We all know that after school snack time is critical. Somehow, that time of day transforms your kitchen into the set of The Walking Dead, where you might find yourself hurling pizza bagels at the snapping jaws of your 4th grader – just to stay alive.
While it is easy to rely on the convenience of processed, microwavable foods, there are healthy alternatives that are just as quick to prepare, and tastier too. Why not try a smoothie to curb that afternoon hunger?
Smoothies can be a go-to drink, loaded with phytonutrients, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, which are great for the kiddos (especially when they’re half-zombie).
Making a smoothie is very easy. It’s as simple as blending whole fruit, veggies, nuts, protein, and fluid ingredients into a drinkable liquid. Unlike juices, smoothies retain the fibrous plant matter of the fruits and veggies. Fiber helps promote peristalsis – the wave-like muscle movements that move food through the digestive tract – and improve overall gut function. Fiber has also been shown to regulate blood sugar and reduce cholesterol.
With the right ingredients, smoothies can:
- Promote fullness and craving control
- Stabilize blood sugar
- Replenish electrolytes
- Increase daily fiber intake
- Help manage and maintain a healthy weight
I like to experiment with different recipes, but if you want to build your own, here are some general guidelines to follow:
- Start with a base – unsweetened almond, coconut, or hemp milk, coconut water, or milk
- Add nutrients – fresh or frozen fruits and veggies
- Give it a kick – herbs and spices like ginger, turmeric, or cinnamon
- Add some substance – nuts, nut butters, protein powders, or plain yogurt
- Make it super – chia seeds, hemp, goji berries, aloe, cacao, or spirulina are all “super foods,” and even small amounts can boost the health benefits of your beverage
Try out different recipes to see which ones you (and the kids) like best, and use smoothies that pack a healthy punch to stave off afternoon hunger, and the ravenous children that come with it!