A Sneaky Way to Get Your Toddler To Eat SpinachEmily McClements
As parents of toddlers, we all know how hard it can be at times to get them to eat their vegetables. And this is especially true for some of the healthiest veggies like spinach.
At our house we have a no-fail way to get our kiddos to eat their spinach, every single time.
We hide it. In something really yummy and nutritious.
They think they’re getting a treat, and really they’re getting a healthy serving of Fiber, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Manganese. Not too shabby.
Our secret? The Green Smoothie.
But, it’s not actually green. There’s just lots of green goodness in it, that you don’t even know is there. What makes it taste so good is all of the rest of the ingredients: frozen fruit or berries, milk and yogurt, and a banana or other fresh fruit. And of course, it’s always best to use organic ingredients whenever possible.
Here’s how we make Green Smoothies at our house:
Start with Spinach and Milk 1 of 9First, put the spinach and milk in the blender and blend together on high. This is important because you want to make the spinach as smooth and invisible as possible. If you put all the ingredients in together, you will be left with bigger pieces of spinach, which definitely does not go over as well.
Mmm, Green Goodness 2 of 9Here's your spinach all blended up. If possible, you may not want your kids to see the blender at this point. But, if they are anything like mine, they will come running when they hear the blender and want to help.
Add the Frozen Fruit 3 of 9Next, add the frozen fruit and berries, about 2 cups worth, depending on how much you want to make. This time I used frozen cherries, raspberries and strawberries. Blueberries are also great. You can also sneak some other veggies in here if you want. I've added frozen steamed and pureed squash and sweet potato, and this time I added some frozen shredded zucchini.
Then Add the Yogurt 4 of 9The yogurt goes in next and adds a nice creaminess and thickness without having to use ice or ice cream. We usually use plain yogurt, but vanilla would also be good.
Fresh Fruit and Add-Ins on Top 5 of 9I usually add a banana and any other fresh fruit I want to use up on the top. The banana adds sweetness so you don't have to add any sugar or other sweetener. I also usually add a tablespoon or two of ground flax seed, but I was out this time. Blend it all up, adding milk to thin, or yogurt to thicken, as needed.
It’s almost like magic! 6 of 9As everything blends together it slowly changes from green to a pinkish or purpleish color, depending on the fruit and berries that you use.
Ta-Da! 7 of 9All done, and who would know that there is anything green in there?
Yum! 8 of 9He can't even wait to climb down from his helping chair to drink it up!
Delicious and Nutritious! 9 of 9See the recipe for this great "green" smoothie below.
Green Smoothie Recipe
- 1 handful (about 1 cup) raw spinach
- 1/2 cup organic milk
- 2 cups frozen fruit/berries (and other frozen veggies as desired)
- 1/2-3/4 cup organic yogurt
- 1 whole banana (and other fresh fruit as desired)
- Add-ins (ex. 1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed)
Add spinach and milk to blender and blend on high until smooth. Add in the rest of the ingredients in the order listed and blend until well blended and creamy, adding a splash of milk as needed to thin, or extra yogurt as needed to thicken.