This week I am posting another tip/recipe to encourage your toddler to eat their greens, inspired by Renee (thanks Renee!).
½ small head broccoli, chopped into small flowerets and steamed, reserve water and chill in fridge.
Large handful of baby spinach
1 kiwi fruit, pealed
½ small punnet very ripe strawberries
1 very ripe banana
Blend all ingredients, adding water from steamed broccoli to achieve desired thickness. The thicker the easier for young children to drink. If using broccoli and water straight from the saucepan, add ice cubes to cool before drinking.
Since my son was 12 months old, I have had a hard time getting him (now 16months) to eat green vegetables, however he loved this smoothie!
It is not recommended to give children fruit juice, even 100%, as juice fills up little tummies (stopping them from eating their meals), does not provide any fibre and is a high concentration of sugar (albeit fruit sugar) which is not necessary for young children. A smoothie blends up the whole fruit, providing fibre. However, it is still important to count the fruit provided by a smoothie towards daily recommended serves of fruit, to avoid excess energy intake. A serve of this Green Smoothie provides just over ½ serve fruit each, and 1 serve of Green Smoothie could be included as part of a healthy diet e.g. as mid afternoon snack (avoid giving before meals as may fill up small tummies and stop them from eating their meal).
Green Smoothies can be made using many different variations, such as using Kale instead of broccoli and spinach, using other fruit such as frozen berries. I chose the above ingredients for following reasons:
- Green vegetables are great sources of iron, calcium, folate and fibre. I used broccoli and baby spinach as they happened to be in my fridge!
- Ripe Banana helps to make smoothie sweet and therefore appetizing for toddlers.
- Strawberries and Kiwi fruit provide Vitamin C which helps absorption of iron, and are currently in season and therefore cheap! Alternatively mixed or frozen berries could be used which are also great sources of vitamin C.
It is important to offer vegetables in variety of different ways and textures, therefore green smoothies can be used as just one way to introduce greens to your little one. Stay tuned for more tips/recipes to encourage toddlers to eat their greens as I recommend offering a variety of vegetables in different forms from day to day and week to week.