My very favorite fun-mom trick is this: make popsicles so healthy that you can give them to your kids for breakfast. They will seriously think you are the BEST PARENT EVER. (Or aunt, uncle, grandparent, etc.)
How do you make healthy popsicles kids love?
Well, first you need some good molds. Please don’t buy the ones from the dollar store. Trust me, I have tried those and they all broke the first time I tried to unlodge my beautiful ‘sicles.
I have several kinds of molds: adorable monster-eyed ones that seem to be out of production (pictured below) rocket pop molds, silicone tube molds, and even some cute penguin and unicorn molds that I picked up at ALDI recently. But my super favorite ones are the Tupperware brand molds — the actual popsicle mold part comes off and attaches to the bottom to catch drips. They are genius! (Much to my dismay, it doesn’t look like they are in production anymore either, so I’ll be snatching up some on eBay JUST IN CASE!)
And why do I have so many molds? Well, I have four kids. And sometimes they eat two homemade popsicles a day…or more. And I’m fine with it, because all I am doing is making smoothies and freezing them in popsicle form.
After you have some molds, then you need some ingredients. I like to start with frozen fruit and then add what I have. (You can also use fresh fruit — it’s going to freeze anyway!) Bags of frozen fruit are a good deal usually, and the fruit is already prepped and ready to go for you.
Then you can customize depending on what you want nutritionally. Kids need more fiber? Add some ground flaxseed. Want them to eat their veggies? Mix in spinach or kale. Yogurt is good for creamy pops and has probiotics. Coconut milk is my favorite for kids who need more fat in their diet. If you have a sick kiddo, mango and orange are great for vitamin C.
Here are some of my favorite combos!
- 2 c. frozen mango
- 1 ripe banana
- 1/2 cup plain, whole milk yogurt
- 1 T flaxseed meal
- milk or water to blend
Blend together, adding water or milk as needed to blend. Freeze in molds.
Peanut Butter & Jelly Pops
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- 1 ripe banana (frozen or not)
- 2 T peanut butter
- 1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
- about 2/3 cup milk, enough to make the mixture blend
Blend together well and pour into molds. Freeze.
Tropical Green Smoothie Pops
- 1 c. coconut milk
- 1 c. fresh pineapple chunks
- 1 ripe banana, frozen
- 1 c. loosely packed baby spinach
Combine all in a blender and blend well, making sure to get all the spinach mixed in! Freeze in molds. Call them “Yoda Popsicles” and never mention the word spinach.
- 2 c. frozen strawberries
- 1/4 c. shredded raw red beet
- 1 1/2 c. almond milk or other milk
- 1 tsp. chia seed (optional)
- 1/2 a ripe banana
- water as needed
Blend everything except water in a high-powered blender, adding water if needed to make it blend smoothly. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.
Some other favorite recipes include:
- Creamy Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles
- Chocolate Covered Strawberry Popsicles
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Popsicles
If you’re into creating with what you have, good for you! Here are some things I keep in mind:
- Dark berries are good for covering up the green colors of spinach, kale, or other leafy greens – and the taste. Blend your greens with water first, then add other ingredients.
- Tropical fruits go well with coconut milk, water, or oil – although I love blueberries and blackberries with coconut, too.
- Avocado is a great way to make a creamy base with good fats. Use half an avocado for a blender-full of smoothie. (One of my favorites is blueberries, avocado, banana, cinnamon, coconut oil, and almond milk.)
- Sometimes the taste can be a little tart. You can always add a tablespoon or two of honey if that is the case. (I find this especially works with mango, which can vary greatly depending on ripeness.)
- And, of course, if you don’t have any molds or are out of room in the freezer, these all make delicious smoothies as well. You may need to add ice for the best frozen texture.