There is probably no easier snack to make with your kids than smoothies. Even the littlest children can help you tip all of the ingredients into the blender, press the button to turn it on, and gaze while the tasty drink materializes! In all of 10 minutes, start to finish.
Smoothies can, with the addition of nothing more than a few molds plus a few hours, become popsicles. A popsicle is a winning snack in the warmer months - and an instant one! It's a homemade snack that lasts for at least a month, that can be pulled out at a moment's notice. I like to freeze big plastic bags of local, in-season fruit, like strawberries - then we have them on hand all year round, to toss in the blender (or make a quick sauce for pancakes or desserts). We usually make 10-12 popsicles for Cash's birthday party in July (more on birthday party food in a future post!). They are a great novelty at a party, and a thoughtful touch for guests who don't eat gluten.
Here's our very basic smoothie/popsicle recipe. It's endlessly customizable. Use any fruit you have for the frozen element - and if you don't have any frozen fruit, I'd recommend adding 4-5 ice cubes, if you're planning to drink it as a smoothie. (No need for ice if it's going straight into popsicle molds.) I recommend always adding banana to any smoothie (the riper the better), since it provides a sweetness that other, more watery fruits can lack.
Simple Popsicle Smoothies
3/4 cup plain, full-fat yogurt
1 cup frozen fruit (strawberries, blueberries, peaches, and mangoes are favourites in our house)
1 ripe banana, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup water or milk
4-5 cubes ice, if needed
Add ingredients to your blender, in the order listed. Blend for 1-2 minutes, until very smooth. Add more water/milk/ice, to reach desired consistency.