Every parent will have those days when they aren’t 100% sure their toddler has or will ingest the daily recommended doses of healthy food. It’s especially likely during those, “I only eat cheerios” phases, and all the wisdom in the world that kids eat what they need isn’t reassuring. Being an essentially lazy mummy, however concerned with nutrition I may be, I’ve found my go-to solution, rain or shine.
Behold, the smoothie.
My kids think it’s the most amazing treat, and I make a lot of different versions based on what I have available, so it’s never boring!
I always keep full fat yogurt – vanilla or strawberry are favourites – in the fridge, and tend to keep frozen berries on hand as well. My daughter loves bananas, but sometimes only eats half, so I often keep the bottom half to throw in a smoothie later.
It’s also useful to note that I buy pressed juices (fibre/no sugar!) and water them down by at least half when I give my kids juice. So I’ve usually got apple, mango or berry blends in the fridge already too. These days, they’re selling amazing smoothies that are all fruit (e.g. Naked Fruit in the USA or Innocent in the UK), and are still delicious watered down for kids.
But if you’re keen to make sure the kiddos are getting a protein, vitamin, fibre dose all-in-one, this smoothie is the way to go.
Blend together until sippy cup or straw-friendly:
- 1 (or 1.5) banana
- 2 or 3 tablespoons of full fat yogurt, vanilla or flavour of choice
- Handful or two of frozen or fresh berries (blueberries are super foods!)
- Approximately 1-1.5 cup pressed juice of choice (apple and mango are great choices, but grape, or other non acidic juices work well)
- Approximately 1 cup of milk
- Honey to taste if berries are tart – local honey can help allergies!
Mind you, any fruit on hand is smoothie fodder. In season, I’ll use peaches, mango or melon, which my kids find weird to eat in pieces, but love to drink.
Some people say add spinach or kale, or other veg, but I would recommend only adding a tiny bit of spinach if you’re really keen. Kale is too bitter and they’ll reject the whole thing. I added a bit of leftover sweet potato once, but it was a bit thick. Make it your own, though – if your kids like it, all the better!
One thing’s for sure, I rely on this morning, noon and night, not the same day, but you see what I’m saying. If we’re going to a party and I know my kids will be too distracted to eat: smoothie. If they’ve been grumpy about breakfast and we’re almost out the door for several hours: smoothie. It takes five minutes to make and is portable. And if you tend to forget to eat yourself, like me, there’s enough for you too.
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