Let’s see a ‘raise of hands’ – how many of you have kids who act like eating vegetables is worse than going to the dentist or doctor?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It’s one of the most common parenting challenges out there.

Parents know that kids need the nutrients that vegetables provide, but sometimes it’s easier to just not fight with them and let them skip that dish of broccoli, spoonful of spinach, or whatever it may be.

And, while tricking kids isn’t always the greatest parenting tactic, in this case, it’s for a good cause. In other words, when it comes to your kids' nutrition, all's fair.

One of the easiest ways to ‘trick’ kids into eating those veggies is to include them in a smoothie. More than likely, if you use a few smart maneuvers, they’ll never even know they're in there.

Even if your kids question why their smoothie is green (in the case where you use spinach, kale, or other green vegetable), you can come up with a witty answer. Tell your kids you decided to celebrate St. Patty’s Day every day, or something silly and fun like that.

Another trick to remember is that some ingredients actually diffuse the green color; ingredients like berries and carrots can remove some of the questions about whether there are hidden veggies involved.

Also, fresh tomatoes, when blended, turn a pink or coral color, doing a great job of disguising the green color associated with those dreaded veggies.

And, just a few more tricks to make smoothies more fun for kids. Serve smoothies in a kid’s cup and use a crazy straw with it. Make it appealing for kids and they’ll be more likely to forget about whether or not there are veggies in there.

Have your kids name the smoothie recipes with something fun and easy to remember.

Okay, now let’s look at smoothie recipes with hidden veggies. Notice we skip using any veggie names in the titles – your secret is safe!  I hope you'll find these recipes helpful.

Orange You Glad It's A Banana Smoothie

  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 large ripe bananas
  • 2 cups ice cubes

Pour the orange juice into a blender and then add the rest of the ingredients. Blend on high until smooth.

Apple Of My Eye Smoothie

  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 1 1/2 cups apple juice
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth.

Creamy Double Berry Smoothie

  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup strawberries,frozen
  • 1 cup mixed berries,frozen
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup spinach

Put the liquids in blender first and then add the remaining ingredients. Blend on high for several minutes until smooth.

Cran-Apple Strawberry Smoothie

  • 1 cup cran-apple juice
  • 1 cup strawberries, frozen
  • 1/2 cup fresh broccoli, steamed
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt

Add the cran-apple juice to the blender first. Now add the remaining ingredients and blend on high until smooth.

Banana Berry Smoothie

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1/4 cup cauliflower, frozen
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, frozen

Add the milk, honey, and yogurt to the blender. Now add the remaining ingredients and blend on high until smooth.

With just these few smoothies, you should be ready to sneak some veggies into your kids' diet. You may never have to hear your kids say; “I hate vegetables” again!

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