Even with the best of eaters, getting the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables is a challenge. Are your kids (or you, for that matter) getting the recommended 5-9 servings per day? If that seems like an impossible goal, try having your children drink their fruits and veggies. I’m not talking about upping their daily allowance of juice boxes…I’m talking about green smoothies.

Eeeewwwww” — go ahead…that’s how everyone reacts.

I stumbled upon the idea of green smoothies through a series of blogs about raw foods and clean eating. Feeling rather foodie-brave, I decided to try one (disclaimer: I am an extremely picky eater). Turns out, I love green smoothies. It’s an everyday, I-miss-you-when-we’re-not-together kind of love. My teens aren’t quite as smitten as I am…but they do offer up the occasional cautious compliment.

There is a lot of research around the benefits of incorporating green smoothies into your diet. If you’re interested, I’d encourage you to pick up a copy of Green Smoothie Revolution by Victoria Boutenko. It’s an excellent resource for information and recipes. One of the greatest things about green smoothies is how easy, and accessible, they are. I’m pretty sure that you already have everything that you need. Here are a few easy tips to get you started.

1. Start with mild greens, like baby spinach. You can add in more interesting greens later.

2. Bananas are terrific for texture. I buy bunches on sale and let them get really ripe. Then I slice them onto waxed paper, freeze for about an hour, then store in freezer bags. I also find that bananas help me feel full until later in the morning.

3. All fruits are fair game. I’ve used peaches, pears, pineapple, mango, honeydew, strawberries, blackberries, apples, and blueberries in my smoothies. Depending on the strength of your blender, you may need to peel some fruits (like apples) first.

4. Avocados and carrots are excellent additions. Avocados add a smooth texture (and healthy fats), while carrots add a touch of sweetness (and lots of Vitamin A).

5. Blend your smoothie with water, not milk. Keep adding water until you get the consistency that you like.

A tasty first-time green smoothie:

1 cup pineapple chunks
1 banana
1 small peach
1 carrot (shredded)
2 cups baby spinach

Blend spinach and water, then fruit. Add additional water as needed. Enjoy!

Think that your kids will turn up their noses at the green color? Try calling it a Shrek smoothie, or an Incredible Hulk smoothie. Or, just throw in some berries to turn it into a purple smoothie.

It really is easy to be a little more green (plus orange, yellow, red and purple)…and it tastes great, too. Here’s to your health!