Smooth Operation

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Jan Bonnaer knows kids like to smash up food. That's why the cooking demonstrator at Whole Foods Market likes to teach them how to make smoothies.

The cold fruit drinks also are a safe option because they involve a blender rather than a stovetop or oven, said Bonner, who hosts regular cooking demonstrations for kids at the Whole Food's Dublin location.

The good thing about fruit smoothies is you can tailor the recipe to a kid's likes and dislikes, Bonner said. It's also a way to encourage kids to try new fruits, she said.

During a recent smoothie demo, she added mango and kiwi - fruits that not every kid has tasted - to the blender.

"I always try to get kids to try new things," said Bonner, who tries to pair new foods with familiar ones. "You can always get an unknown down them, if there's a known something."

She usually makes her smoothies with one firm fruit and one juicy fruit but encourages parents to use whatever fruits they have in the house.

"People always have that banana that's overripe," and is perfect for a smoothie, she said.

Sonya Brunner eagerly sampled the drink after watching Bonner prepare it in the produce section of Whole Foods.

"I taste apple," the 4-year-old Clintonville resident said.

Sonya attended the smoothie demonstration with her mother, Leslie, and 2-year-old brother Luke.

Leslie Brunner, who makes smoothies all the time, wanted to see how her recipe compared to Whole Foods'.

Brunner uses yogurt where Bonner added juice. Bonner avoids dairy during her demos in case kids have allergies or follow a vegan diet.

Brunner said she intends to stick with yogurt. "I like adding that calcium punch," she said.

She also likes to serve the drinks to her kids after they go swimming at the indoor pool at Ohio State University. "I needed something that I could pack that would immediately fill them up," she said.

Surprise Smoothie


  • 1 cup of juice (or yogurt)
  • 1 cup of ice
  • 1 cup of a juicy fruit
  • 1 cup of a firm fruit


  1. Grownup: Measure the juice.
  2. Kid: Pour juice into the blender.
  3. Kid: Fill a one-cup measuring container with ice and dump into the blender.
  4. Kid and Grownup: Peel and cut up the fruit, removing any seeds.
  5. Kid: Add fruit to blender.
  6. Grownup: Blend the ingredients to the desired thickness. Pour the beverage into a glass. Serve and slurp up immediately!