Easy Smoothie Recipes for Kids: No Added Sugar and Vegan

Easy Smoothie Recipes for Kids: No Added Sugar and Vegan

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Update: This post was published before the mission at Late Summer Mama became dedicated to going zero waste. These pictures will be updated to reflect this philosophy as soon as possible. Purchasing reusable straws is a wonderful practice but please try to make them stainless steel, bamboo, glass, or other non-plastic material if possible.
For more information on plastic pollution visit the plastic pollution coalition.

Easy and smoothie are pretty synonymous. Sure, you can complicate almost anything if you put your mind to it. But at its foundation, smoothies are simple and easy. How much easier can it get to put all your ingredients in one pitcher, blend, and presto! You’ve got a meal in a drink! Or at least a snack.

I’ve received some awesome feedback on my previous smoothie recipe posts and that has been incredibly inspiring! The side effect? I’ve had smoothies on the brain. So it got my wheels turning. I’m always looking for ways to make my time more efficient – and I’m sure any family is too! Smoothies are a great fast, easy, and healthy snack solution for kids and their super busy parents. I eat them all the time and give them to my one-year-old daughter as a healthy, quick snack almost daily.

Smoothies are also versatile! If you’ve got fruits or veggies (you’d be surprised what you can use) that look to be overripe or on the edge of spoiled, you can probably throw them in a smoothie and get some delicious results.

So I thought I’d share some easy smoothie recipes for kids. Five to be exact! They are vegan, simple, and no added sugar so you can relax knowing that they are loaded with nutrients and not just empty calories.


Watch Out for Sugar Not Fats!

Photo by Alecu Gabriel on UnsplashI can’t speak for everyone but it seems to me that many sugary items like candy, ice cream, and cookies are targeting kids in their advertisements. And that’s not mentioning the cereals made for kids! It’s just disguised, enriched candy for breakfast which is the worst time of day to load up on sugars.

It’s just asking for an entire generation crippled by obesity, diabetes, and other health problems. According to Rachel Johnson, professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont in Burlington; sugar is loaded with calories. That can impact you two ways. First, it can replace nutrient-rich foods or, second, add additional calories to a healthy diet which puts you at risk for weight gain (1).

Sugar increases triglycerides (a type of fat in your blood), lowers good cholesterol (HDL), and increases bad cholesterol (LDL) which are the signs of a poor lipid profile. A poor lipid profile puts you at risk of coronary heart disease. Plus, sugar promotes inflammation and increases your blood pressure (2).

The World Health Organization suggests free sugar intake for adults and children should be at 5% or less of total energy intake. For an adult of normal body mass that works out to be about 25 grams or 6 teaspoons of sugar a day (3). For children under 2, there should be no added sugar.


How to Make Smoothies Kids Will Love Lies in Simplicity

“It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.” – Bruce Lee

Did I mention I’ve been studying martial arts for over five years? Bruce Lee and Donnie Yen are phenomenal! If you haven’t seen them in action, I highly recommend watching them.

But back to my point…

Every restaurant I’ve worked gave me a unique insight into kids before I became a parent myself. With the occasional exception, most kids palettes are very simple and boring. When I worked a burger bar in Austin, TX.; about 95% of the kids that ordered got the same thing: a classic burger plain and dry with cheese. I found the same thing when it came to smoothies kids would order regularly too. They crave very basic things. When you dress it up, in most cases, they will lose interest.

So with that in mind, I keep my recipes for kids very simple – three or four ingredients at most. And some of those items are not even noticeable in the flavor profile!


Tips and Tricks for Making the Best Smoothies for Kids

Here are some simple tips and tricks I’ve found over the years that turn a regular smoothie into a delicious, high-nutrient, silky smoothie that any kid (or adult) no matter how picky will enjoy.

  1. Buy a good blender. I’m not kidding on this one! You need a high-performance blender with variable speed settings. This is the only way to get the kind of smoothies that come out like an ice cream shake. The one I use is a Vitamix 5200.
  2. Freeze your fruits. A few days ahead of time works best.
  3. Bananas work very well for making a creamy smoothie. If there is no banana in the recipe, you can add 2 oz. avocado, 1-2 tbsp. hemp seeds, or 1 tbsp. hemp or flax oil to achieve a similar consistency.
  4. You can put spinach in any smoothie and it won’t change the taste. This is a great way to get some additional vitamins in your kids and they will still love it!
  5. Place greens and peanut butter before fruit in the blender.
  6. Be conservative with the liquid. I like my smoothies so thick that the straw stands upright. I usually shoot a little under what I think I will need for the juice or milk and slowly add more while the blender is running until I get just enough that the blades start turning properly. Just be careful! I have a tendency to overtax my machine doing this.
  7. Do not blend any longer than necessary. The blades will heat up while in use and will melt the fruit and make the drink runny.

Alternatively, if you are completely new to making smoothies or are unfamiliar with how to make smoothies with frozen fruit my post, Smoothies 101, might be helpful.

Also, if you are looking for a good blender, I recommend the Vitamix 5200. It is the one I use for all my smoothies.

Now onto the recipes!


Smoothie Recipes for Kids

So here are 5 easy smoothie recipes that are vegan, healthy, and delicious that can be enjoyed by the whole family but made in kid sizes!

Mango Peach Smoothie

 

Mango and Peach Smoothie

  • 1/2 cup chunks of mango, frozen
  • 1/2 cup sliced peaches, frozen
  • 3/4 cup orange juice

Spinach and P.B. Smoothie

  • 1 cup bananas, frozen (approx. 1 banana)
  • A handful of spinach (approx. 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tbsp. peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (enough to reach about 1 inch below the top of the fruit)

Raspberry and Banana Smoothie

Spinach and P.B. Smoothie
  • 3/4 cup bananas, frozen (approx. 1 small banana)
  • 1/4 cup raspberries, frozen
  • 1 chunk of raw beet (about 1″x1″ in size) optional
  • 3/4 cup pineapple juice

Strawberry and Banana Smoothie

  • 1/2 cup banana, frozen (approx. 1/2 med. banana)
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, frozen
  • 3/4 cup apple juice

Spinach and Peach Smoothie

  • 1 cup sliced peaches, frozen
  • A handful of spinach (approx. 1/2 cup)
  • 3/4 cup apple juice

Instructions

Place spinach and peanut butter in the blender first.

Then add the fruits.

Add the liquid until it sits about 1/4 inch under the very top of the fruit unless you have spinach then it’s about 1 inch under.

Turn on blender at the lowest setting and let it run until everything is starting to blend together. Add more liquid if needed to reach desired thickness.

Slowly turn the setting to high.

Once the smoothie is thoroughly blended (and you are getting the vortex at the top), turn off the blender.

Immediately serve.


Recipe Notes

These recipes make about 8-10 oz.

If you prefer less sugar, substitute juice with unsweetened vanilla almond or hemp milk.

If your kid has an allergy to peanut butter, you can replace with almonds or almond butter.

The amounts of fruit vary according to the size of the pieces so measurements are approximate. The best thing to keep in mind is the ratio of fruits. The liquid should sit just under the top part of the fruit and add more if it’s too thick.

Mango and Peach Smoothie
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

Basic mango and peach smoothie with orange juice.

Course: Drinks, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy smoothie recipes for kids, fruit smoothie recipes for kids, healthy smoothie recipes for kids, healthy smoothies for kids, how to make smoothies for kids
Servings: 1
Calories: 210 kcal
Author: Tina
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1/2 cup frozen peach slices
  • 3/4 cup orange juice enough to cover fruit
Instructions
  1. Place fruit in the blender.

  2. Add the liquid until it sits about 1/4 inch under the very top of the fruit

  3. Turn on blender at the lowest setting and let it run until everything is starting to blend together. Add more liquid if needed to reach desired thickness.

  4. Slowly turn the setting to high.

  5. Once the smoothie is thoroughly blended (and you are getting the vortex at the top), turn off the blender. Immediately serve.

Recipe Notes

These recipes make about 8-10 oz.

If you prefer less sugar, substitute juice with unsweetened vanilla almond or hemp milk.

The amounts of fruit vary according to the size of the pieces so measurements are approximate. The best thing to keep in mind is the ratio of fruits. The liquid should sit just under the top part of the fruit and add more if it's too thick.

 

Spinach and P.B. Smoothie
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

Green smoothie with bananas and peanut butter. Perfect snack for kids!

Course: Drinks, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: green smoothie recipes for kids, green smoothies for kids, healthy smoothie recipes for kids, healthy smoothies for kids, how to make green smoothies, vegan smoothie recipes
Servings: 1
Calories: 233 kcal
Author: Tina
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup frozen bananas (approx. 1 med)
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 tbsp. peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
Instructions
  1. Place the leafy greens in the blender first.

  2. Then add peanut butter and then bananas.

  3. Add enough milk to cover the greens.

  4. Turn on blender at the lowest setting and let it run until everything is starting to blend together. Add more liquid if needed to reach desired thickness.

  5. Slowly turn the setting to high.

  6. Turn off blender once the smoothie is thoroughly blended and you are getting the vortex at the top. 

  7. Immediately serve.

Recipe Notes

Makes approx. 10 oz.

If allergic to peanut butter, you can use another type of nut butter like almond butter or omit it entirely. If allergic to almonds, replace almond milk with unsweetened vanilla hemp milk.

Raspberry and Banana Smoothie
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

Raspberry and banana smoothie with a little beet in pineapple juice.

Course: Drinks, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy smoothie recipes for kids, fruit smoothie recipes for kids, healthy smoothie recipes for kids, healthy smoothies for kids, how to make smoothies for kids, vegan smoothie recipes
Servings: 1
Calories: 170 kcal
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup frozen banana approx. 1 sm.
  • 1/4 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 chunk raw beet about 1"x1" in size (optional)
  • 3/4 cup pineapple juice
Instructions
  1. Place everything in the blender.

  2. Add juice until it sits at 1/4 inch under the top of the fruit.

  3. Turn on blender at the lowest setting and let it run until everything is starting to blend together. Add more liquid if needed to reach desired thickness.

  4. Slowly turn the setting to high.

  5. Once the smoothie is thoroughly blended (and you are getting the vortex at the top), turn off the blender. Immediately serve.

Recipe Notes

These recipes make about 8-10 oz.

If you prefer less sugar, substitute juice with unsweetened vanilla almond or hemp milk.

The amounts of fruit vary according to the size of the pieces so measurements are approximate. The best thing to keep in mind is the ratio of fruits. The liquid should sit just under the top part of the fruit and add more if it's too thick.

Strawberry and Banana Smoothie
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

Strawberry and banana smoothie with apple juice.

Course: Drinks, Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1
Calories: 155 kcal
Author: Tina
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup frozen banana approx. 1/2 med.
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries approx. 2-4 whole
  • 3/4 cup apple juice
Instructions
  1. Place fruits in the blender.

  2. Add the liquid until it sits about 1/4 inch under the very top of the fruit.

  3. Turn on blender at the lowest setting and let it run until everything is starting to blend together. Add more liquid if needed to reach desired thickness.

  4. Slowly turn the setting to high.

  5. Once the smoothie is thoroughly blended (and you are getting the vortex at the top), turn off the blender. Immediately serve.

Recipe Notes

These recipes make about 8-10 oz.

If you prefer less sugar, substitute juice with unsweetened vanilla almond or hemp milk.

The amounts of fruit vary according to the size of the pieces so measurements are approximate. The best thing to keep in mind is the ratio of fruits. The liquid should sit just under the top part of the fruit and add more if it's too thick.

Spinach and Peach Smoothie
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

Basic green smoothie with peach, spinach, and apple juice. Great for kids!

Course: Drinks, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy smoothie for kids, easy smoothie recipes for kids, green smoothie recipes for kids, green smoothies for kids, healthy fruit smoothie recipes, healthy smoothie recipes for kids, healthy smoothies for kids, vegan smoothie recipes
Servings: 1
Calories: 236 kcal
Author: Tina
Ingredients
  • 1 cup frozen sliced peaches
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach
  • 3/4 cup apple juice
Instructions
  1. Place spinach first and then peaches in the blender.

  2. Add the liquid until it sits about 1 inch under the very top of the fruit.

  3. Turn on blender at the lowest setting and let it run until everything is starting to blend together. Add more liquid if needed to reach desired thickness.

  4. Slowly turn the setting to high.

  5. Once the smoothie is thoroughly blended (and you are getting the vortex at the top), turn off the blender. Immediately serve.

Recipe Notes

These recipes make about 8-10 oz.

If you prefer less sugar, substitute juice with unsweetened vanilla almond or hemp milk.

The amounts of fruit vary according to the size of the pieces so measurements are approximate. The best thing to keep in mind is the ratio of fruits. The liquid should sit just under the top part of the fruit and add more if it's too thick.

I do hope you (and your kids) enjoy these recipes as much as I do! If you have any questions or great smoothie recipes you’d like to share, please leave them in the comments below. I look forward to hearing from you!

And thanks for taking the time to visit Late Summer Mama!

Happy Blending!

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12 thoughts on “Easy Smoothie Recipes for Kids: No Added Sugar and Vegan”

  • Mmmmmm! I love making smoothies! And my kids love it too. Thanks for the recipes, I will definitely try them. 🙂 And also, thanks for the tip about putting spinach in first. For some reason I always put it in last and then it takes so long for it to move to the bottom to get blended. Great article!

    • Hi Holly! You are most welcome! I’m glad you found this article helpful. I hope your kids (and you!) enjoy these recipes. Please me know how they work out for you! Thanks for the visit.
      Tina

  • I agree, it is not right to load up kids with sugary stuff so early in the morning. They deal with enough sugars already during the day. This stuff usually make them too hyper and hard to make them relax. I worked in the Public School system so I know how hyper active they can get from consuming too much sugary stuff. The healthy smoothies are definitely better.
    Cool post, glad you are putting this out there!
    David.

    • Hey, thanks, David! I just get so frustrated at how out of control sugar consumption is. Especially with all the studies coming out about how much it’s killing people. Parents have a lot of power to change these things in their children for a healthier future. The best gift I can give my little girl is healthy habits while she is young and maybe they’ll stick with her through the rest of her life. At least I hope so!

      Thanks for visiting!
      Tina

  • Hello Tina I needed to come back and check for some more flavors and I’m going to be trying the spinach and P.B It sounds great. As always your articles rock and everyone needs to see these great smoothies.

    Thank you,
    David

    • Hello, again David and thank you! I’m so happy you took the time to visit! You were the inspiration to write this. The spinach and peanut butter smoothie is fantastic! If you like chocolate, try putting a tbsp. of cacao or cocoa in it as well. Or try a different kind of nut butter like almond or hazelnut. These recipes are so flexible.

      Thanks again!
      Tina

  • Hi there. I absolutely agree that you have to keep it simple with the kids. I think its great to find options for kids that are vegan and still satisfies them. Especially substituting added sugar with fruits. For me I use a lot of dates in my smoothies for the sugar as well, especially in a green smoothie. I usually soak the dates in hot water for a bit so they break up easily in the blender. A great blender is essential as you stated, I agree with that. I am going to try that spinach and peanut butter smoothie – I would have never thought the two would go together.

    • Hello Dwyan! Welcome and thanks for visiting!

      You’d be surprised what kinds of combinations you can make with smoothies and get some wonderful results. I, in fact, plan to make my next post about green smoothies so I hope you come back to check it out!

      I just suggested this to David as well but if you like the Spinach and P.B. smoothie as is, try it with a tbsp. of cacao or change the type of nut butter you use. Plus, you can always add 1/4 tsp. cinnamon. Really you can’t go wrong with these!

      Dates make such a wonderful sweetener. You get some added nutrient and fiber and they work really well in any smoothie I put them in. Depending on how good your blender is, I’ve put dates in straight out of the fridge without soaking them. Grant you, I bet they blend better soaked. I am terrible at planning ahead.

      Please let me know how the recipes work out for you. If you have any questions or problems getting the consistency the way you want it, just shoot me a comment and I’d love to help you out!

      Thanks again!
      Tina

  • This is incredible! I don’t have kids, but I will be trying these recipes myself! I think the mango and peach will be my favorite though. I also love that you gave substitutes for the bananas. Honestly I can’t stand them, so knowing that I can use avocados instead, which I love, is amazing. I never thought of that before.

    • Hi Mckenzie! Welcome and thank you for visiting!

      You really can’t go wrong with mango and peach. I really like bananas but I know a ton of people who don’t. Or in my case for a while, I just wanted a smoothie without them and that was really hard to do. Seriously! Most smoothies just come with them or the ones without bananas don’t seem to get that creaminess quite the same way. So I experimented like crazy. That’s when I discovered those substitutes.

      I hope you like the recipe and let me know how it turns out. If you have any problems, just leave me a comment below and I’ll try to help you out!

      Thanks again!
      Tina

  • I love smoothies Tina! I just have to be careful with the sugars. My friend’s daughter loves them and every time I’m over there she is having one. I love the spinach recipe and the strawberry and banana one looks good too. I am going to use your advice and use the vanilla or the hemp milk. I’m printing the recipes now to give to my wife. Thank you!
    ~Rob

    • Hi Rob! Thank you for taking the time to visit!

      Unsweetened almond milk and hemp milk with vanilla added are the best substitutes for juice in any smoothie recipe I can think of. Also, something else you might want to consider is replacing any of the fruit with frozen papaya. It has 11.3 grams of sugar in a 145 gram serving versus 14 grams of sugar in one banana (110 grams), 23 grams of sugar in 150 gram serving of mango, and 13 grams in a peach (150 grams). It has such a mild flavor that it can replace any fruit in most recipes. I’d suggest also adding 2 oz. avocado to give the smoothie texture since papaya doesn’t blend as well though.

      I hope your family enjoys these recipes! Thanks again!
      Tina

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