Smoothies are a great (and easy) way to get nutrient dense fruits and vegetables into your kids without them really knowing it!
Kale, you bettcha!
Beets, of course!
The best part, is that toddlers and kids think that smoothies are the equivalent of having a milkshake. And I, for one, am never going to tell them any differently!
In our house, whenever I yell "'it's smoothie timmmmmeeee..." the girls come running. They start pulling out frozen fruits and veggies from the freezer, grab their kitchen stools and start helping me put together the smoothie of the moment.
In my mind, breakfast, lunch or dunner is always a good time for a smoothie. I usually make smoothies when we are short on time, there is no food in the house or when we have been eating out a lot that week. They are also a great meal for when your child goes through a picky eating stage (or is always a picker eater) because they usually think of smoothies as a treat and not a beverage filled with healthy spinach and flax seeds.
For me, making smoothies is my secret weapon for providing a healthy meal for my little ones.
Okay, let's talk about smoothie cups for toddlers. I have 2 cups that are my hands down favorite smoothie cups for toddlers and kids (and boy have I tested my far share of them). The Thinkbaby Thinkster Straw Bottle by Thinkbaby, is great because it is mostly leakproof (if you turn it upside down and shake the crap out of it you will get a couple of splatters) and they sell reusable straws which are a lifesaver for us moms that don't want to get the pipe cleaners out each time we need to clean the straws. I usually try to rinse the straws out right after each use and either deep clean them when they are getting yucky or just get a new one. And because it seems like I have a lot to say about straws, I have found that If you snip the end of the straw off it makes it easier for the little ones to suck the smoothie out (and doesn't sacrifice its spill-proofness).
The other cup I love is the OXO Tot Twist Lid Bottle. It is newer on the market and we are just testing it out, but so far we absolutely love them. It has a twist-close lid, is leek-proof and has a normal size straw that is perfect for smoothies. I would say this is great for toddlers 18M and older because of the straw size and because there isn't any handles for baby to hold onto.
Also, don't think smoothies are just for toddlers and older kids. I started giving my girls smoothies as soon as they mastered the art of the straw (roughly 10 months of age). I would make a batch of smoothie, pour myself a glass and then add just a little more liquid into theirs so it wasn't as thick and serve to them. The thing you have to watch out for is not adding honey to baby's smoothie before the age of one. Usually, I would just leave it unsweetened, but you can add in a touch of maple syrup or agave nectar if it really needs some sweetness.
So, here we go - 15 amazing smoothie recipes for your toddler, kids, and of course you!
Want more inspiration? Check out the book Simple Green Smoothies for tons of great smoothie recipes. We have used and LOVED so many recipes in here. I usually let Ellie pick out a recipe from their amazing photos and we make it together.