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post by Noelle Martin
The arrival of warm weather brings two things with children: increased appetites for snacks and constant requests for cool treats like popsicles. This recipe is a perfect option for both! It’s packed with appetite satisfying nutrition and will help cool your little one’s temperature down from the inside out. And as always, there are fun lessons that you can teach your child as you make them! I hope your children enjoy these as much as mine do!
2 cups of coconut milk
3 Tbsp. hemp hearts or chia seeds (or a mix of both)
1 serving of your choice of Protein/Probiotic powder for children. For example, KidzShake (whey based) or Sneakz Organic (vegan)
For a nutritional boost add a little frozen kale or spinach too!
1) Add all ingredients to your favourite high-powered blender and blend on the “smoothie” or “ice cream” setting if it has one of these (or medium high if it doesn’t).
2) Pour into your favourite popsicle mold.
3) Freeze for 8 hours or more and enjoy as a healthy and nutritious snack or dessert!
The hemp hearts and/or chia seeds in this recipe offer a source of complete protein for your child’s growing muscles and bones and omega 3 fatty acids which support their developing eyes and brain.
“Kids in the Kitchen” Learning Notes
Letter recognition and letter sounds: For this recipe, we focused on the letter “P” for POPSICLE! I had a flashcard with the letter “P” on it and we talked about the sound the letter makes and then other words that start with the same starting sound such as “POUR the milk, hemp hearts/chia seeds and POWDER into the blender," and then "PLACE the banana in;" "PUT the lid onto the blender”; “PRESS the smoothie button”; and “POUR the smoothie into the POPSICLE mold.”
Colors: For this recipe, we talked a lot about the color BROWN which is a color I don’t tend to talk about a lot but just as important as the more common colours. We talked about how the chocolate powder turned everything and brown and then other colours that popsicles can be. We also talked about other things that are brown in nature such as sticks, fall leaves, tree trunks, and some birds.
Texture/Solid vs. Liquid: When making smoothies, ice cream, soups, or popsicles children are always in awe of how separate foods “become one” in the blending process. It is a great time to teach them about SOLIDS vs LIQUIDS. The process of FREEZING the popsicles adds another element of texture than many recipes do not cover. When you go to serve the popsicles you have to run warm water on the outside for about 10 seconds. This is a great time to teach about the process of MELTING.
Numbers and Mathematical Skills: This recipe has a short list of ingredients which allows for fun and simple COUNTING, ADDING and SUBTRACTING. Our blender also does a count down while the smoothie is mixing so I love using that to give the boys a visual on COUNTING BACKWARDS. Even if your bender doesn’t have this feature you can still count backwards before turning it off.
Life Skills: In this recipe, we discussed PATIENCE because we had to wait for the popsicles to freeze rather than just drinking the smoothie right away. We also talked about SHARING the popsicles with friends since there was a whole tray and we don’t’ need them all.