Kids Cook for Themselves: A Universal Smoothie Recipe

I am, in general, a big advocate of kids doing stuff for themselves. It's like they say, give a kid a fish . . . no, wait, that doesn't seem like a good idea. Maybe don't do that.

Anyway. My desire to have my big kids be able to cook, is often at war with my desire to NOT have it take three times as long for me to cook dinner. And, let's face it, letting kids help cook makes it take MUCH longer. But I've found it IS worth it in the long run, because eventually they can do it on their own and I don't have to suffer watching them do it not exactly how I would do it.

We started small, for my benefit as much as for theirs, and now all of my kids older than seven are capable of warming up leftovers, or cooking simple things like scrambled eggs, all by themselves.

And my three oldest are able to follow recipes and make meals from scratch. And they even like it! With a new baby coming in a couple of months, the big kids are planning to do quite a bit of the cooking for our family this summer. I've been helping them compile the recipes that they've made successfully, and I figured I'd share a few of them with you, every once in a while.

First up . . .

I'm a big fan of smoothies because they combine healthy, tasty, and NOT THROWING AWAY FOOD into one easy recipe that's appropriate for any time of day.

Any time our fresh fruit starts to get past its prime, I peel it, cut it into chunks, throw it into a ziploc bag, and put it in the freezer. And the kids use it to make smoothies. (When necessary, I buy some already frozen.)

It turns out that a very easy, three ingredient recipe works for pretty much any type of smoothie, and that my kids eight and over are all capable of making it completely on their own.

All it takes is any kind of frozen fruit, any kind of juice, and yoghurt (I always use Mountain High whole milk plain in the super giant Costco size, 'cause that's how we roll).

Betty (11) has graciously agreed to walk us through how to make one. Take it away Betty . . .

Okay, here goes.

Get your ingredients together: some frozen fruit, some juice, and some yoghurt. This time I used a mix of frozen berries, cranberry juice, and plain whole milk yoghurt.

You can make your smoothie in a blender, food processor, or right in a cup if you've got a hand blender. Whatever you're using, fill your container two-thirds full of frozen fruit.

Then, pour in juice until it covers the fruit.

Scoop in yoghurt until the container is almost full, but not completely full, because there needs to be room for it to blend.

Put the top on and hold it tight.

Blend on medium-high (I use "puree") until it's all mixed up.

And pour into glasses to serve.

Babies like it.

Mason Jar Straw Top is from an Etsy shop called Blue Ridge Crafts. I put them right in the dishwasher and they've lasted us for years.

Brothers like it.

Even FRANKIE likes it.

And I like it too!

Another good one is frozen bananas (I don't even like bananas, but you can't really taste them) and mango, leftover fresh squeezed orange juice from our Sunday breakfast, and yoghurt.

It's even better with cute straws.

Lulu approves.

It's really easy. All kids should give it a try!

Me again . . . Thanks to Betty for helping out with this post, and to Mountain High Yoghurt for sponsoring it. You can go here to sign up for a dollar off coupon, if you're into that sort of thing.

In case you want to pin it, you can use the link at the bottom of the post, and I made this image to go with it . . .

Stay tuned for over the next few weeks for more real recipes kids can cook themselves! And if you've got any smoothie combinations you love, please let me know in the comments.