Sunday, March 29, 2015

Toddler Smoothie

You all have shown a lot of interest in my Toddler Smoothie, to ensure your picky eaters get enough fruits and veggies every day. I know I've listed a brief summary before but I've decided to go a little more in depth! So, first things first, your kid needs more than just fruits and veggies for a healthy diet, so if they are picky you'll need to keep what they are pick about in mind.

Is it leafy greens? Slimy fruits? Meat? For us it's mostly vegetables and meat that's a problem so his smoothie contains a lot of vitamin rich greenery and protein. If your kid gets enough protein through other foods, you can skip it entirely. Too much protein will cause constipation. Too much fruit can cause the opposite problem. My son enjoys fruit and 100% juice, so what I add to his smoothie is just to taste.

So for the ultimate nutritious smoothie I combine the following in our Magic Bullet (a blender will work just fine):

  • 1 whole kale leaf
  • 1/2 carrot
  • 1/4 a ripe banana
  • 1" slice of extra firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup juice (kid's choice)
Sometimes as a treat I'll add a couple maraschino cherries, but not every day (they are very sweet). Sometimes instead of banana I'll sweeten the blend with about 1/2 a teaspoon of black strap molasses. You can also add infant oatmeal for added fiber if that's something your toddler is picky about.

Smoothie should be thin enough to easily suck through a straw, with no lumps, but not so thin that it's watery. You can add or subtract juice as needed here. You can also supplement juice with water (still yummy, I've tried it) or even milk if your little one could use the added calories.

If they aren't feeling well a smoothie is a great way to not only make sure they get essential nutrition but you can use it to mask ingredients that can help them feel better faster they normally may not want to eat. Such as a dash of ginger for an upset tummy, 1/2 a teaspoon of  honey for a sore throat (over 12 months of age!), or chamomile tea to relieve gas.

I serve smoothies in a straw cup, which is a step up from the sippy cup (but most toddlers find these easier to drink from anyhow, so don't be intimidated if you use a normal sippy usually).

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Entertaining a Toddler (For Free!)

Top 10 Ways to Entertain a Toddler (Without Costing You Anything)

“Do you like my hat?” In which you put random household objects and/or toys that are not hats on your head and ask in a very silly voice, “Do you like my hat?!”

Optional: Pretend the object has fallen off of your head and proclaim, “Oh no, my hat!” and encourage the tiny human to run after and retrieve your hat and put it back on your head.

Optional: As the tiny human attempts to reach up and put your hat back on, tickle their armpit. Not always, but sometimes, so they never know when it’ll happen and wind up laughing preemptively every time.

Repeat forever.

2.) Sing the alphabet until none of the letters sound like letters to you anymore.

3.) Count down from 5 with your fingers. When you reach 1 shout, “Blast off!” and make your index finger shoot towards the ceiling.

Optional: Fly your finger around the room making rocket noises.

4.) Get the child to run up and down the hallway (this is usually easier than it sounds). Start hiding behind corners, furniture, and doors without them seeing. When they run by pop out and say, “Peek-a-boo!”

Optional: Tickle them when you pop out.

5.) Throw a blanket over their head, ask repeatedly “Where’s (their name)?” until they reveal themselves from under the blanket and then say, as if surprised, “Oh! There’s (their name)!” Cover them back up and start over. Eventually they’ll start covering themselves up and that’s much funnier/cuter because they’re terrible at it and you can usually still see them.

6.) Read children’s books until you know them by heart. Ones that rhyme are really easy to remember. Forever. You’ll take that book to your grave.

7.) When in doubt offer snacks and/or beverage. Don’t over-do juice or you’ll regret it. There will be poop. Too much poop. Your life will become poop. Respect juice. It is toddler ambrosia, they will drink it nonstop all day if you let them.

8.) Diapers are easier to change when songs are involved. Don’t know any? Just make some up, they’ll have no idea. Turn a regular song into a kid’s song by replacing random words with their name or character’s/toys they like. Clap your hands, bob your head, act like you’re the best at this even if you can’t hit the notes.

9.) Watch music videos on YouTube. I have no idea why, but lots of babies are mesmerized by music on the computer monitor. Bass is a bonus. Woodkid is a great staple because his music sounds epic and his videos are engaging, but his lyrics are never inappropriate so you won’t anger any parents.

10.) Take a walk. Let them collect rocks, leaves, sticks, etc. Act like they’ve found something truly amazing every time they show you a thing. Point out the sky. Sometimes that’ll enrapture them for five or more minutes.