NOTE: PLEASE READ ENTIRE POST TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT ADDING SUPERFOODS
One of the questions I get the most is what goes in my morning smoothie and what’s the best way to start the day for children. I’m a busy mum, we certainly don’t have time for fancy buckwheat pancakes or beetroot waffles every day! But it is so important to me that my kids start their day with as many nutrients as possible, especially as Braxton’s sensory aversion to food means he doesn’t get enough nutrients throughout the rest of the day. The best way to start the day is actually with protein, not, as previously thought, carbs that make blood sugar levels spike, or sugary cereals that add little nutritional value.
I find the best way to start our day, every single day, is with a superfood smoothie. This way not only can I add a heap of plant-based OR animal protein, I can also get as many nutrients in there – and hidden! – as possible.
I’m a nutritionist and wellbeing coach and my child hates food – how’s that for irony? He really picks and chooses what he wants to eat and there are very few things he will eat BUT… he LOVES his smoothie in the morning and that really is my saviour because I can send him off to nursery knowing that even if he doesn’t eat much when he’s there, he has a bunch of nutrients in him keeping him healthy, such as proteins, fats, omegas and vitamins, as well as trace minerals. so it’s a great way for me to get heaps of nutrients, protein, fats and omegas into him right at the start of the day, and for this I’m so thankful that he likes it.
I’ll do another post soon on the supplements I give Brax and take myself, although it’s worth noting that I’m very much into a personalised approach. We all respond differently to different foods so an individualised approach to health is key.
Long story short, this smoothie is really the best thing to start the day for you and your little ones. I use almond milk as a base, which is high in healthy fats and protein, dates for sweetness and fibre, banana for extra energy and peanut butter or almond butter (depending on how I feel. Also, almond butter is a lot more expensive) for those essential fats, anti-oxidant properties and immune boosting goodness. The above give it the nice taste that makes kids drink it. Then we add superfoods.
We have a cupboard full of superfoods such as acai berry powder, maca powder, lucuma, chia, hemp seeds, hemp powder, chlorella (we use Sun Chlorella granules in little sachets as it’s much easier to hide for kids and doesn’t taste of much), spirulina, bee pollen, camu camu, flax seeds (and golden linseeds – although caution with these, especially for children approaching puberty, as they are high in phyto-oestrogens), beetroot powder, mushroom blend, psyllium husk and baobab and we choose about 4 at a time to add to our smoothie. You can choose whichever ones you want depending on what you feel you need that day. They all have different benefits and properties. It’s worth noting here that generally bee pollen should be chewed to release the enzymes necessary to produce the vitamin B6, so I don’t often add it to a smoothie, instead I sprinkle it on food, but I wanted to add it to the list in case you want to begin your superfood purchases.
Another option is to add bone broth protein powder or collagen peptides if you’re not vegetarian or vegan, or a plant-based one if you are. If your child gets ample protein throughout the day, don’t worry about this.
Many of you know about my journey with vegetarianism and how I’ve had to loosen the reigns as my health dictates, because it turns out that my genetic makeup and blood type dictate that I do need some animal proteins. Bone broth is one of the healthiest elixirs around, and a good quality bone broth protein powder adds another dimension to your morning smoothie.
For today’s smoothie I’ve created a generic, everyday smoothie that’s good for starting the day off (and tastes great for those fussy little ones), but you can choose whichever superfoods suit you from the above list, remembering not to use too many at once, to allow the body to process each one accordingly, so please see above for list of all the available options.
Another top tip is to use beetroot powder. It gives bioavailable iron but more exciting than that, it makes the smoothie look like a strawberry milkshake!
Ingredients (I’ll explain what each ingredient does for the smoothie)
150ml almond milk (or any other plant milk of your choosing)
150ml filtered water
1 banana (potassium, fibre and sweetness to make smoothie more palatable)
1-2 medjool dates (for fibre and low GI sweetness. For my own smoothies, I skip the banana and just add half a date to keep sugar to a minimum)
1 tbsp peanut or almond butter (I use Meridian or Biona) (healthy fats and makes it taste good. Almond lower in lectins)
Handful organic spinach (greens)
1/4 avocado (healthy fats)
1 tsp maca powder (natural energy booster and immune booster)
1 tsp chia seeds (anti-oxidants, fibre, protein, immune health)
1 tsp ground flax or golden linseeds (omegas – but read above for caution when using)
1 tsp camu camu (VERY HIGH source of vitamin C)
1 tsp beetroot powder (high in bioavailable iron, and to make it pink!)
1 scoop 10 mushroom blend (Immune support, strengthens nervous system, anti oxidant – I use Four Sigmatic)
1 scoop bone broth powder (explanation above – I use Cosmic Molecule)
Generous sprinkling of Sun Chlorella granules (binds to heavy metals, aiding detox)
1 tsp Udo’s Greens (super blend of greens that actually tastes nice too!)
Turmeric & cinnamon (optional but for added health benefits – fresh turmeric for a huge immunity boost – only do this if adding avocado as turmeric needs to be eaten with a fat)
Protein powder of choice for adults, once you’ve poured out the kids one. I use Cosmic Molecule or Hunter & Gather Collagen Peptides
I also add Pure Synergy wholefood vitamin c powder
Simply put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
Love & health,