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by Tara Bone, contributing writer 

Food. It’s part of every mom’s daily routine. Whether it’s thinking about what to cook, braving the grocery store, preparing the meal or cleaning up, it’s always there waiting with the hungry masses. Food is the center of my three growing boys’ world, so this “Family Firsts” is dedicated to our discovery of the smoothie.

Many of you are probably smoothie pros, but this is a whole new world for me. It all started when my husband and boys gave me a Blendtec for Christmas. I must preface this gift with two points: first, notice how it relates to food; and second, they were eager to share what an amazing deal they got. As they boasted about its capabilities and all the food it could make for them, I too got excited about a gadget that would make kitchen life easier.

We decided smoothies would be our first experiment. I talked to smoothie pros, did some research and realized smoothies are an amazing way to sneak a lot of nutrition into food. Why hadn’t I discovered this sooner? And they were so easy to make. I knew we were on to something really good when one of my boys raised his green smoothie high into the air and declared, “This stuff has changed my life!” Imagine it: a child thrilled to drink spinach and kale!
Little girl drinking smoothie
Smoothies really can change lives. Arianne Spahr, of Wellsville and a student of nutrition for more than 20 years, said smoothies are a healing food that can help children get the energy they need for their active lives. Every day, she and her two boys start their day with a “super shake” packed with nutrients.

The bottom line: It’s nice to know we can give our kids the nutrition they need in a way they love. Finally, a super-charged nutritious “fast-food.”

Smoothie Tips and Resources:

  • Find a blender that works for you. There are many brands at different price points.
  • Experiment with vegetables, fruits and nutritious mix-ins like chia seeds or hemp hearts. The possibilities are endless!
  • Read the ingredient list for anything you add to your smoothie, including protein powders. Beware of long ingredient lists. If you can’t understand it, it’s probably not good for you. There is a debate about protein supplements, so find what works best for your family.
  • Avoid artificial sweeteners, such as refined white sugar, sucralose (Splenda) and corn syrup.

Where to Start:

  • If you are a smoothie newbie, visit There is a “smoothies” app on this site and information about “The Blender Girl Smoothies” by Tess Masters.
  • “The Smoothies Bible” by Pat Crocker provides information ranging from blender buying tips, to lists of health conditions matched with healing smoothie recipes. There is even fruit, vegetable and herb profiles with how-to advice.
  • You can purchase some great herbal mix-ins at

Chia Smoothie