How to Make a Calorie-Dense Smoothie for Picky Toddlers
Why Calorie-Dense Smoothies are Important
Picky toddlers are hard to please. Most vitamin supplements are either very expensive, contain too many vitamins for children that eat fruits and vegetables with no problems, or are for children 2 years of age or older. Many vitamin supplements don't even contain calcium. How do young toddlers get enough iron and calcium to maintain health so they can grow? What about young toddlers who aren't getting the suggested caloric intake of approximately 900 to 1,000 calories?
Smoothies are a great way to get a child to eat, especially if they don't resist fruit. The good thing about smoothies is that you can add any nutrient-dense food and also throw in some calorie-dense foods. For example, my child resists food throughout the day, but loves bananas. It may seem like a lot, but we make a smoothie consisting of an entire banana, 2 tablespoons of rice cereal for her daily calcium requirement and about 2 ounces of milk. Sometimes we add other fruit if we notice she hasn't eaten vegetables or many fruits that day. Protein whey or honey (only for children over 1) could also be added for a calorie boost. For children who dislike fruit but may eat vegetables, try a vegetable smoothie using calorie-dense vegetables, such as starchy vegetables, for a base. If a child will eat yogurt but little else, try making yogurt smoothies and sneaking in one simple fruit. If calcium is the necessary vitamin needed, try adding yogurt to the smoothie in addition to the fruit.
The Baby Bullet, from the makers of the Magic Bullet, is great for making these smoothies. A blender will also work, but you may need to experiment with the settings to get a consistency your child will tolerate.
Instructions for Making a Calorie- and Iron-Rich Banana Smoothie for Picky Toddlers
- Pour approximately 2 ounces of milk into the small Baby Bullet or a blender.
- Add 2 tablespoons of rice cereal to the blender.
- Break up a banana and then remove any obvious strings from it; it doesn't have to be perfect. The blender pulverizes any strings you miss.
- Add any extra fruit, honey or protein powder to make the concoction more appealing to your child or to meet a daily requirement.
- Secure the top on the Baby Bullet or blender. The top of the Baby Bullet also contains the blade.
- Turn the Baby Bullet upside down and then place it in the Baby Bullet mechanical base. Make sure the base is plugged in.
- Press down on the Baby Bullet container making sure that the grooves on the container line up with the grooves on the base; the Baby Bullet purees the food. Hold it down for 10 to 15 seconds.
- Remove the Baby Bullet from the mechanical base, give it a shake and then place the container on the base again for another 10 to 15 seconds, if necessary.
Healthy Smooth Recipe for Toddlers
- You can use almost any combination of healthy items. If your toddler will eat lettuce, zucchini, and celery blended together, it's in everyone's best interest that you give it to them. It's also important to remember that it's not the end of the world if you have to replace the honey with something else that's small, sweet, and sugary to add just enough flavor to make it appealing for you child to want to consume the smoothie.
- It's also important to remember not to get frustrated with your child, as hard as that may be. The last thing you want to do is associated eating a smoothie with a negative experience in their mind. If you do that, you run the risk of finding yourself in a spot where they won't even try it, even if it is something they will ultimately like. If they don't like what you put together, let it go and try again the next day.
- If you do find something they like, don't be afraid to stick with it. Yes, it is important to get them to try new things, but they don't have to do that every day or even every week. It can also be good for you to enjoy the accomplishment of getting your child to eat.
- Ask other parents what works for them. Someone may have stumbled across some other magical concoction that you would have never dreamed up that your child loves, and if you don't ask around, you'll never know its out there.
© 2012 Max Dalton