Starting the day off with a healthy breakfast can be a lot to ask, but it really is the most important meal of the day for kids. Breakfast smoothies for kids set the tone for healthy food choices, fuel the body and brain for activities, and maximizes opportunities for nutrient-dense nourishment.
Breakfast smoothies for kids can be a great solution to hectic mornings. Blended concoctions of refreshing real food ingredients appeal to little palates, and can be prepared ahead of time for convenience.
This article rounds up some of the most delicious and healthy smoothies for kids. As a parent, you can feel confident that you are filling your kids with what they need to begin the day on a positive path.
Let’s take a look at:
- What makes smoothies a healthy breakfast option
- How to put together smoothies kids will love
- And, smoothie recipes for kids that are full of nourishing ingredients
Are smoothies a healthy breakfast?
Breakfast smoothies for kids can be a very healthy option. They are convenient on busy mornings, packed with vitamins and minerals, and become a tasty meal for even your pickiest little eaters.
Smoothies are quick and easy
With the right ingredients on hand, smoothies blend up in a flash, so you can be sure to feed your kids before they run out the door.
One of my favorite ways to make smoothies even more convenient is to create your own freezer-friendly smoothie packs. Simply add prepared fruits and veggies to a quart-sized freezer-safe mason jar with a lid, or a quart-sized freezer bag, and store in the freezer. When it’s time to make a smoothie, pull out the freezer pack, add the liquid, and any other additions to a blender!
You can also make smoothies in advance, pour them into freezer-safe mason jars, and store in the freezer. Then you can pull them out to thaw in the refrigerator the night before you plan to enjoy them.
Choose healthy smoothie ingredients
When it comes to healthy breakfast smoothies for kids, it’s all about ingredient selection. If we let them, smoothies can quickly become a sugar-laden meal with a healthy misconception.
Instead, we want to choose ingredients that balance blood sugar and provide the nutrition kids need.
1. Veggies and fruits
Smoothies can be a great way to boost veggie and fruit intake in your child’s diet. It’s common to add all sorts of naturally sweet fruits, but spinach, kale, carrots, cucumber, zucchini, beets, winter squash, and avocado are all great additions, too.
I love to add vegetables to smoothies to keep sugar low, nutrients high, and fiber adequate. And by using fruits, such as berries, bananas, stone fruit, tropical fruit, and melon, additional sweeteners can be reduced or eliminated.
2. Protein power
Getting enough protein into a smoothie to make it a complete meal can be challenging. Protein powders are the obvious solution. However, it is hard to find clean powders from quality sources.
Greek yogurt is one of my favorite ways to bump the protein content, if your kids tolerate dairy. Otherwise, we just love to serve our smoothies with a side of protein, such as hard-boiled eggs, sausage, or leftover cooked meat.
3. Healthy fats
Avocado, nut butter, coconut milk, full-fat yogurt, or chia seeds are all healthy sources of fat that also add thickness to your kid-friendly smoothies.
Healthy fats are satisfying, balance blood sugar, and keep kids full for longer. Eating a carbohydrate rich meal with little to no protein or fat will lead to the “I’m hungry” words before you are ready to hear them.
Fiber is another important element to a nutritious smoothie. It, too, helps with fullness, supports a healthy gut, and improves digestion – especially the soluble fibers in fruits and veggies.
Aim for balance
Choosing healthy ingredients is key to making smoothies a healthy breakfast option, but so is balancing out those ingredients so that you have a mixture of carbohydrates, protein, and fats for complete nourishment.
If a particular recipe is low in protein or fat, you can add your own whole food source right into the blender. Or, you can serve the smoothie with a protein or fat-rich food on the side.
How to make kid-friendly breakfast smoothies
Here is a simple formula for making kid-friendly breakfast smoothies in your home. Recipes are great, but so is learning how to make your own creations.
1. Choose your liquid
The liquid in a smoothie helps you reach a consistency you love, and it can also add a dose of nutrition. I like to start with one cup and add more at the end if thinning is necessary.
Here are some healthy liquids to choose from:
- Cow or goat milk (whole)
- Almond milk (unsweetened)
- Macadamia milk (unsweetened)
- Coconut milk (unsweetened)
- Oat milk (unsweetened)
- Coconut water
2. Select your veggies
In our home, we encourage “something green” as a part of each meal – it’s one of my favorite “rules,” and it fits well into green smoothie guidelines.
You and your kids may be surprised by the mild, and sometimes unidentifiable taste of many greens. Baby spinach, baby kale, and chard are mild-tasting greens to play with.
And, don’t forget the power of herbs — add a pinch of fresh chopped parsley, mint, basil, or cilantro for a little pizzazz.
Of course, you can add all sorts of colorful veggies to smoothies! The recipes below show you how beets, carrots, zucchini, and even winter squash can be delicious in blended drinks.
3. Pick your fruit
The sky’s the limit when it comes to fruit! Two cups is a good rule of thumb, but you can mix and match, and opt for fresh or frozen.
- Lemon or lime
4. Add your thickener
Some kiddos like their smoothies thin and some like them thick, but we always aim for some sort of “thickener” for added nutrition, texture, and excitement.
Here are some of our favorites:
- Full-fat yogurt (can be dairy-free) – ¼ cup
- Nut butter – 2 Tbsp
- Avocado – ¼ to ½
- Hemp seeds – 2 Tbsp
- Chia seeds (soaked) – 2 Tbsp
- Flax seeds (ground) – 2 Tbsp
- Coconut oil – 2 Tbsp
- Oats – ¼ cup
- Ice – ½ cup
5. Play with flavors
Most smoothies don’t need any added sweetener if they also include fruit. But, if a little extra sweetness helps your kids drink it, I recommend natural options, such as local honey or pitted dates.
Other flavor boosters include fresh herbs, vanilla, cinnamon, ground ginger, or cacao! Have fun exploring all kinds of flavor possibilities.
Breakfast smoothie recipes for kids
This roundup of scrumptiously tasty breakfast smoothies for kids will give you plenty of fun recipes to start with.
Kid-friendly vegetable smoothies
This group of kid-friendly smoothie recipes highlights the power of vegetables! Some are obvious, and some are in disguise.
Banana Pineapple Green Smoothie
This Banana Pineapple Green Smoothie recipe has a thick consistency for those who love a cold and creamy treat. You can certainly adjust the amounts of liquid or play with flavor additions to suit your family’s tastes, but it’s a great introduction recipe to green smoothies.
Wild Blueberry Zucchini Smoothie
I love this delicious Wild Blueberry Zucchini Smoothie recipe from Life is but a Dish with both frozen zucchini and peas! Both are mild in flavor, the peas add extra plant protein, and the blueberries and bananas make it a crowd pleaser for little ones.
Breakfast Pumpkin Smoothie Bowl
Pumpkin is a nutrient-dense source of starchy carbohydrate for busy kids, and this Pumpkin Smoothie Bowl is a fun way to incorporate it into a delicious and refreshing breakfast — the toppings make it a winner.
Sunrise Butternut Squash Smoothie
Butternut squash in smoothies? Say what? This Sunrise Butternut Squash Smoothie recipe from The Natural Nurturer is actually delicious with the subtle sweetness of frozen winter squash — complimenting strawberries and bananas so well!
Peach Carrot Smoothie
My kids always raise their hands for peaches! So, adding carrots into a smoothie that highlights this summery fruit works like a charm. With only a handful of ingredients, this Peach Carrot Smoothie from Primavera Kitchen is a great way to boost fiber in your child’s diet.
Cucumber Lime Veggie Smoothie
I love this Cucumber Lime Veggie Smoothie for myself, but my kids are always asking for a sip. So, I decided why not make them their own version without the matcha powder. They love the refreshing, thirst quenching feel of this smoothie from Wellness Mama just as much as I do.
Blueberry Avocado Beet Smoothie
With beets and leafy greens, you may be skeptical that your kids will want anything to do with this Blueberry Avocado Beet smoothie from Live Simply. But I find the roasted beets to boost the sweetness along with the frozen berries and banana, and the greens to be mild. You could always start with fewer greens and increase the amount over time.
Kid-friendly fruit smoothies
Most kids LOVE fruit, and fruit smoothies are no exception. This group of recipes focuses on a heavy fruit base. Just remember that fruit is nature’s candy and these recipes probably need little to no extra sweetener added.
Acai Kiwi Smoothie with Chia
Recipes like this Acai Kiwi Smoothie with Chia Seeds that emphasize naturally low sugar and high antioxidant fruits (açaí and kiwi), paired with fibrous greens and seeds (spinach and chia), and healthy fats (avocado and nut butter) offer long-lasting and nutrient-rich sustenance for your whole family.
Oatmeal Breakfast Smoothie
This Oatmeal Breakfast Smoothie from Kristine’s Kitchen is so simple, and so yummy! The oats provide a dose of gluten-free whole grains, and the yogurt thickens up this blended drink. You choose … frozen strawberries, or frozen blueberries? Just don’t forget the mango!
Very Cherry Smoothie
I’ll admit that cherries escape my foodie brain from time to time, but whenever I make this Very Cherry Smoothie recipe from One Lovely Life, I’m reminded of their beautiful color, deep nutrition, and bursting flavor.
Healthy Berry Breakfast Smoothie
The addition of chia seeds in this Healthy Berry Breakfast Smoothie from Little Sunny Kitchen makes it a winner with my kids — they are always fascinated by the expansion of those tiny seeds. With only four ingredients, this recipe is ready in a flash!
Strawberry Mango Smoothie
This Strawberry Mango Smoothie recipe from Well Plated will bring you and your kids on a temporary trip to the tropics! The carrots add a beautiful orange hue and punch of vitamin A. I like to top it off with unsweetened shredded coconut.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie Bowl
A special treat in our house, this Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie Bowl is well worth the extra toppings. Head over to PaleOMG.com to see the beautiful work of art that this recipe can create! (Did I mention that your kids will LOVE this smoothie?)
Pineapple Cilantro Smoothie
This Pineapple Cilantro Smoothie recipe is creamy and tropical with a bite of ginger – yum! The pineapple and cilantro are a match made in heaven – even for kids.
Kid-friendly chocolate smoothies
Chocolate is a natural draw for most kids (and parents for that matter). While we often think of chocolate as a dessert, these recipes take advantage of healthy low-sugar options to keep their breakfast smoothies for kids on the primal friendly list.
My kids have loved to make this Coco-cado Smoothie by themselves for many years now. They are always surprised by the creamy texture the avocado provides to these unique breakfast smothies for kids, while the cacao keeps the flavor full of chocolatey goodness.
Healthy Chocolate Chia Shake
A simple recipe with big taste! This Healthy Chocolate Chia Shake from My Fussy Eater is sure to be requested again and again. Banana, cocoa, yogurt, chia, vanilla, and a touch of honey blend together for a delicious meal.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Shake
While this Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Shake from MOMables may taste like dessert, I assure you that it’s suitable for breakfast as well. Dairy free and low in sugar, your kids will be excited to eat breakfast.
Chocolate Beet Smoothie (eat the gains)
Beets and chocolate go together like PB & J — don’t you think? If you are unsure, give this Chocolate Beet Smoothie recipe from Eat the Gains a try! With the addition of yogurt and nut butter, this smoothie is filling and nutritious — a great way for any kid to start their day.
Creamy Chocolate Breakfast Shake (minimalist baker)
This Creamy Chocolate Breakfast Shake recipe from Minimalist Baker is seriously delicious. Combining strawberries, bananas, cocoa, almond butter, flax, and milk of choice, with the option for spinach, is a dream come true for little palates.
Delicious Chocolate Protein Smoothie
I mentioned cherries earlier in this post and I’m bringing them back in this Delicious Chocolate Protein Smoothie recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. With the cashews and cocoa, the ingredients in this recipe really shine.
Chocolate Malt Oatmeal Smoothie
Ok, this Chocolate Malt Oatmeal Smoothie recipe from Well Plated may be more dessert than breakfast, but indulging every now and again is fun for all of us (young or old). One of my favorite candies as a kid was malted milk balls, and this recipe brings back memories.
Need more kid-friendly healthy breakfast ideas?
In addition to this helpful article, my “Kids in the Kitchen” ebook offers 21 family friendly breakfast recipes, including our favorite smoothie bowls.
Now it’s time to get blending and feel good about how your family begins the day.