Monday, January 31, 2011

A Fun and Healthy Activity for Kids – Making Smoothies

Top Five Reasons to Make Smoothies with Your Kids

Unfortunately, today's society is one that relies on fast food drive thru establishments and pizza delivery for food and snacks. Not only is this contributing to the rise of obesity in adults but children as well. In fact, it is suggested by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry that 16 to 33 percent of children in America are obese. This of course leads to long-term health issues like diabetes, heart disease and breathing difficulties.

Rather than going to grab milkshakes or sundaes for your kids, why not make them something healthy that they'll love and that you can feel good about them consuming? Making smoothies is fun for the children and they're packed full of essential vitamins and minerals that kids need in their daily diet.

1. Nutritious – Depending on the ingredients that you use in your smoothies you'll be providing your children with vitamins, calcium, protein, fiber and antioxidants. The calorie content can't even compare to that of a milkshake and if you use soy, coconut milk or even skim milk, the carbohydrate intake is low as well.

2. Fun – When was the last time you got in your car, drove to a drive thru, waited and returned back home in under a half hour? Rather than leaving the kids playing video games and going to sit in traffic, why not gather everyone in the kitchen for some quality time? Smoothies are fun to make and they provide a good opportunity to spend a few minutes with your kids without other distractions. If your children have friends over, you just became the coolest parent in the world helping them make a mess in the kitchen. You can even make them mini pizzas out of toasted bagels. Get yourself one of the various Cuisinart 4 slice toasters available and get the job done in half the time of that two-slice model you have.

3. Meal Replacement - Why not skip the sugary cereal that your kids are starting their day with and make them smoothies for breakfast? Set your Cuisinart automatic coffeemaker to start brewing a few minutes earlier, get out of bed and get a jump start making them. If you have teenagers who never have time for breakfast, pour a smoothie in a to-go cup and hand it to them when they're walking out the door. At least you can be sure that they're starting their day with some nutrition.

4. Brain Power – Not only do all the vitamins in smoothies give your kids a boost of energy, they actually help them focus too! Have some fun in the kitchen with your children making smoothies before they have to do their homework or study and they will be much more productive.

5. Variety – Do your kids get bored of the same food choices everyday? You can literally go weeks without making the same smoothie twice. It's fun for kids to see what you bring home from the grocery store that they can use in their next smoothie creation.

You don't need to be a great chef or have a lot of extra time to make smoothies with your kids; all you need is a few spare minutes, a blender and some healthy ingredients. Sometimes, even spending a bit of quality time doing something fun like this can mean just as much as spending a whole day together but not really interacting. Not to mention, when you teach children that nutritious choices can be delicious and easy to make, you instill healthy habits that are likely to stay with them as they age.

About the author: Mike Rocha is a nutritional expert, freelance writer and a father of three who specializes in providing advice to help children lead a healthier lifestyle. His articles provide creative and fun activities to spend with your kids while teaching them healthy choices.

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