Have your little yogis had their greens today? According to the food pyramid, children are supposed to consume five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Fruits are easier for most children because of the natural sugars, but the veggies can be difficult - especially if the adults at home are skimping on them. One of the self-discipline principles in yoga is saucha (cleanliness and purity), so eating clean and healthy food whenever possible is a valuable part of your practice. Remember - you are what you eat, and so are your kiddos! The benefits of including green vegetables in your child’s diet include decreasing the risk for obesity and fulfilling nutrient needs in the body. Reminding your children of why we eat (nourishment and sustainability) and modeling healthy eating habits will serve your little ones throughout their entire lives. We want to share a few green food hacks with you, not because we want you to necessarily sneak greens in but because we know how important presentation can be when feeding your family. We are all battling junk food choices that attempt to thwart us with lovable character endorsements. (We're looking at you, Elsa!)
Green Smoothies: Delicious and lovely green smoothies are such an easy way to start your day with fruits and veggies. The earlier you start this routine the better. Make sure your ratio includes at least slightly more greens than fruit - smoothies can absorb an amazing amount of greens. The following recipe is a regular rotation in our house with variations like adding avocado, celery and kale, or swapping strawberries for other berries, apples or bananas. If you are vegan you could sub the yogurt for a scoop of Oriya protein powder. This recipe makes a big parent-sized glass and a medium kid-sized glass and is easy to double or triple as needed. Play with it and you will find your family’s go-to. A quick shout-out to the Vitamix - this machine is pricey but is a solid investment for smoothie lovers. We use ours daily. (Costco regularly offers Vitamix discounts.)
JZ's favorite “green juice”
2 large handfuls of spinach
10 oz filtered water
1 cup PLAIN Greek yogurt (20-23 grams of protein!)
4-5 frozen strawberries
2-4 chunks frozen mango
Add all ingredients to your blender and whir away until it reaches the desired consistency.
Other tips for getting those greens:
Salads - This one seems obvious, but we know kids and salads don't always mix. Change it up by chopping salads so that little diners or picky adults (ahem, my husband) can scoop them with a spoon into their mouths. Enter the Trudeau Toss & Chop...a device we highly recommend to chop any salad your heart desires!
Veggie Noodles - If you haven't gotten on the Veggetti train yet, hop on board! Do you see the Instagram pics of people posting their “zoodles”? Yes, that really is zucchini disguised as spaghetti! If you are pinched for time or want to try before you buy, you can find pre-made fresh vegetable noodles at grocers like Whole Foods in the produce section. Bonus - blend tomato sauce with some fresh spinach or kale in that Vitamix to add even more green power!
P.S. We are brand new to the blogging game. None of the endorsements in this post are paid advertisements - we just want to share products we love when we can. We'd love to hear your green food hacks or favorite healthy recipes - please share! Your ideas could be featured in an upcoming post.