Kids' Activity: Fruity Summer Smoothies!

by Melissa Jaramillo and Julie Snyder fruit and smoothiesSmoothies are a cool treat on a lazy summer day. They're nutritious, delicious, and flexible enough to serve at many occasions -- from sitting on blankets watching the clouds to a family party. So how do a mom and child create these wonderful drinks? All you need is a blender, a freezer, some time and a few simple ingredients! Every smoothie is made of two things:

  1. A base like tofu, yogurt or milk
  2. Frozen fruit or fruit juice concentrate

Sweetener and extra ice is optional. Early in the day, plan with your child the flavors you'd like to try. Be bold! Raspberries and cantaloupe; pineapple, mandarin oranges and strawberries; banana and peanut butter; watermelon, raspberries and strawberries...any combination that sounds good. You'll need about 1 1/2 cups fruit for 2-3 servings. Cover a cookie sheet with waxed paper or plastic wrap. Place whole berries minus stems and chunks of peeled bananas or melon on cookie sheet and place in freezer for a couple hours or until you are ready to make smoothies. When you are ready, put all ingredients into the blender jar and blend until smooth. Then pour into a glass and garnish with a sprig of mint or a piece of fruit and serve. Here are a few of our favorite recipes:

Banana Berry Smoothie

• 1 package firm silken tofu • 1 cup fat free soy milk • 1 banana, broken into chunks and frozen • 1 cup raspberries or strawberries, frozen • 1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate In blender, combine tofu, soy milk, banana, berries, and orange juice concentrate. Blend until smooth.

Melon and Berry Smoothie

• 1/2 peeled cantaloupe, cubed and frozen • 1/2 cup plain yogurt • 1 cup raspberries, frozen • Sweetener optional In a blender, combine cantaloupe, yogurt, raspberries and sweetener. Blend until smooth.

Sweet Orange and Berry Smoothie

• 1 banana, broken in pieces and frozen • 1 cup raspberries, frozen • ¼ cup orange juice concentrate • ½ cup vanilla yogurt In a blender, combine banana, raspberries, orange juice and yogurt. Blend until smooth.

Apple and Orange Smoothie

• 1 12 ounce package tofu • ½ cup mandarin oranges segments, frozen • 1 banana, frozen and chunked • 1 frozen Gala apple, peeled, cored and chopped • 1 cup orange juice In a blender, combine tofu, mandarin oranges, banana, apple. Add in orange juice. Blend until smooth. Grab your blanket, your smoothies and enjoying finding pictures in the clouds on this first "unofficial" day of summer! Julie Snyder is a mom of six, interested in kids, pregnancy, birth, people and lives in the outlying Seattle area. Melissa Jaramillo is mom to many. She's passionate about building, encouraging, and strengthening families on this adventure known as parenthood! Copyright © Melissa Jaramillo and Julie Snyder. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org.