Healthy Recipes for Picky Eaters: Homemade Smoothies
We all know that when you’re dealing with the everyday trials of a picky eater or fussy eater, making sure you get the right nutrition into them can be a really stressful. I’m not saying it’s an every-waking-moment obsession, but your kids’ nutrition is one of those things that lurks there at the back of your mind.
I’m always looking for ways to get new healthy components into my kids meals – that’s why we created the Gotrovo Mealtime Treasure Hunt, to address precisely this problem. And while it works a treat, I like to have a number of different ways to approach this daily stress of picky eating, so that we can change things up and keep them fresh and interesting.
So I began wondering – could home-made smoothies be a way to cram more nutrition into my children’s diets? Maybe this could help them become familiar and comfortable with different fruits. (I confess I stuck to fruits – Kale seemed WAY out of our spectrum!). And perhaps we could have some fun in the kitchen to boot! After all, we’ve learnt from the success of Mealtime Treasure Hunt that FUN, as opposed to pressure and confrontation, is a serious motivator in getting the kids to eat well.
Our Trial – did homemade smoothies prove to be a healthy recipe for a picky eater?
Well….having run with this over a period of a few days (and since), my feeling is YES. The kids got really knowledgeable and involved in the preparation of them. We had loads of fun all together, deciding on the flavours we wanted, taking it in turns to chop or drop different fruits into the blender, pressing the blending button and sticking our hands over our ears while it did its “thing”!
The kids really got engaged, and started actively asking to make them in the mornings. My 8 year old even began to draft her own ‘Recipe Book’, recording the different fruit combinations we tried each day and asking everyone to vote with a star rating.
As with anything, my fussy eater was sceptical. He didn’t consume a lot, and it took some trials to get a flavour that he liked. We found strawberry or raspberry dominated flavours worked best, and dropping one mini pot of petit filous into the mix helped give it a little creaminess to take the edge off the fruit. BUT he drank a third of a glass, and was willing to try it because he’d been involved in the fun of making it. What’s more, within that third of a glass there will have been far more nutrition than my kids would usually get in a morning. Additionally, it meant he consumed DIFFERENT fruits, like kiwi, that he’d usually be against trying.
Here were a couple of our favourite recipes:
- Ripe banana. 1 kiwi. Half a ripe pear. 2 blackberries. 1 handful of blueberries. A dozen frozen raspberries. 2 tea spoons of frozen ‘breakfast mix’ (contains different melons etc). 1 small petit filous youhurt
- Ripe banana. 4-5 strawberries. 2 small spoons of frozen pomegranate seeds. 4 spoons frozen breakfast mix. 2 blackberries. 1 small yoghurt
It’s a good idea to buy packs of frozen fruits to use in smoothies – a much cheaper alternative to using up all the fresh stuff in your fridge!
If you want to add to the fun, smoothie pouches really helped us. They preserve the smoothies so that you can take them as a snack when you’re out and about, or even drink them on the school run. It adds to the fun of the experience for the kids and makes their propensity to eat (or drink) the smoothie a bit greater. (You can search nutrifillit online for examples.)
Was this successful healthy recipe for my picky eater?
Definitely. In the days since we have been “blending and filling our pouches, the kids are enthused and engaged, and my picky eater is having a little of the smoothie each day. Baby steps, and all that. And the added bonus for me: I really do feel healthier in myself too. Instead of having to find the will power to resist sweet things, my taste buds have changed and put me off them. Now that’s a win!
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