Monday Munchie – Kale Smoothies

Today’s munchie is more of a new obsession at the house of Chew Chew Mama.  We’ve started re-charging in the mornings with variations of Kale Smoothies.  A kale smoothie is definitely not your typical, beautiful pink or purple smoothie – but don’t let the color fool you – they are delicious and even the Cub requests more, more and then some more.

One cup of kale contains 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.

Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K  — and sulphur-containing phytonutrients. Additionally, Kale is rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds.

Our home is no stranger to smoothies.  As a feeding therapist, I have often spoken to parents about how beneficial smoothies can be as a great place to add proteins and vegetables.  As you are all probably well aware, during the days of teething little ones are hardly in the mood to chew – and who can blame them?  This is a normal time when food refusals begin.  How it’s handled can make or break your mealtimes.  I never fretted.

Instead of worrying, the blender came out and our little Cub was offered a nice, cool “bean smoothie” – chock full of everything we wanted him to eat that day.  Bananas, Yogurt, strawberries, our choice of green vegetable (i.e. broccoli, kale, spinach, etc.) and beans for some more protein.  I’ve also been known to throw grilled chicken into the mix.  Sound gross?  The sweetness of the berries and bananas hid everything else nicely and the beans actually give the smoothie a nice creamy consistency.  The Cub drank it all up every time…usually asking for more.  The plus is that there was never stress over meal times.  Cub was offered a regular meal along side of us, plus his “bean smoothie” and no matter what he chose…we relaxed knowing his nutritional needs were met.  The pressure off of all of us made for happy meal times.

So are you wondering if I had a chicken breast smoothie this morning now?

The answer is no :).  We haven’t had to make any bean smoothies in quite some time.  Thankfully, the Cub has all of his teeth and has grown into an excellent little eater who will try all different foods and textures.

What the Cub and I enjoyed this morning was a nice Bear Cub Smoothie.  Obviously named for the little boy who keeps asking for more, more, more!

Bear Cub’s Smoothie

1 1/4 cup of Kale and Spinach mixture

1 banana

1/4 cup of strawberries

1/4 cup of pure organic apple juice

1/4 cup of water

1/2 cup of greek yogurt

All of the fruit and vegetable ingredients were bought fresh.  We, actually I, chopped everything to be a blender friendly size and them froze them in freezer bags to be on standby.  This helps us to have everything on hand to mix up a new concoction each morning.

Some of the other fruit that we like to put inside are peaches, pineapples, cherries, pears, blueberries, black berries, grapes and apples.  We also like mixing up the fruit juice with pear juice and grape juice…cranberry too!  It’s fun to have everything ready, so that the Cub can choose what goes in and be a part of the preparation.

Do you have a favorite smoothie recipe?  Please share it!

Thanks for reading,

Chew Chew Mama

Important note:  Smoothies were offered to our son when he was over the age of one years old and when we had tried each ingredient separately to be sure that they were safe for our son.  If you have an questions about whether smoothies are appropriate for your little one, please talk with your pediatrician.