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).

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