Good nutrition plays an essential role in the health and fitness of your family. However, only 22% of toddlers and preschoolers, and only 16% of kids aged six to eleven get the recommended five or more servings of fruit and vegetables a day, Ohio State research reveals. Enter: smoothies. Delicious and packing an impressive nutritional punch, smoothies make it easy to get in the essential sugars, fat, protein, minerals, and vitamins that fuel your family’s fit lifestyle. You can sneak several portions of fruit and veggies into one smoothie — a lifesaver if you have fussy kids.

You can sneak several portions of fruit and veggies into one smoothie — a lifesaver if you have fussy kids.

Staying in shape with smoothies

Brimming with energizing properties, smoothies are ideal pre-workout fuel. Fruit provides healthy carbs which power long workouts. Bananas, in particular, have been proven to be as beneficial as energy drinks. Muscle-building protein also means smoothies speed up recovery after workouts. Anti-inflammatory ingredients (like ginger, broccoli, and pineapple) alleviate inflammation and muscle soreness. Moreover, fruits and vegetables strengthen the immune system, improve sleep, and boost energy levels to support fitness. Smoothies are also great for babies and young children: teaching them to love fruits and vegetables early-on keeps them at peak health and instills healthy lifelong habits.

Constructing the perfect smoothie

Aim for roughly one cup of fruit per smoothie. Frozen fruit provides sweetness, creaminess, as well as vital minerals like zinc, potassium, and magnesium, which maintain muscle strength, flexibility, bone density, and heart and lung health. Next, throw in a handful of leafy greens. Spinach or kale are great sources of antioxidants and iron: an essential mineral that transports oxygen around the body beats fatigue and boosts energy levels. You and the kids will be glad to know the taste is masked by the fruit.

As for all-important protein, you have plenty of options: Greek yogurt (one cup has 24 grams of protein), nut butter, silken tofu, or even protein powder. Protein is essential for growing, maintaining, and repairing muscles. Healthy fat from nut butter, chia seeds, or avocado is another essential component. It fills you up and reduces insulin levels post-workout. Certain fats contain heart-protecting omega-3 fatty acids and inflammation-reducing monounsaturated fat.

Creamy avocado and banana green smoothie

This energizing smoothie recipe is delicious and feeds a family of four. Try it before your next family workout. You’ll need two large frozen bananas, one cup of blueberries, one whole ripe avocado, two large handfuls of kale, two scoops of protein powder, two tablespoons of hemp seeds, and two cups of almond milk. Place all ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend on high until creamy and smooth. Blueberries improve balance and coordination, while avocado strengthens heart health. Consider trying different superfoods like coconut oil which provides fatty acids to convert body fat into energy during exercise. Alternately, sweet goji berries contain over twenty vitamins and minerals which balance hormones, speed up recovery, and boost longevity.

The best thing about smoothies is their versatility. They can be endlessly customized to suit you and your family’s tastes and nutritional needs. Incorporating smoothies into your fit lifestyle will benefit your workouts and protect your family’s health now and in the future.

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Sally Perkins

Sally Perkins is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and travelling as much as possible.

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