In our house, we make smoothies almost everyday. I have ten children and sometimes it can be a challenge to be sure they get plenty of fruit and vegetables in their diets, especially the ones whose appetites are not as good as I wish they were. So every morning one of the first things I do is get out my blender and make a pitcher full of fruit smoothie for my children – and myself – to start our day with.

I buy bags of frozen fruit at the grocery store, and this is my base. I like to have plenty of bananas on hand, too, and I'm at the store when they have the over ripe ones in paper bags for sale at a reduced price, I buy as many bags as I can afford. I take them home, slice them up, put them single layer on a cookie sheet, and put them in the freezer. When they are frozen, I slide them off the sheet into a gallon size zip lock baggie and save them for our smoothies. But if I don't have frozen bananas, fresh ones, the riper the better, work just as well.

I put the frozen fruit and bananas in the smoothie making machine, then add liquid. I like orange juice the best, but I sometimes use apple juice. Since we buy fresh cow's milk from a friend, I skim some of the cream off the top and put maybe a fourth of a cup, and a teaspoon of vanilla. Two tablespoons of sugar make them taste better to the little children. I then add just enough water from my Berkley water purifier to make it liquid enough for the blender to mix. I turn the blender on, adding more water as needed. This makes a smooth, almost frozen breakfast drink. My children LOVE it!

During the hot Texas summers, I sometimes make smoothies for a snack in the afternoon when my sweaty children come in from play. For these, I use the same frozen fruit and bananas as above, but I will sometimes use homemade or store bought vanilla ice cream. Lemon lime soda is also wonderful in these afternoon smoothies. I've found that using fresh lemon and lime juice, a little sugar and seltzer water is a natural substitute for the soda, though. This is so much better for the children than cookies or cupcakes. It refreshes them after playing so hard, and I know it's good for them.

Smoothies are a favorite around our house. In fact, one of the first things my two year old says when he gets up in the morning is "Make moofies, mommy!"