It happens to all of us.
You take the kids to the grocery store (which I am convinced is hell on earth), and they are instantly attracted to the bright colors and fun characters on packages of stuff you don’t necessarily want to give them. It’s confusing to them why something with Dora on it can’t be good for them- I mean she can lead you safely across the Sticky Swamp, why wouldn’t she be leading you to healthy food?
Well, advertising rant aside, I just find it gross that companies turn simple things into science experiments and places to put unnecessary ingredients, like sugar. Case in point, my kids like those yogurt drinks. When you look at the nutritional information you see this:
Sugar makes its way to the second spot on the ingredient list, and there are a whole lot of things labeled that I’m sure our ancestors did not put into their own yogurt mixtures. Even on more reputable brands, like Stonyfield Farms list (organic) sugar as their second ingredient. Now, my kids get their fill of sugar from cakes, candies, and ice cream, do they really need to be getting it with something healthy like yogurt? I say no. Besides the health factor, these little drinks can be EXPENSIVE!
So what to do, but make your own!
I have read a lot about the benefits of Kefir. It is more liquidy than yogurt, like the consistency of buttermilk, but it is jam-packed with good bacteria that our guts need to help fight off the bad guys. In fact, Kefir has more gut- enhancing bacteria than regular yogurt and contains a lot more protein, keeping you fuller, longer. It comes plain or flavored, and is about $3 for 32 oz. I found mine at Trader Joe’s, but I have seen it at Target and Stop and Shop as well.
I also had to come up with a creative way to make it just as appealing as monkeys and Dora. My kids aren’t fans of smoothies in a cup, but fall all over those little 3 oz bottles. Then it hit me- get travel shampoo containers and put them in there!
So here is the recipe for a real food, simple drinkable yogurt!
What you need:
– Plain Kefir, 32 oz
– 3/4 cup Frozen fruit (I used raspberries because it was on hand)
– 2 ripe banana (the riper they are the sweeter they are)
– 2 tbsp Pure Maple Syrup
– Blender (I love my Ninja)
– 3 or 4oz travel bottles
Put all your food ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into containers. It’s as simple as that!
Notes: I made half of this recipe the first time and the other half today. I realized that I could make a larger batch and it would probably keep up to 3 or 4 days in the fridge because it does not separate like using regular yogurt or making a milk shake.
The kids are big fans of this, and because inevitably one kid wants banana only, and the other wants raspberry, they can pick their flavors and I don’t go broke buying several different kinds. Also, I have found this to be a great breakfast for me and the hubs as well! It costs us a lot less to make our own than buying them, and we are all going to reap some nutritional benefits from it as well- WIN!