By Wendy Gabbe Day, Guest Contributor
Raising Vegan Kids—Drink Your Greens!
Green, leafy veggies are nutrient powerhouses! They’re full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals—wonderful additions to our kids’ meals, and those of grown-ups’ too. Many kids aren’t salad-lovers—yet—so why not whip up a rich, creamy, fruity smoothie that also happens to be full of greens!
Spinach is a great green for beginners as it’s very mild tasting. Once your kids are gulping spinach down, you can try upping the ante and adding in some kale leaves. Kale is a great source of absorbable calcium—it’s low in oxalates so we absorb its calcium very well.
My kids enjoy greens—especially steamed kale—finely chopped in pasta sauce, lasagna, stir-frys, and tacos. They also love munching on raw greens straight from the garden. But when their interest in greens seems to waver, I grab the blender and whip up a smoothie!
Green Monster Smoothie
Yields about 2 servings.
- 1 cup soymilk (or other non-dairy milk)
- 1 banana (fresh or frozen)
- ½ cup mango (frozen)
- ¼ cup rolled oats
- 2 medjool dates (pitted)
- 1 tablespoon hemp seeds (optional)
- 1 cup spinach or kale (lightly packed)
- Place all the ingredients except spinach or kale in a blender and blend until smooth—adding extra milk if needed. If you’re using sweetened non-dairy milk, you can omit the dates.
- Add spinach or kale and blend until well combined.
- Serve and enjoy right away!
- If your kiddo is a bit wary of anything green, try adding one or two more dates and a tablespoon of cocoa powder to turn it into a Chocolate Monster Smoothie. No greens will be seen!