Smoothies are my go-to solution for ensuring that my son gets plenty of nutrition each day.
What I love about smoothies is that you can squeeze plenty of nutrient-rich foods into a single drink, including many ingredients a young child might not eat on his or her own. For example, leafy lettuces have a tendency to make my son gag, but they blend seamlessly into a smoothie that he’ll gulp down. The same goes for ingredients like chia seeds and avocados– he doesn’t necessarily love them on their own, but he’ll happily enjoy them in liquid form.
In each smoothie, I aim to include the following three categories.
- Fruit, which is loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber
- Greens, which are high in iron and folate
- Healthy fats, which are necessary for brain development
The fruit ensures that the overall smoothie tastes good, and then I sneak as many other healthy things into each drink as I can. Here are a few of my favorite ingredients from each category:
The amount of these ingredients can vary in each smoothie, but the general ratio I use looks something like this:
1 cup water
1 cup frozen fruit
1-2 handfuls of leafy greens
1 serving of fat (i.e. 1 teaspoon oil, 1/4 avocado, 1 tablespoon nut butter)
Extra add-in, such as dates, fresh ginger, or cinnamon
Below you’ll find a few of my favorite combinations to help you get started, but the possibilities are endless!
- Make sure you’ve introduced all of the ingredients to your child separately, before putting them in a smoothie, to make sure you’ve ruled out any possible food allergies.
- Rotate the ingredients you use often, to ensure your child gets a variety of nutrients.
- The smoothie recipes above make roughly 12 ounces total, which fits into two Squeasy Snacker pouches. I use these reusable pouches daily and can’t recommend them enough. Made with food grade silicone they are easy to transport for snacking on the road, and they give my son the independence to feed himself– which is very important to him at this age! Plus, they don’t spill when you drop them, which is a nice bonus for keeping my home and car clean.
As I mentioned above, it’s important to make sure your child doesn’t have any allergies to the ingredients you use, but otherwise these smoothies are all appropriate for babies 6 months and older. (The AAP recommends not giving solids to babies until they are at least 6 months of age.)
Reader Feedback: Please feel free to ask any questions or share your favorite smoothie combinations in the comments below!