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To be completely honest, I have been blessed with an amazing little eater. My toddler has been the least picky, most adventurous, green smoothie loving kid since day one. Though, I made quite an effort when he started eating solids because I just had to make sure that he didn’t become a picky eater. Now, at the ripe old age of two, he still eats whatever I put in front of him (for the most part). We have had a few hiccups in the road but I cannot complain whatsoever. Even though he’s a great eater, I still “sneak” in healthy foods, just to ease my mind as his mama.
Smoothies are the epitome of healthy eating and are some of the best vessels for sneaking in high quality nourishment. You have the ability to pack smoothies full of greens, protein, and healthy fats. The trick? Make it taste yummy. Toddler favorites in our house includes banana, peanut butter & banana, and mixed berry flavored.
Greens: Blend up spinach, kale, and other green mixes you can find in the store (hello, swiss chard!) Wash and freeze greens to give an icy element to the smoothie. Fresh is always best, but you can use powdered greens specifically for kids (my favorite kid-friendly greens blend is below!) if that’s preferred.
Protein: My favorite protein powder is the Sunwarrior Plant Based Vanilla Protein and I feel okay giving it to my son. Since we avoid dairy where we can, a plant based powder works better than, say, greek yogurt. If you aren’t avoiding dairy (although I think you should be!) yogurt works just fine to up the protein content. Chia seeds are also packed full of healthy protein and fiber.
Healthy fats: Unprocessed, high quality fats are very beneficial to our bodies, especially little growing bodies that heavily rely on foods for development. My favorite sources of healthy fats include avocados, coconut oil, and nuts & seeds. I buy pumpkin seeds and almonds in bulk from Amazon.
2) Powdered Greens Blend (Make them think it’s juice!)
If we’re being honest.. I tricked my son into thinking this berry-flavored green powder was juice. It was at a point in his life where other people were giving him sugary things to drink (against my wishes) and I wanted him to get used to the flavor of something healthier. He loved it from the first sip and requests it now, daily. My absolute favorite greens powder is Amazing Grass Kidz Superfood Greens Fruits Veggies Probiotics blend. Since my kiddo is a toddler, he gets half a scoop mixed into his water bottle. It’s a good way to boost nutrition with very little effort.. while making your child think they are drinking something yummy and delicious 😉
3) Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are nutritional little powerhouses. Packed with protein, fiber, and omega 3’s, these versatile little guys are a go-to when upping your healthy eating game. Blend them in a smoothie, throw a few tablespoons in oatmeal, or create a chia seed pudding (yum). The possibilities are endless. If your child is super picky, mix them in with something they are already eating. Cereal flakes will likely disguise these dark little seeds well. They mix in well with yogurt and cottage cheese, too.
Bonus Tip: Vitamins
When all else fails, make vitamins the hottest thing on the block. My toddler asks for his vitamins daily and gets (probably too) excited when I suggest them. He gets two, and cries out “one, twwooooo!!” in his cute, high pitched voice when taking them. The key is to buy a high quality brand. My favorite is Garden of Life mykid Organics Kids Vitamins. Fresh fruits and vegetables are always recommended, but we all know how kids operate. Sometimes, they need a berry-flavored little gummy to fill in the nutritional gaps.
What are your sneaky tips for getting your kids to eat healthy?