By Casey Seidenberg
Who loathes the sound of the Good Humor truck as much as I do? Invariably, two seconds after I hear it I then hear shouts of “Please please please Mom! You NEVER let us buy ice cream from the truck. ALL of our friends get it, some even get it EVERY day!”
Every day? Really?
This was a recent scenario in my house. But instead of an argument resulting in either disappointed children or a disappointed mother with food dye-stained boys, something great came out of it.
My boys, who just started second and third grades, started talking about how much money the Good Humor man must make. When they calculated his estimated income, they were shocked. The next thing I knew they had come up with the ultimate plan to set up a healthier alternative to the ice cream truck, for, in their words, moms like me who are “annoyingly healthy.”
Their plan? A smoothie truck.
Smoothies on sticks, smoothies in cups, smoothies made to look like Italian ices. Chocolate smoothies. Vanilla smoothies. Fruit smoothies.
They are still working out the details, but in case it never goes live, I thought I would share our favorite healthy smoothies, and all the reasons a smoothie is a much better choice than a chocolate taco from Mr. Good Humor.
A smoothie really is the perfect snack, especially if it has a little protein in the form of raw cashews or almond butter. They are so much tastier than plain water, yet still hydrate. They are so much better for our blood sugar levels than fruit juice. And they are on a whole different spectrum than anything the ice cream truck has to offer.
Even 7- and 8-year-old boys know that.
Oh, and before I cough up the smoothie recipes, here is one trick. Freeze bananas when they are starting to get too ripe. Then you have a stash ready for a smoothie any time. Frozen bananas add potassium, sweetness, a chill and a good consistency to any smoothie.
Here are a few kid-tested recipes great for any time of year and any time of day. Let your children make the smoothies themselves for breakfast, snack time or dessert, and let me know one which they like the best.
The Basic Fruit Smoothie is full of antioxidants, vitamins (especially Vitamin C), and minerals such as potassium.
The Chocolate “Milkshake” is deceptively healthy and protein-rich. The coconut oil has lauric acid, which helps our children’s growing brains. The cacao nibs are abundant with antioxidants.
True Blue is full of antioxidants, essential fatty acids for brain growth, and protein.
The Green Machine is full of calcium, chlorophyll, protein, vitamins such as C, K and A, and minerals such as potassium and iron.
First published in the Washington Post.