Chill Out With A Refreshing Smoothie

Smoothies are a quick and easy way to get an extra dose of fruits and vegetables, making them a healthy WIC snack. They also don’t require a lot of ingredients. Gather some of your favorite WIC foods and blend away. Smoothies are a combination of fruits and/or vegetables, liquid, protein and ice (if you aren’t using frozen fruit) blended together. The fun part is that they are easy to switch up to find a fun new flavor.

SNACK WITH WIC

Some common smoothie ingredients include:

FRUITS (FROZEN OR FRESH): Bananas, Peaches, Mangos, Apples, Berries and Even Avocados

VEGETABLES: Spinach, Carrots, Celery and Cucumbers

PROTEIN: Peanut Butter

LIQUIDS: Milk, Soy Milk, Yogurt, Juice or Water (like ice if you aren’t using frozen fruit)

OPTIONAL FOR FUN: Cinnamon or Pumpkin Pie Spice There are so many WIC foods to pick from – Fruits, Veggies, Peanut Butter and Milk. Those are all super healthy WIC-approved foods you can include in your morning smoothie. The fun part is you don’t need a recipe. Use the recipe below provided by Texas WIC as a guide, but substitute any of the ingredients or combinations above to come up with new favorites. Because smoothies are packed with nutrition (and WIC ingredients) they make a great breakfast or snack for adults and kids. They are especially tasty as the long hot days of Summer approach. If you have fresh fruit you think might go bad before you eat it (like bananas or berries), just cut and put it in a freezer-safe container and store for your next smoothie.

SMOOTHIE BOWL

Smoothie bowls are a hot trend and is a fun new way to eat smoothies.

If your tot isn’t ready to drink from a straw, but is trying purees, this version might be perfect for them. If making for a child, be mindful to avoid certain ingredients (like nuts because of choking) and even peanut butter if you haven’t yet determined if they aren’t allergic. Also, skip adding the whole fruit on top.

Note: It’s best to try ingredients that a child might be allergic to one at a time instead of blending multiple items together. This is helpful so you can easily identify which food might have caused the allergy. Once a child has individually tried all the ingredients you want to add to a smoothie bowl, you should be safe. Just make sure everything is blended well. A smoothie bowl is also a fun way for adults to enjoy fruits and veggies. You can even top off your bowl with a handful of fresh berries or sliced fruit for extra texture. RECIPE FROM TEXASWIC.ORG Texas WIC offers this recipe on their website. Of course you can add more or substitute as you like:

FRUIT SMOOTHIE

1 Banana 2 cups frozen Strawberries (without added sugar)

¾ cup Milk

8 ounces low-fat Vanilla Yogurt

Tips: You can use any fruit – try mangoes, peaches or blueberries! If using all fresh fruit, try blending in ice cubes to thicken it up. You can also use 100% fruit juice or soy milk instead of milk, or even silken tofu instead of yogurt! Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into glasses and enjoy!

APPLY FOR TEXAS WIC

Texas WIC is a supplemental nutrition program for expectant mothers and their children up to age 5 who meet certain criteria. The program provides nutrition counseling and support, free monthly food packages and breastfeeding support. To find out if you may be eligible, visit TexasWIC.org to apply. Get the ingredients for your smoothie at Grocery Services North, a primarily WIC grocery store chain in Dallas and Waco. To find a location near you, visit GroceryServicesNorth.com/locations.