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My toddler has started asking for banana smoothies for breakfast after seeing me whizz them up during the day. She is quite picky with tastes so I’ve had to keep them basic with just banana, honey and milk to start. As this is her main source of food in the mornings, I’m keen to add more ingredients to bulk them up for her first meal of the day and to try different flavours. What are some ideas for basic but nutritious and tasty smoothies for little ones?
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Oh, that's great! My littles have not joined the smoothie bandwagon, and I wish they would.
Can you try to sneak in a little bit of peanut butter or Nutella to boost the protein content? If not, maybe add some Pediasure High Protein drink. Also, yogurt has more protein than milk, which can be an easy swap.
I would add apples, carrots, and cucumbers first as they have little flavor or color. I know how toddlers are with change. Mix it up, and they won't even give it a try. So the transition needs to be very subtle.
Having the child help is a great way to introduce new foods to the mix. If they like blueberries, allow them to add one or 2 for fun and see how it goes.
I love giving smoothies to the little ones! It's a great way to add vegetables to their diets.
Spinach and other softer greens blend really well into smoothies without changing the flavor.
Cauliflower is another vegetable you wouldn't necessarily think of, but it works in smoothies.
We use a lot of frozen berry blends, too. Plain greek yogurt makes the smoothies nice and creamy. Adding cinnamon is also a fun way to mix up the flavor.
You can also add oats, flax seeds, hemp seeds, etc.
Having a 2-year old granddaughter who loves smoothies, I think they are a great way to introduce new flavors, and add potent nutrients to a toddler's diet.
Try adding some avocado. It is a great source of quality fat, has very little taste when added to smoothies, and, if blended well enough, should not produce a choking hazard.
Beets are also another veggie which work well in smoothies, although they need to be cooked first. This renders them both smooth and sweet. These are so dense in nutrients, providing magnesium, folate and Vitamin C. And they make smoothies a really pretty purple color!
You can try replacing the banana with mango and see if your little one likes the flavor. There's also nut butters to use, instead of avocado, and if there are no known nut allergies. And if you need to add more fiber to your toddler's diet, try steaming a small batch of cauliflower, then blending really well. Zero taste, lots of nutrients!