Dairy products and fresh fruit are important in a child’s diet because they’re packed with the calcium, protein and vitamins kids need to stay strong and healthy. But it’s not always easy making sure the little ones get their ‘daily dose’ of fruit. We have a brilliant solution: smoothies!

Few kids are able to resist creamy yoghurt smoothies, with their pretty pastel colours and irresistible fruity flavours. Here are our top tips for making super smoothies in your own kitchen, in minutes.

What you’ll need
  • A blender or liquidiser. If you don’t have such an appliance, you can use a handy stick blender – these don’t cost the earth, and are also so useful for whipping up nourishing home-made soups.
  • When choosing a stick blender, look out for one that comes with a deep plastic jug or ‘goblet’, which will hold the ingredients as you liquidise them.
  • Fresh fruit. You can use any fruit or combination of fruits in a smoothie, as long as it’s soft enough to blend.
  • Fruits ideal for making smoothies include bananas, peaches, nectarines, plums, paw-paw, pineapple, granadillas, mangos, grapes, guavas, pears, oranges and all types of melons and berries.
  • NutriDay yoghurt of your choice – smooth, fruit or plain.
  • Milk or cold water for thinning, if necessary, plus ice (see below).

How to make smoothies
  • First wash and/or peel your fruit, then cut it into chunks.
  • Fruits with soft edible peels (such as nectarines, grapes and plums) don’t need to be peeled – and their skins will add extra fibre to your family’s diet.
  • Put the fruit pieces into the blender, or into the goblet that came with your stick blender.
  • Add a roughly equal quantity of NutriDay yoghurt, and blend the fruit and yoghurt until smooth.
  • If you’d prefer a chunkier mixture containing bits of fruit, press the ‘pulse’ button on the blender until the smoothie is the desired consistency.
  • If the mixture seems too thick, thin it down with a little milk or cold water.
  • On a hot day, add a few ice cubes to the liquidiser. A blender with sturdy metal blades will crush the ice in seconds. If you have a stick blender, add the ice to the smoothie after you’ve poured it into a glass.
  • For a special treat, include a scoop or two of ice cream.

Smoothie tips
  • There is no need to add sugar to smoothies because fruit is naturally sweet, but if you are using slightly sour fruits, you can add a teaspoon of honey.
  • Smoothies don’t keep well, because the fruit oxidises fast and the mixture tends to turn a dull or muddy colour. It’s best to make smoothies in small quantities, and to drink them right away.
  • If you have any left-over mixture, pour it into a lidded plastic box or ice cube trays and immediately place in the freezer. Frozen smoothies make wonderful icy treats in summer – take them out of the freezer and let them thaw slightly to create instant ‘slushies’.
  • Another great way of making iced smoothies is to cut soft fruit into small cubes, and freeze the cubes until they are just firm. Then make your smoothie in the usual way. Bananas, melons, mangos and berries make delicious icy smoothies.
  • When you’re using fruit with lots of pips, such as granadillas or guavas, avoid over-processing the mixture, as this may chop the pips into gritty little particles the kids won’t like.
  • You can also add tempting toppings to smoothies: a little muesli, some toasted coconut, chopped nuts, and so on. A cute idea is to thread a few chunks of fresh fruit on a toothpick, and balance this ‘mini kebab’ across the top of the glass.
  • Kids might turn up their noses at this idea, but you can use vegetables and fruit to create nutritious smoothies for the adults in the house. Use NutriDay Plain Low-Fat Yoghurt, fruit of your choice, plus veggies and leaves that are easy to blend: avocado, cucumber, fresh mint, baby spinach, and so on.

Ideas for smoothies

Here are some fun ideas for smoothies that you and the kids will love. If you don’t have all the fruits listed, or they are out of season, substitute other fruit of your choice.

Berry Nice: raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and NutriDay Mixed Berry Fruit Yoghurt

Taste of the Tropics: pineapple, mango, paw-paw, bananas and NutriDay Granadilla Fruit Yoghurt

Sunshine in a Glass: peaches, nectarines, apricots, mangos and NutriDay Apricot Fruit Yoghurt

Vanilla Dream: bananas, pears and NutriDay Vanilla Smooth Yoghurt

Green Garden: kiwi fruit, green melon, green grapes and NutriDay Mixed Fruit Flavour Smooth Yoghurt

Mellow Yellow: bananas, Cape gooseberries, oranges and NutriDay Stewed Fruit & Custard Fruit Yoghurt

Pink Perfection: watermelon, guava, strawberries and NutriDay Mixed Berry Fruit Yoghurt

Very Berry Banana: bananas, strawberries, raspberries and NutriDay Banana Smooth Yoghurt

Now that we’ve shown you the basics, use your imagination to create all sorts of flavours and colour combinations. Serve with a straw and a smile, then share a pic with us on our Facebook page… we’d love to see what you come up with!