With simple ingredients and a quick method, this yummy berry smoothie is a great option for breakfast, snack time, or even dessert. It packs in Vitamin C, potassium, fat, and fiber for a balanced mix of nutrients that will keep your toddler's belly full and their energy levels stable (well, as much as is possible with a toddler!). You can even freeze it into pops!
As baby T approaches the 1 year mark, I've been working to expose her to a variety of flavors and foods. Smoothies were big on my list since I never gave them to my older daughter and now she's sort of afraid of them...though she did tell me recently that she thinks she'd like one if it had apples and cheese in it. Anyway, a few times a week, I make a smoothie for T and I to share. This often happens at breakfast, but I sometimes also send one with her to the sitter or freeze them into little pops for an afternoon snack on a warm day. She's taken to drinking from straws really well and seems to love sucking down the flavorful mixtures.
I know that it can be tempting to try to pack in all of the nutrients to every smoothie—and trust me, I've made a few that have gone over the deep end with ingredients and have wound up not tasting all that great—it's definitely better to keep smoothies for little ones simpler. There's no reason to add 10 ingredients when just a few can make a nutritious meal option, and there's no reason to feel like you need to have a pantry full of hard to find ingredients to feed your toddler well. I do try to include fat and some protein in the mix, but otherwise, I keep things straightforward. And know that you can vary this idea as you like, changing the fruit or add-ins depending on what you're in the mood for or what you have on hand.
If you blend up a smoothie and it's too thick for your little one to drink through their sippy cup or straw, you can simply stir in a little water or additional liquid to thin it out.
Simple Blueberry Smoothie
I most often serve smoothies alongside something that my littlest one can self-feed, so you may need to adjust the serving depending on whether this is served as a full meal or not. You can also use a frozen banana and fresh blueberries, or frozen versions of both. Frozen banana will create a slightly thicker smoothie.
Makes one adult and one toddler serving
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 ripe banana
1 cup lightly packed baby spinach
1 cup milk (plant or dairy milk works fine here)
1 teaspoon ground flaxseed
1 tablespoon peanut or almond butter, optional
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on high for 30 seconds or until very smooth. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge and use within 12 hours. (Shake before serving.) Or, freezer into popsicle molds and freeze for 4-6 hours or until firm.
You can use strawberries instead of blueberries, chia or hemp seed instead of flax, and/or plain yogurt instead of the milk.