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Would you feed your family green smoothies for dinner on occasion?

Poll Results: Would you feed your family green smoothies for dinner on occasion? The smoothie would have lots of kale, nut butter, flaxseed meal and frozen fruit and/or berries with non dairy milk

 
  • 53% (16)
    Yes, absolutely!
  • 6% (2)
    Maybe
  • 26% (8)
    No, never
  • 13% (4)
    Yes, but not on a regular basis
30 Total Votes  
post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

On super busy days we have things for supper like hummus with chopped fresh veggies and bread or crackers or else we'll spread the hummus on baked tortillas and top with veggies to make hummus tortilla pizzas. We have one green smoothie a day and twice last week we made the substantial green smoothies supper. They had soy milk, nut butter, tons of kale, flaxseed meal and frozen fruit and/or berries. We ate homemade oatmeal for breakfast and beans, couscous and steamed veggies for lunch, plus some snacks.

 

To me it seems like a healthy meal and is very filling. The boys (almost 1 and 2 1/2) both LOVE green smoothies. But is it okay to make it the whole meal? I'm just wondering what others would do.

 

After you vote, please expand upon your reasoning in this thread.

 

Thank you!

post #2 of 14

I don't see any reason not too.  A green smoothie could be healthier than many dinners could be.

post #3 of 14
I probably wouldn't do it (I don't like green smoothies) but I don't see anything wrong with it. So long as your kiddos get plenty to eat from four groups: fruits, veggies, legumes, grains and have adequate b12 and vitamin D then I don't see a problem.
post #4 of 14

Yes - if you like it, and it's filling and satisfying for your family members that's really what matters.  Not that different than having soup, in a way.

 

We're not big smoothie drinkers here, though I imagine if we were and I wanted to 'just do smoothies' for dinner, I'd probably also be pulling out frozen homemade muffins to pair with them (for myself at least).  

post #5 of 14

Sure, why not if everyone is happy with it?  For me, that would be a satisfying meal on its on, but for the rest of them, they would probably like some sort of accompaniment, maybe scrambled eggs and/or toast for a quick meal. 

 

I agree that a green smoothie even on its own is way healthier than a lot of other "full meal" dinners I can think of!

post #6 of 14
A smoothie with fruits, veggies, and nut butter is something I will often serve along with popcorn for a movie night dinner.
post #7 of 14

I probably would for toddlers but my kids are much older now and I wouldn't serve them only smoothies for supper. I often serve smoothies with supper, knowing that I can get things into them that way that I couldn't otherwise, but I would always offer them something else, even if it is just a sandwich or veggies and hummus.

post #8 of 14
Smoothies are more of a treat in our house than a regular snack/meal... I wouldn't serve one for dinner. Everyone in our house would balk at it, I think -- not because they don't like green smoothies but just because we'd all want solid food for a meal, otherwise we wouldn't feel like we had actually eaten. Although I'd consider if for breakfast on rare occasions... somehow that feels different, I guess because we eat a light breakfast as it is. But anyway, if everyone in your house is happy with it, I don't see why not, as long as it's just once in a while (I have a belief that we should eat, not drink, the majority of our calories).
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the perspectives. 

 

mumkimum, I agree with pairing it with something else, like a muffin or bread with nut butter.

catnip, one of the 2 nights I was referencing, we also had popcorn with nutritional yeast.

 

I just think that for the summer time, it can be a light meal, although our smoothies do tend to be really heavy (thick and substantial) with loads of good, healthy stuff in them. And our family really enjoys them.

 

I wonder if some of the people who are saying no, they would never give a substantial green smoothie for supper (which in my opinion is wholesome and my family, at least at this point LOVES them), would ever give Kraft mac & cheese or something processed or much less nutritious on occasion? In my mind, if I'm really pressed for time and have kids who need to eat (yesterday!), smoothies are quick to whip up and are super healthy. Now, to be fair, I do think in my original post/poll question I did say "JUST green smoothies for supper." But I do also give snacks after supper: fruit, nuts, seeds, whole grain crackers, etc. 

 

crunchy_mommy, do you mind expanding just a little on your belief that we should eat, not drink a majority of our calories? I'm sincerely interested in your reasoning. In my mind, as long as we're getting adequate nutrition, it doesn't matter so much if we've eaten or drank it. I feed my sons oatmeal with fruit or berries for breakfast normally, but I feel better about the fresh juice that I make them to drink for some reason. Maybe because I feel that it's so healthy for them. My kids only drink fresh vegetable/fruit juice, green smoothies and occasionally soy milk. Otherwise, I give my older toddler water the rest of the day. My 12 month old still nurses a lot, so I give him less water than my toddler who also nurses, just not as much.

 

Also, while I give my kids green smoothies every day, it is generally given as a snack.

 

Thanks again for the perspectives!

post #10 of 14
No I would not feed Kraft mac & cheese (or even an organic version of it) -- that's not food to me. But yes, a lot of what we feed when we are short on time or exhausted is lower quality food than my ideal. Rushed meals include things like whole grain crackers with hummus (and whatever fruits/veg DS wants), or salad, or leftovers, or bean quesadillas. No reason that smoothies can't sometimes be in the rotation if that's something you regularly drink anyway.

As far as eating vs. drinking calories, here's some of my thinking:

- When you drink calories, you often loose out on fiber (not so much with smoothies but at least with juice, homemade or otherwise, and some milk replacements too) and nutrients... the more filtered or processed, the more you lose out on. It can end up being empty calories.

- Smoothies, juice, milks are often surprisingly high in sugar and nutritionally unbalanced. Even a whole-foods smoothie often has a lot more fruit than many people would normally eat in one sitting. The ratios of ingredients in a smoothie do not match the ratio of foods I would eat in a balanced meal.

- Drinking calories can increase your calorie intake -- your brain doesn't always register you've 'eaten' if your meal/snack is liquid, it just doesn't fill you up as quickly, so you may ultimately end up eating/drinking more calories in a day than you would have just eating solid food. You may also drink more than you would have been capable of consuming in solid form.

- Alternatively, depending on your body type and your drink type, sometimes liquids can make you lose weight. Your total calories may decrease because you're filling up on liquids, the nutrients aren't absorbed as well, and you may not be getting enough nutrition, especially if you are replacing a balanced meal with a less-balanced smoothie. Less of a problem in adults, if intentional, but obviously not great for small children.

- There are benefits to the process of chewing your food before swallowing. It gets mixed with saliva and nutrients are better absorbed and your food is better digested. You are forced to eat more slowly than you would drink, forcing you to slow down and allowing your brain to hear the signal that your body is full. Chewing is also a stress reliever. Also, it can reduce the risk of food poisoning because the more you chew, the more saliva you produce, and saliva can kill unhealthy bacteria before it gets to your stomach.
post #11 of 14

I'm a fan of liquid meals not just when short on time but hot summer days, I just don't feel like eating much, but a nice juice or smoothie, mmmmmm!  DD is 10mos and loves to share a bit of fresh juice with me

Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

- There are benefits to the process of chewing your food before swallowing. It gets mixed with saliva and nutrients are better absorbed and your food is better digested. You are forced to eat more slowly than you would drink, forcing you to slow down and allowing your brain to hear the signal that your body is full. Chewing is also a stress reliever. Also, it can reduce the risk of food poisoning because the more you chew, the more saliva you produce, and saliva can kill unhealthy bacteria before it gets to your stomach.

If it's a heavy smoothie, I think most people do chew them, at least I do!  And I know I don't chug anything like that, even when I use a juicer.  A 16oz glass of juice or same sized smoothie will take me just about as long to drink as would a quick meal like a sandwich or bowl of oatmeal.  Alot of is is mental.  DH could NEVER in a million years have a smoothie and not eat a million other things - and it's not that he needs the calories, oh no - but mentally he doesn't think he's done eating until he feels like he's going to explode.  One of the many problems his parents caused in raising him!

post #12 of 14

No.

 

1) We don't make or eat smoothies ever

 

2) Culturally, we would have a hard time thinking of a cold liquid as a meal

 

But, if other folks like it, more power to them.

post #13 of 14

Yeah I do this all the time in the summer when it's too hot to want to cook! There not always green but there packed full of raw vegan protein. If I'm making a smoothie as a meal and not a snack or side I make sure to use a scoop of 'raw meal' or 'raw protein' in it to make it filling and balanced.

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmony08 View Post

I don't see any reason not too.  A green smoothie could be healthier than many dinners could be.

 

Especially for anyone with a weight problem this is an excellent idea. The greens provide an excellent detoxification with very few calories. To insure an extra good bowel cleansing try adding some raw garlic. Overweight individuals often have a backed up colon. The greens alone will do some good but the added garlic I find very cleansing.

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