Smoothie-making Tips and Foolproof Combos for the Whole Family

by Rebecca Clyde MS, RDN, CD

Jan. 13, 2021

by Rebecca Clyde MS, RDN, CD

Hi, Rebecca here, from Nourish Nutrition Blog. I think it’s pretty universal that most family meals need to be quick, easy, and delicious, but it’s especially true for breakfast. That’s why smoothies are a fantastic solution for busy mornings.

Easy Healthy Smoothies for A Nourished Day

Starting the day with a breakfast that has protein, carbs, and fat means that you’ll have the energy to power your brain and body throughout the day. This is especially important for kids, as they have lots of learning and growing to do.

The main components of a breakfast that’s satisfying and nutrient-packed are protein, carbs, and fats. When we get enough calories and a combination of these macronutrients, we feel satisfied for longer and are giving our bodies balanced nutrition. That’s why I always include frozen fruit, nutritional boosts, and milk in my smoothies to provide a sustainable combination of macronutrients. Plus, smoothies are an easy way to add vegetables to something you’re already eating—a great way to help kids learn to love their veggies.

Overhead view of a smoothie in a cup surrounded by an Organic Valley milk carton, frozen strawberries, granola, and crayons for decor.

How to Make a Healthy Smoothie

One Part Fruit

Frozen fruit and fresh or frozen bananas are great options for fruit. Many fruits will give you sweetness, carbs, and essential nutrients like vitamin C and potassium all in one. Mix and match your fruits to find each family member’s favorite combos.

One Part Milk

Milk gives you great flavor and creaminess, plus valuable protein, calcium, and added vitamin D. Dairy is the best source of calcium because your body can use more of it compared to other sources, and milk contains nine essential nutrients that every kid and adult needs. With all of the Organic Valley milk options available, you’ll easily find the right product for your family’s needs.

Organic Valley Grassmilk® comes from 100% grass fed cows and has a higher concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, which aren’t found in many non-seafood foods. Plus, Organic Valley’s fortified low fat and skim milks have two to three more grams of protein, and 5% more calcium than regular milk. That way you’re getting extra nutrition from your milk.

One Part Raw Vegetables

Spinach and kale are great additions because they’ve got a mellow flavor. But don’t add more than about a cup of raw spinach (or one-third cup frozen) per serving, or your smoothie will taste gritty.

If using precooked vegetables (whether fresh cooked or from frozen), start with about one-quarter part and add more to your preference. Precooked beets and carrots are nutritious smoothie add-ins and can be frozen too.

1/16-Part Nutritional Add-Ins

Additions like peanut butter, flax seeds, and avocado contain lots of healthy fats, so you don’t need to add much of them to your smoothie to boost the nutrition, flavor, and texture. I recommend 1 tablespoon of these per 1 cup of smoothie.

  • Peanut Butter and Peanut Butter Powder: Peanut butter is a great source of protein and healthy fats.
  • Hemp Hearts and Flax Seeds: Both are good sources of omega-3s, which have many benefits to our bodies.
  • Avocado: They’re a great source of fiber and vitamin C and will make your smoothie very creamy.
Overhead view of a berry beet smoothie in a blender surrounded by an Organic Valley Grassmilk carton, frozen berries, quartered beets, and fresh grated ginger..

How to Keep Smoothies Healthy

Use the smoothie-building template above to experiment with nourishing, delicious smoothie flavors. The recipes featured below were also created using this formula.

If you’re wondering whether to add sweeteners to your smoothie, here are my recommendations. First, make your smoothie without added sugar. Then, if it’s not sweet enough, add a teaspoon of your go-to sweetener at a time until it’s to your liking. The biggest difference between table sugar, honey, maple syrup, and agave is flavor. They’re pretty much the same nutritionally, especially in such small amounts.

Picky children? Check out these Healthy Ways to Get Picky Kids to Try New Foods tips, and I recommend the Division of Responsibility model developed by Ellyn Satter, a child feeding expert.

Time Saving Tricks for Smoothies at Home

The best time-saving trick is to prep smoothie packets ahead of time. Portion your fruits and nutritional add-ins, and freeze until use. This will make your breakfast decision-making super easy. Plus, prepping smoothie packets is a great way for kids to help in the kitchen. Then in the morning, grab a combo that sounds good and add milk and fresh ingredients to the blender for a quick, healthy breakfast smoothie.

Why Choose Organic

There are thousands of pesticides used on crops. That’s too many to know how they impact our own health and disease risk. Organic practices are often safer for the environment and may be for our bodies too. If you would rather choose organic foods, check for certified organic products like Organic Valley!

Foolproof Smoothie Recipes the Whole Family Will Love

Side view of a light-colored smoothie in a mason jar with a striped green and white straw, and crayons scattered around.

Happy 4-Ingredient Peanut Butter Smoothie

This 3-ingredient peanut butter banana smoothie is the easiest, quickest way to a protein-filled breakfast or snack that will keep you full and satisfied for hours. Frozen banana slices make this smoothie extra-creamy. Want to adjust the sweetness without sweeteners? Use a riper banana for a sweeter smoothie or a less-ripe banana for one that’s less sweet, or even toss in some sweet strawberries for variety.

Strawberry Banana smoothie topped with granola sits on a marble countertop with Organic Valley milk and granola.

Happy Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Take the classic strawberry banana smoothie up a notch with an easy topping of tasty, crunchy granola. Older kids and adults can enjoy this smoothie with the granola as a crunchy topping, and to make this safe for younger kids, blend the granola with the other ingredients.

A mason jar is filled with this Kick-Grass Tropical Green smoothie recipe.

Kick-Grass Tropical Green Smoothie

This delicious tropical green smoothie recipe gets its green hue from nutrition-packed and convenient frozen dark leafy greens like spinach or kale. This smoothie is a nutritional powerhouse that your whole family will love. It’s got a variety of fruits, greens, Grassmilk®, and flaxseed for an omega-3 boost, and optional ginger if you like extra zing!

Berry beet smoothie being poured into a mason jar with ginger and chia seeds on the counter.

Kick-Grass Berry Beet Smoothie

Have you ever put beets in your smoothie? Not only do they taste great with berries and ginger and make the smoothie a fun pink color, they also pack a nutritional punch! You can get your kids familiar with the taste of beets by serving them in this fun, bright pink berry beet smoothie recipe, and then introduce beets in other ways. Pro tip: Cook a bunch of beets at once, then dice and freeze them in 1/4-cup to 1/3-cup portions for easy smoothie-making later.