Got a blender and some left over fruit and juice? Making healthy and delicious popsicles is the easiest thing on the planet. Getting your kids to eat them though may not be. Why will your kid reject the delicious home made popsicle for one of those nasty colored sugar water things at the grocery store? One word – marketing! If you’re gonna get your kid to make those healthy choices you’re going to need a marketing plan of your own.
As any good marketer can tell you the food companies are spending millions of dollars researching how to make your kid believe without a doubt that otter pops are way better. I’m not talking about ads either I’m talking about the color, the packaging and the name. All of these things go into our perception of how food tastes and this determines our choices.
Packaging Any chef will tell you that you eat first with your eyes and that’s where most food marketing starts. It has been shown time and time again that if you give someone the exact same food in two different packages they will think one is better tasting than the other. I’m taking a tip from what the food industry has already figured out. Kids love things in squeeze packages. There is something tactile fun about pushing up those otter pops. There are some reusable silicone ice pop molds out there, but in the end they scream “home made” to your kid, and you know that means “not as good” to them. I found these amazing zipzicles at amazon and my frozen treat worries were over! Kids love these things and as an added bonus they travel well.
The Name Would a popsicle by any other name taste as sweet? Apparently not. Try this test. Mix Orange and Pineapple juices and freeze them in your favorite popsicle mold. Put two out on plates. Tell your kid one is an orange pineapple popsicle and the other is an “arctic orange monster blast” or a “tropical pirate chiller.” See which one gets chosen. So experiment with fun names for your pops!
Color Use lots of colorful fruits and juices to make your pops pop! Kiwi and honeydew mellon will make a wonderful exciting green. Pomegranate juice makes intense purple/pink and adds a lot of sweetness. I wish I could make something blue somehow but it’s simply not a color found in nature…which is why we probably shouldn’t eat it!
Now to the recipe. Really you don’t need one, just a few guidelines. Toss some fruit and juice in your blender and freeze. Apples tend to give an odd texture and the “pulp” part of the apple will rise to the top for some unappealing pops. Make sure you have more juice than pureed fruit because again you’ll get a layer of fruit pulp at the top. I make pops most Fridays with whatever left over fruit is sitting around. When there is left over bits from breakfast during the week I just toss them into a zip lock back in the fridge for later blending. Make any combo you like with whatever you’ve got laying around. Here are a couple of my favorite experiments:
Tropic Blast Pops
1 ripe banana
1/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup mango juice (or some left over mango)
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Sprinkle of cardamom