Sneak in nutrients

Heidi Stevens, Chicago TribuneFebruary 13, 2013 

We're normally all for involving kids in food prep, but we're going to ask that you go ahead and bar the kitchen door for this one.

Del Sroufe, the man behind Forks Over Knives -- The Cookbook, is going to get your kids to start their day with kale.

They just can't know it.

Sroufe, like the documentary his cookbook accompanies, touts the benefits of a whole-foods, plant-based diet. His mean green smoothie is a nutrient-rich, fiber-filled, antioxidant-packed dream. But Jamba Juice it ain't.

How do you turn your child's morning smoothie -- a relatively healthy option -- into a breakfast powerhouse? You sneak stuff in. Sroufe's recommendations, with tips for making them palatable:

Kale

If it's not the world's healthiest food, it's near the top of the list.

Tip: Remove the ribs of the raw leaves, chop it finely and toss it in the blender. (This works well with spinach.)

Dates

Swap out your smoothie's sugary yogurts and juices for unsweetened almond milk and 1/2 cup of pitted, coarsely chopped dates or 2 tablespoons date syrup.

Chia seeds

These little guys are all the rage, celebrated for omega-3s, omega-6s, calcium, protein and 11 grams of fiber per ounce.

Coconut water

Proponents push this stuff for its electrolytes, potassium and magnesium. It's also low in sugar, which makes it a good substitute for fruit juice.

Sroufe pairs it with other tropical flavors like pineapple and mango. One cup will provide plenty of liquid to juice up your smoothie.

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