Every parent is familiar with the after school blood sugar crash. The kids come home from school, rockin’ the grumps, dragging their feet, dumping their backpacks and mitts and hat and jacket and whatever else they’ve got all over the floor while they whine that they are SOOOOOOOOOO hungry! They “can’t handle anything” and must eat right this minute!
When you make a suggestion, they let out an exasperated sigh and give you the look of hangry death.
I hope you are laughing (and not crying) by now, because you’ve seen this a thousand times.
Well, fellow Feeding-Hangry-Kids Enthusiasts, I’ve got a plan for you:
Make it a smoothie.
In fact, let them make it themselves.
We’ve been on the after-school smoothie train here for a while and let me tell you, it’s changed the atmosphere in our house considerably. Ok fine, so the dumping of all the clothing is still a work-in-progress (you got me there), but my son will often come in from school and head straight for the freezer. He’ll pull out whatever frozen fruit we have and line up some other tasty ingredients on the counter (often coconut milk, hemp hearts, almond butter, vanilla, cacao) and hit up the blender. It is such an effective way to nip the hangry quickly, deliciously, and plus, he’s become quite the smoothie maker (we are still working on the cleaning up part ).
Here are some of our favourite recipes that have become staples over the last few years. I will often use these recipes with Kids Cooking Camps and after-school programs and the kids love to try coming up with their own creations. I believe that giving kids some reins in the kitchen early is a great way to set them up with the desire to cook. It also nurtures a more connective relationship with food and provides them with some basic guidelines for good nutrition & a general set of kitchen skills.
Good Morning Sunshine
1 ½ cup spinach (or other leafy greens)
1 cup coconut water
1 orange, peeled and diced
1 cup frozen mango or pineapple or a mix of both
Juice of 1 lime
Pinch of salt
Place all ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth.
Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup coconut milk
¼ cup grated beets
1-2 handfuls of chopped spinach
2 Tbsp hemp hearts
1-2 Tbsp honey (optional)
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
Place all ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately. Makes 2-3 servings.
Afternoon Pick-Me-Up Chocolate Smoothie
½ cup coconut milk
½ cup water
2 Tbsp cacao powder
½ – 1 whole banana
1 pitted medjool date
2 Tbsp almond butter
1 Tbsp coconut oil
A few ice cubes
Place all ingredients in your blender and combine until smooth.