This silly monkey smoothie is a nutritious snack that even the pickiest eater is sure to love!
Have you ever noticed how kids can get stuck eating the same things over and over?
When my son was about three years old, all he wanted to eat was sugary cereal. I'm pretty sure it was Lucky Charms. I know what you're thinking...I'm a dietitian and I buy my kid Lucky Charms? That's right! This kid has to miss out on so many foods, I figured what's one sugary cereal amidst a pretty healthy diet overall?
One morning I grew concerned that he might only eat Lucky Charms forever and I just had to figure out a way to mix things up. That's when I decided to make him a smoothie. And, guess what? This silly monkey smoothie was a hit! 🙂
After I made the first smoothie, it became a kind of regular thing. The best part about smoothies is that they taste great - like a milkshake - but they can really be packed with nutrition, too.
Does your child turn his or her nose up at meat and other protein foods? Smoothies can be a great way to add more protein to their diet. Sunflower butter is not only a source of protein but also healthy fats and fiber!
If your child doesn't like sunflower butter or it isn't a safe option for you, you can use any kind of seed or nut butter that works for you.
If no seeds or nuts are safe, you can also try protein powder. I love Orgain's plant-based protein powder. It is one of the few protein powders that my son likes so that's a huge plus!
Nutribiotic rice protein powder is a good option for those who have legume allergies and can't have pea protein which is found in the Orgain product.
Again, sunflower butter is an excellent source of healthy fats. Pumpkin seed butter is another option that is free of the top 8 allergens. If your child doesn't like seed butter, you can omit it altogether. But if you're wanting to add fat and calories to their diet, try adding another fat to the smoothie such as olive oil or grapeseed oil which has a little more subtle flavor. It likely won't make a big difference in flavor either way.
Bananas are an excellent base for a smoothie because they are naturally sweet so no added sugar is needed. They are also a starchy fruit that helps to thicken the smoothie. Use frozen bananas to thicken this smoothie to milkshake consistency!)
Recipe tips and variations
For quick and easy smoothie preparation, keep different frozen fruits on hand. When bananas in our house start getting too ripe, I peel them and put them in a freezer bag where they keep nicely.
One variation of this smoothie that we love is to add ½ cup of frozen mixed berries. This tastes like peanut butter and jelly - but without the allergens!
More snack ideas
Allergy Friendly Silly Monkey Smoothie
- 1 medium frozen banana sliced
- 1 tablespoon sunflower butter
- ½ cup "safe" milk such as rice or oat milk
- ½ cup frozen berries (variation-optional)
- Place banana slices, sunflower butter, milk and berries (if using) in a blender. Blend until smooth. Serve immediately. Makes 1 cup.
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