Back in the good ole days, I could spoon anything into my little one’s mouth, and he would predictably mush it around and swallow. Aaaahhh... the sweet satisfaction of knowing little round belly was full of nutritious fruits, veggies, proteins, and the occasional tasty herb or spice. (You know, for palate expansion....) Jump ahead to present day, Austin is two, and his lips might as well have a deadbolt on them. A deadbolt to which only he holds the key, and who knows what motivates him to unlock it. One day pasta is permissible, the next nothing but fruit shall pass.
Oh, two year olds. I won’t say they are “terrible,” because they are really too much fun for that label. I will say they will teach you a whole heap of things. About yourself, about them, about love, about forgiveness, about patience, about how to get crayon marks off of hardwood floors...
Really, I wish I had taken out stock in Purell and Brawny. And, maybe invested in part of a vineyard?
Anyway, ever since those little lips starting locking out my attempts at rounded nutrition, I started sneaking past the gatekeeper by throwing everything and anything into the blender and serving it up with a straw and a smile. (A little theatrical enthusiasm goes a long way with toddlers.) You may have to gradually add in the stronger tasting greens and veggies, but a good starting place is sweet baby carrots. Get that past your little culinary tyrant, and you can move on cauliflower, spinach (raw is milder than the cooked, frozen stuff), kale, even green peas! I really just use what I have in the fridge, but this one is what Austin drinks most days.
As A says when he gets up from his nap: “It’s ‘moovie time!”
Austin’s Sneaky Veggie Smoothie
Serves 2 (momma could use a nutrional boost, too!)
- 1 ripe banana (preferably frozen)
- 1 apple, peeled, cored
- 1 handful baby carrots
- 1 cup frozen berries
- 1 handful spinach
- 1 handful kale
- 2 brussels sprouts (if you dare…)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, optional (Austin needs the extra fat and calories)
- 1-2 tbsp honey, agave, sugar, or molasses
- ½ cup greek yogurt, I use weetedplain for lower sugar content
- 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
Blend your heart out!
Tip: When loading your blender with all this goodness, put the heaviest foods on the bottom nearest the blade.