein from the nuts. Though high in fat, the nuts supply healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats, like those found in olive oil. The antioxidant and fiber-rich dose of blueberries yield a vibrant purple color.

Optional in both recipes, ice will quickly chill a fresh fruit smoothie and give it a more shake-like consistency. If using frozen fruit, ice may not be necessary. Coconut water is packed with potassium and electrolytes, offering a subtle sweetness with significantly less sugar than fruit juices. Non-fat Greek yogurt is another excellent substitution, containing up to twice as much protein as other yogurts and a tart, rich flavor.

These recipes are quick and easy to prepare, coming together in just about 10 minutes. Try different fruit and vegetable combinations for other supercharged smoothie options. Add shredded carrots for lots of vitamin A and a new way to utilize a sweeter vegetable. Sub in strawberries or raspberries for a different flavor profile with bright pink colors. Or, throw in a little apple (with the skin) for some added sweet-tart flavor. Experiment with walnuts, sunflower or flax seeds or even a tablespoon of wheat germ for additional nutrition and flavor.

Just remember, there aren’t any rules, so keep experimenting and “shake” things up!