When my son first started trying solid foods, we had so much fun offering new fruits and vegetables and seeing what he thought of them. With few exceptions, he gobbled down whatever he was offered and ate with gusto – so excited to be exploring this whole new world of chewing and swallowing. My husband and I proudly boasted about what a good eater he was – happily eating things like quinoa, beets, figs, mushrooms, and other things considered “exotic” to the baby palate.
So naturally I was horrified when around his first birthday, he started shaking his head no and throwing fist fulls of my lovingly cooked food to the floor. Perhaps I had a picky eater after all? Now at 17 months old, I realize that he’s not picky, he’s a toddler. This is just how (most of them) are, and as parents it’s our job to get creative in the kitchen to keep their diets healthy and balanced.
My husband and I have always been big smoothie drinkers, so it didn’t take long for us to start thinking about making them for Cullen too. He definitely didn’t want to eat his greens, but I had a feeling we could trick him into drinking them. Enter the green smoothie — packed with nutrient rich fruits and veggies, he slurps these down daily and often asks for more. Here’s our recipe for the Sneaky Greens smoothie:
Sneaky Greens Smoothie
2 ripe bananas
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup frozen mango (or sub your favorite fruit!)
3 medium carrots
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon flax oil or ground flax seed
1 handful of fresh spinach
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
This recipe makes enough for 3-4 servings of smoothie, so perfect to share with the whole family. We usually drink ours at breakfast, and offer Cullen his as a mid-morning snack. It’s a great way to keep him satiated, while sneaking carrots and spinach into his morning beverage. If his big green grin tells me anything afterward, it’s that he either doesn’t notice, or doesn’t mind! Either way, we’ll keep sneaking in greens wherever we can, and working to keep his diet healthy and fresh.