My four year old son has been requesting strawberry smoothies lately. We make these at home in a Vitamix, but any blender would work, just defrost your frozen fruit a little longer if your blender blades can’t handle fully frozen fruit. If you don’t have a blender, check you local Buy Nothing or Craigslist pages for blenders if you are interested in trying this out. Homemade smoothies are great for using ingredients you want and controlling the amount of sugar added.
We’re using a 16 oz. Squeasy Sport here and it’s great for smoothies, yogurt and applesauce. It is a reusable silicone food pouch that is easy to clean. We wash ours by hand but it can go in the dishwasher. We also have a 6 oz. Squeasy Snacker from when our son was younger. We tried our little 4 oz. steel cups with a short steel straw at first when he was about two, but he knocked them over. Squeasy is what we chose for our toddler to have a mobile and clean smoothie experience. Squeasys also work great in lunchboxes; we send the smaller one with lunch to playgroup. It’s great for kids to have something they can open themselves. They enjoy doing things themselves and don’t have to wait for a teacher to help. There is a red insert that comes with the lids that helps regulate fluid flowrate. When my son was younger we kept it in, but once he turned four and he practiced a few times, we can leave the red insert out now.
Saving Resources and Saving Money
Reusable containers are great at saving both resources and money.
- Instead of having a single-use Styrofoam or plastic cup with plastic lid and plastic straw to process, or a smoothie drink or tube to handle, you can just rinse out this food pouch.
- Styrofoam can only be recycled at a facility that accepts it; it does not go in curbside recycling carts. Styrofoam can be dropped off at the City of Austin’s Recycle & Reuse Drop-off Center.
- Remember that plastic straws are not recyclable in curbside recycling carts or at most recycling facilities. They clog the recycling sorting machines. Plastic straws are also one of the most common items found in beach cleanups.
- Most yogurt cups are made of plastic and should be recycled. While Austin accepts all types (#s) and colors of plastic to recycle, not all providers or areas do the same so check with your local recycler. You’ll see in the image above from What Do I Do With? that the foil lids from yogurt can be rinsed and balled up with other aluminum to be recycled in Austin, TX. Ball it up 2 inches or larger and put it in your blue recycling cart.
- Yogurt/smoothie tubes or squeeze pouches typically go in the trash. There are some TerraCycle programs that accept food pouches that have the twist lids.
Shop in bulk is one of the resolutions you’ll see to have a greener new year. This can be either or both shopping from bulk bins with reusable, recyclable or compostable containers from stores (if you are able), or if you can afford to and will consume the item during the appropriate window, buying in larger quantities. On bulk purchases the per unit cost will be lower (even though the up front cost may be higher) and there will be less containers to deal with at the end. Always check the expiration or sell by date and calculate out if you and your family, friends or neighbors will be able to consume that quantity in the specified timeframe. If the product goes bad/expires before you consume it and you need to compost it, that’s not really in the spirit of the idea. Smoothies supplies like fruit, yogurt and even applesauce come in larger containers you can portion out daily or as needed into a Squeasy.
What do you put in your Squeasy? Do you have a great smoothie recipe kids love you’d like to share?
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