Does anyone really like the taste of protein powder? I mean, really? It has gained popularity over the last few years, but many people, myself included, don’t feel comfortable feeding it to our kids! Fortunately, there are other ways to add protein to smoothies without protein powder!
With plant based and vegan diets becoming more popular, it is more important than ever that people ensure they are getting enough protein. Kids included.
And one of the easiest ways to get it into ourselves and our kids is through smoothies!
What Are The BEnefits of Protein?
How much protein a person needs has been surrounded in controversy. And instead of discussing it here, you can read more about how much protein you should be getting HERE.
But the one thing both sides can agree on is that protein is vital to our health. Our bodies need protein to build and repair muscles. That is one reason people like to drink protein shakes after working out.
In addition to muscle repair, protein is imperitive to healthy bones, nails and even skin.
Do kids need extra protein?
FIrst a disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist and I did not study protein and kids in school. This is strickly my opinion, based on my own research. So consult your doctor if you have specific questions.
Most people who are not exercising strenuously or strength training are probably gettting sufficient protein. If you are not working out, and you are eating a well balanced diet, you are likely doing fine.
However, as time goes on, I am hearing from more and more moms whose kids won’t eat any type of protein. Typically due to the texture of meat. Often times these same kids don’t like beans or grains that contain protein.
These moms are desperate for ideas on how to get more protein into their kids, and that is who this post is for!
High Protein Foods
When trying to get kids to eat more of anything, the trick is to find the foods with the most bang for your buck. Afterall, chances are they aren’t going to eat as much as an adult, so we need to make every dish count!
The best way to get more protein into them is to serve them high protein foods.
Fortunately, there are several heatlhy protein options that are relatively easy to hide in smoothies! The ones we use the most are nut butters (specifically almond butter), flax seeds and more recently, Oats.
TIP: Certain brands of oatmeal may contain Glyphosate (Round up). So be sure to go organic and review this list: Glyphosate in Cereal
The beauty of these mix ins is that your child likely won’t even notice it in there!
However, from experience, I can tell you not to go overboard or the kids will start to suspect something!!
The great thing is that I have been mixing different foods into our smoothies for years so now the kids might groan but they always taste it…and almost always like it. So stick with it and it will payoff!
How To Add Protein WIthout Protein Powder
I provided a printable list above (print it and keep it on the fridge!) but here is that list again, some with a few tips:
Tips On What Milk To use In Smoothies
When I first started making smoothies, I could have sworn that Almond milk was high in protein. I mean, almonds themselves are. However, I discovered that the store process of making almond milk strips a lot of the protein from the almonds.
Instead of buying nut milks for smoothies, just substitute water and whole nuts. For example, when I make a smoothie, my base is 1 cp of water and 5-6 whole almonds – afterall, those are the only ingredients in almond milk!
After it is all blended, the smoothie tastes as good as ever! And we get the added benefit of nutrition and protein from the nuts without preservatives or thickeners found in store brands.
It’s also much cheaper, convenient and there is no straining involved! The same can be done with oats, walnuts and macadamia nuts.
Smoothies For kids – How To Get Kids To Drink Green SMoothies – Now that you’ve added the protein!
When the green smoothie craze first started many, many years ago, kids (and adults), including my family, were traumatized by them. We all got so excited that we started adding a ton of greens and a few apples to cut the taste. Just hold your breath and drink it!
However, now that we have been drinking smoothies for 5+ years (and have kkids who are picky) we now realize that we need to intentional about what we add to smoothies.
Adding the right plant based ingredients ensures that we are getting the nutrtiion we need (isn’t that the whole point??) while still making it taste good enough for the kids to enjoy.
In the end, the trick with the kids is to make sure it isn’t too green!
Here are a few tricks we learned along the way:
Are You Ready To Try it?
Let me know your favorite smoothie recipe! We just finished our smoothie challenge week, but be sure to join our FB group for support and more ideas!