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A Healthy Drink My Kids Love
August 07, 2012

A Healthy Drink My Kids Love

By:  Darren Lenick, Senior IT Consultant of Magen Services www.MagenServices.com

The following is a guest post from Darren Lenick of Magen Services for Petits Chefs Academy (www.PetitsChefsAcademy.com) the cooking school for kids, families, the community of York Region and GTA.  Offering cooking classes, birthday parties, camps, special events/workshops, school outreach programs and field trips in the life skill of cooking healthy and nutritionally.  Also, member of the YRSBiz Blogging Circle.  The York Region Small Business Club helps small businesses in York Region connect online and in York Region.  Their goal is to provide free or low-cost opportunities for local businesses to connect and engage with each other and ultimately to help small businesses succeed. Learn more about YRSBiz at http://yrsbiz.ca.

As a parent, we sometimes take the easy way out when it comes to drinks for our kids.  It’s too easy to reach for that sugary “fruit drink” that contains absolutely no real fruit at all or the pop that has no place in the daily diet of anyone let alone a child.

One day while at the mall, my kids ordered a smoothie from a kiosk.  I knew there was a lot of sugar, but there was some actual real fruit juice used, so there was some good to it and better than ordering pop. They enjoyed it so much I thought I would make them at home but with a lot less sugar.

Since we lived in Los Angeles at the time, we had fruit trees in our back yard.  In the summer, we picked the fresh peaches to make the drink and in the winter we bought fresh fruit at the local farmers market. Now living back in Canada and fresh fruit not always available (or at a reasonable price), we buy fresh frozen fruit.  Now it may sound crazy, “fresh frozen”, but all that refers to is the fact the fruit was prepared, cut and frozen fresh without cooking or additives.  The added bonus was that we didn’t need to add any ice to make the smoothies cold.

The recipe is basically the same whether you use the fresh or frozen fruit and you can modify or switch it up a little to avoid boredom, but never use canned fruit as there is a lot of sugar added in the form of corn syrup.

The following is the favorite in our house with minor changes depending on which one of us is drinking.  It is so simple that our children make it for themselves, with the exception of our 7 year old as it’s a bad idea to let a 7 year old use a blender – very messy.

-          1 cup Mango (frozen works best as some find it difficult to cut up fresh mangos)

-          1 cup Peaches (fresh or frozen but NEVER canned)

-          1 cup Pineapple (fresh or frozen but NEVER canned)

-          ½ cup plain yogurt (Greek if you can get it as it’s thicker with less water)

-          1 Medium Banana

-          2 cups Orange juice (frozen concentrate, 100% in box/bottle or fresh squeezed

-          4-5 ice cubes if you didn’t use any frozen fruit

Place all of the ingredients in a strong blender and blend until smooth, usually about 5 minutes.

For those of you who don’t like Bananas, like me, make the smoothie without the banana first and serve to whoever doesn’t like banana, then add to remainder and continue blending. You can even mix it up a bit by using coconut milk in place of some of the orange juice.

Also, if you involve your children in making the drink, they will be more likely to try it and like it rather than giving the old “I don’t like that, blah!”

Learn how to cook, take a class or a workshop with Petits Chefs Academy the cooking school for kids, families, and the community in Vaughan, Ontario.  Check out our lineup of programs at www.PetitsChefsAcademy.com or call us at 289-553-4445.

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