When the summer sun is beating down, few things are as satisfying or as refreshing as a treat from the ice cream truck. For parents that are concerned about the commercial additives and preservatives found in many packaged frozen treats, however, the idea is downright disgusting. Rather than banning all things sweet and icy during the dog days of summer, consider reaching for the blender to whip up one of these ten smoothies, each of which is a surefire hit with the smaller set.
- Strawberry Banana – There’s just something about the classic pairing of strawberries and bananas that kids can’t seem to get enough of! Combine one banana, a handful of hulled strawberries, a cup of ice and a dollop of yogurt into your blender, then puree until smooth. You may also find that frozen strawberries do the trick, and allow you to eliminate the ice altogether.
- Pina Colada – While adults may know this frozen concoction as a sweet delivery of rum, the non-alcoholic version is a great choice for kids. If you don’t have fresh pineapple on hand, canned will suffice. Combine one can of drained pineapple with seven tablespoons of cream of coconut and one cup of ice, then blend until smooth.
- Peanut Butter and Banana – Kids that don’t suffer from peanut allergies will love this sweet and savory combination! Just mix three tablespoons of peanut butter with one peeled banana, a half-cup of milk and a cup of ice.
- Berry Berry – The beauty of a berry smoothie is that you can use any fresh or frozen berries you have on hand. Just add berries and yogurt to the blender, using a cup of ice if the berries are fresh and omitting the ice if they’re frozen and blend to sweet, creamy perfection.
- Peaches and Cream – Peaches and cream complexions may burn in the sun, but this smoothie is a guaranteed way to beat the summer heat. Combine two pitted and peeled peaches, one cup of vanilla yogurt and one cup of ice in your blender and puree away.
- Tropical Punch – Mangoes, papaya, pineapples and kiwi make for a great frozen tropical treat! Combine them with ice and milk or yogurt in a blender to whip up a chilly concoction packed with summery flavors.
- Lemon Berry – Blueberries are not only rich in antioxidants, but also lend a vibrant blue hue to your kids’ smoothies. The tart flavor of the lemon blends beautifully with the sweetness of the berries, but it doesn’t lend well to dairy-based concoctions. Skip the yogurt, instead mixing berries, ice and lemonade into a slushy, sweet snack.
- Pear Berry – Those who juice as part of a dietary plan know that pears and apples are great when it comes to lending a bit of healthy, natural sweetness to an otherwise bland drink. Use that sweetness to your advantage by combining two peeled and cored pears with a pint of fresh blackberries, yogurt and ice. The pear’s sweetness will tame the berries’ tang, making for a scrumptious and potable snack.
- Mango Carrot – Carrots are sweet and brightly colored, especially when they’re pureed into a smoothie. Kids don’t have to know that what they’re drinking so joyfully actually contains a vegetable when the veggie in question lends itself so well to a mango smoothie. Two peeled and seeded mangoes, a cup of ice, a cup of yogurt and three large carrots are all you need to whip up a colorful and sweet smoothie.
- Coconut Watermelon – When dairy products aren’t an option, cream of coconut can lend fruit smoothies the creaminess kids love without upsetting lactose-intolerant tummies. Two cups of diced and seeded watermelon, four tablespoons of the coconut goo and a cup of ice are all you need; the water content of the melon lends more than enough moisture to the smoothie.
Kids that have milk allergies or are on dairy-restricted diets aren’t necessarily left out in the cold when it comes to sweet, summer smoothies. Most recipes can be just as easily made dairy-free, using apple and other fruit juices in place of yogurt or milk. Just be sure that you choose a pure, preservative-free brand of juice.