Food on the Run: McCafe' Fruit Smoothies

By , SparkPeople Blogger
The smoothie has increased in popularity over the last several years. So much so that the smoothie maker has recently become one of the hottest selling small appliances. At the same time, smoothie and juice bars have popped up in malls and communities all over the country.

Earlier this week my son asked to stop for a smoothie. Since he is a growing teenager that eats almost hourly as well as being a "fruit boy," as we fondly refer to him, I made the stop. Since this was my first trip to this particular smoothie cafe, I let him make his selection while I looked over the menu boards. While we waited and I reviewed the "supercharged power up" vitamin and protein additive options, I wondered exactly what was in the concoction he had selected that set me back $4.58. He walked out happy with his selection of a 24-ounce Island Lemonade Smoothie (frozen lemonade) while I was a bit disappointed that he ended up with nothing more than a specialty frozen sugar drink instead of something more nutrient rich. The next day I came across an article discussing the new McDonald's McCafe real fruit smoothies that caused me to take a deeper look. I wondered if this could be a more nutrient wise option for the next time my son wanted a smoothie.

A thick, creamy smoothie can be a cold nutrient rich option for a snack or a meal. Choices are unlimited when it comes to selecting combinations of favorite fruits or sweet vegetables and whether you include fat-free yogurt, ice cream, soymilk or ice. Making your own is certainly the most cost effective and nutrient wise option and there are plenty of recipes to help you get started. However, if you are out running errands and you (or your teenager) want a cool drink, a McCafe' smoothie might be an option.

Strawberry Banana Fruit Smoothie

Calories - 210

Fat - .5 grams

Sodium – 35 mg

Carbohydrates – 49 grams

Fiber – 2 grams

Protein – 2 grams

The strawberry banana fruit blend is made by blending strawberry and banana fruit puree with water, sugar, and concentrated apple juice a well as several preservatives and thickening agents. This blend is mixed with low fat yogurt and ice.

Wild Berry Smoothie

Calories - 210

Fat - .5 grams

Sodium – 30 mg

Carbohydrates – 48 grams

Fiber – 3 grams

Protein – 2 grams

The wild berry fruit blend is made by blending strawberry puree, water, sugar, and blueberry puree with concentrated pineapple and apple juices and several preservatives and thickening agents. This blend is mixed with low fat yogurt and ice.

A 12 fl oz serving provides 70 percent daily value for Vitamin C as well as 70 mg of calcium. At $2.29, perhaps I will stop at Mickey D's next time my son needs a smoothie pick-me-up while we are out running errands.

Have you tried either of the new McCafe' Smoothies and if so, what did you think? If you like to make your own smoothies, what are your favorite concoctions?

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Sorry - but not sure why you think this is a good choice. It has 44 grams of sugar in a 12 oz serving -- there are 4 grams of sugar in a teaspoon of sugar so a 12 oz serving is the equivalent of eating 11 teaspoons of sugar! Report
I have tried the smoothies at McDonalds and liked them. Seeing the carb count makes them a problem, though. I used to get smoothies all the time, but now I try to make my own. I haven't quite gotten them right yet, but I keep trying. Report
Here in Canada, McDonalds has Mango Pineapple smoothies instead of the Berry. They offer it with yogurt or without, and also offer an 8 oz "snack size" that has only 120-130 calories! Sounds like a nice treat on a hot summer day. Looking forward to trying one when I'm out and about one day... Report
I have eaten the smoothies at McDonald's. They are really good. But I enjoy making them at home. I use whatever I have. A banana is a great thickening agent that's a healthy choice! I freeze fresh fruit I get at the farmers market so I can eat smoothies all year long! I want to try and add a vegetable but I'm a little nervous. Report
Haha. Until I use my fancy expensive Vitamix enough times to make its cost per use pennies rather than dollars, I'm making all my stuff at home. ;) My favorite right now: ice, bananas, unsweetened cocoa, dollop of homemade raw almond butter, cinnamon, dash of sea salt, dash of vanilla and unsweetened almond milk. OMNOMNOM. Report
I tried these & thought they were pretty good --- much better choice when my little one & I want to stop for a snack!!!

We enjoy making smoothies at home --- just some frozen fruit & yogurt --- thats all we put in --- we also freeze the mixture in small single serving containers or popsicle molds for when we ae craving ice cream!!! GREAT replacement!!! Report
Good to know, haven't tried yet because it's FF but the next time I'm in the mood to drink lunch, maybe I'll stop Report
I love the Wild Berry Smoothie @ McD's, my mother and I stop every Saturday for one of the large ones for breakfast (I think that is 320 calories). The Strawberry Banana is surprisingly "Berry" good too, I thought the banana might overpower the drink, but it does not. It is a very mellow blend and just simply refreshing. Report
i tried a small smoothie a few weeks ago and really loved it then i came home and looked up the nutritional values and was pleasantly surprised (have you looked at the #'s on the frappe?). i read a blog trashing mcdonald's for offering this and saying it should be more healthful. i don't go to mcdonald's with the anticipation of eating something nutrient rich. i'm usually just hoping to come out of there with enough calories left to maybe eat dinner. i thought it was a great afternoon pick me up. Report
Happy to see healthier choices. Booster Juice is a bit on the expensive side. We make our own with our Magic Bullet and LOVE THEM!!! My 3 yr old loves smoovies and my 11 month old has just figured out the straw and slurps them up!! Report
I tried the Berry and thought it was great....can't wait to try the Strawberry Banana! Report
Thanks...this was really helpful because there was a coupon in Sunday's paper for a free McDonald's Smoothie and I'm carrying it around but was afraid to try it because I wasn't sure of the nutrition information. Now, on this hot weekend, I'll give it a try Report
I've tried the berry one and it was awesome. I agree, I'm going to McDonald's when i need a smoothie, its cheaper, healthy, and tastes just as good! Report
ive tried them on 1 hot day it was very refreshing i tried the berry it was very good Report
I've tried both and liked both...I think the strawberry banana would be my top pick of the two. I think that, for fast food, they are a great option. I truly appreciate the comments regarding homemade smoothies being better, and that probably is the case. But, my real world does involve fast food from time to time...and I appreciate the fact that these healthier options are now part of the menu. It's a great option to have, IMO. Report
I saw the info on the McD webite about this smoothie (not a terribly bad option)and downloaded a coupon (haven't used it yet). I do make my own at home but sometimes it's nice to know I can get one when we're out. Report
I had the berry one this morning, I was good and I am really full. But I need to start making them at home Report
I usually make my own smoothies. All I use is fruit, ice, and a little honey if it usb;t sweet enough. I get plenty of protein and calcium elsewhere and dairy makes me cough so I skip it. I make mine in a Vitamix mixer and in it I can make smoothies so smooth and creamy feeling that I never miss the yogurt.

One thing I do is keep bags of frozen fruit around so if I don't have enough fresh fruit on hand I can still make them. Big bags of frozen mixed fruit are inexpensive at Costco or Sams. Report
I prefer my homemade real fruit smoothies. I had a coupon for a free McD frappe one day and it was pretty good - until I looked online for the calorie count and found it was over 500 calories!!! Report
My hubby brought me a Strawberry Banana one over the weekend. It was good for a quick grab, I just wonder how much sugar is in them. I would have preferred wild berry as I am not crazy about banana unless it is the fruit itself. Report
Adding sugar eliminates this option for me. Report
I just pulled a coupon from my Weekend paper for a free McD's smoothie. I will definitely try one. Report
Sorry, McD....I make my own smoothies. Report
Recently traveled and had an upset stomach. McDonald's smoothies were about all I ate while on the road. I was glad for this option and it did soothe my tummy. Report
Great article! My family is in the McDonalds business so I think it is great that you are promoting the healthier options at MickeyDs. The smoothies are very tasty and are a great option for a midday snack. Thanks for reminding people that there are healthy options at fast food joints! Report
I will try one if I happen to be at McDonalds (can't tell you that last time I was there). But I have been using the Yoplait smoothie mixes and love those. Report
I thinking making mine at home will be the best bet - but I dont see the hurt in having a Mac Smoothie once in a while. The sugar is what bothers me though Report
Sugar, preservatives and thickening agents? No, thank you. I'll make mine at home! Report
I haven't tried the smoothies yet but I have a coupon for one so I'm going to try one hopefully soon. ^ - ^ Report
I tried the strawberry banana smoothie and it was super good! I was impressed and would definitely buy another one! Report
I've tried both flavors at McDonald's and I have to say the strawberry banana is my fav! Report
I haven't seen these yet but I'm hesittant to try them with the added sugar. Calories are okay but I think adding sugar to a fruit smoothie is silly since it would already be sweet. Report
I tried the wild berry smoothie- it had a funny taste and between me and my husband we didn't even finish it. It's worth the extra $2 for a good smoothie... Report
Thanks for this information! I saw these advertised over the weekend & was wondering about them. I may just try one when I'm out running errands! Report
McD's smoothies are a healthier option than a milkshake, but given the choice I prefer the more natural smoothies I make at home. I did have the wild berry smoothie while I was traveling a week or two ago. It was pretty good. I'm not keen on the added sugar and preservatives, but at least McD's is making an effort to offer food that doesn't have a gazillion calories. Report
tried it they are good .. good for a snack once in awhile when you are out won't buy on a regular basis Report
I tried the Strawberry-Banana one because I had a free coupon that I got from a magazine. It was pretty good but I probably wouldn't buy it. I'd rather make my own. However I got another free coupon in SUnday's paper which I will use one day. It is something that is handy on a hot day if there isn't time to go home and make one though. I live in a small town where there are not a lot of options for smoothies that are quick and easy to get in and out of so it is handy. Report
I don't understand why there is a need to add SUGAR to a smoothie? I make smoothies on a regular basis and I never buy smoothies from a restaurant. I've made smoothies with everything like apples, pineapple,nectarines,pears,berries,
you name it! Report
Strawberry banana was McGood. Report
I have my own Smoothie that I have at least 3 times a week. I use it as part of my 6 Word Diet. It is over 300 calories, that I drink in 3 parts. Each 1.5 hours apart. In it I put Whey Protein, Ultra Reds powder, colidal minerals, lemon juice (fresh), and a variety of fruits. Report
My GD had a McD smoothie and she loved it. It was ahot day and she wanted something cold. She had the Berry smoothie and she cant wait to go back for the banana, so we will do that later in the vacation.
We enjoy MacDonalds and love we have the u-promise through them also. Report
I agree with Rachell, why would I want the extra junk in my smoothie? I don't generally drink smoothies, but I will make myself a protein shake twice a day. Vanilla is my favorite! Report
I love the healthier choice Report
Why would I want preservatives and thickening agents in my fruit smoothie? Report
it's probably not the worst thing you could have but I doubt it's the best either. in a pinch, perhaps it would be ok but I wouldn't make it a habit or get your son in the habit of running to a fast food spot. Report
If I go I always get the vanilla shake. Yes its loaded with calories but its my once a week dine out treat. I am not a "big smoothie" person, I prefer yogurts & real fruit. Report
I need to start making smoothies! Report
i make my own the one at mcdonalds are over priced i make my own that are better for you.. Report
The other day I made my best smoothie ever...greek yogurt, soy milk, agave nectar (low glycemic index sweetener similar to honey), and some frozen strawberries and blueberries. The Greek yogurt has a lot of protein so for me it turned out to be a perfectly balanced meal. Report
Hi to All Diabetics,
I battle Hypoglycemia, so I have to watch the carbs as well (35-40 grams per day.) When I was working out at 5:45 AM, the smoothie was my energy source. Try a local health food (not a chain) store where the person is truely "certified" in nutrition. They can better guide you when you have health restrictions.

I highly recommend home made fruit smoothies with a whole food base. I can not ingest dairy, so l choose rice or hemp based products with whole foods. If I added fruits, it was a low carb fruit (berries) + goat or soy yogurt. It may not sound appealing, but it was very good.

Life Time's Life Basics as well as Source of Life products can be purchased in packets. That way you can taste before you invest. I have never been disappointed! Report
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