Green smoothies are a great way to supply children with variety of nutritious fruits and vegetables. In addition, when green smoothies are introduced to children as babies, they are generally more accepting of the different flavors, colors, and textures of this healthy drink than if they are introduced later.
You can start giving green smoothies at 8+ months of age. Start with small quantities to make sure your baby can digest the smoothie well. In addition, make sure you include only one new food at a time in the smoothie so you know what the culprit is if your child has a reaction to that item.
If your baby or toddler isn’t interested in a green smoothie with the first introduction, just try again at a later date. Studies suggest that young children may need to be exposed to a novel food many times before they like it. Children will likely be more interested in trying this type of food too if they see parents, caregivers, and siblings eating green smoothies.
This recipe feeds my two bambinos and I and was described as "delicious" by my discriminating 7 year old while my 13 month old squealed in delight: success!
- 2 lacinato kale leaves
- 1/2 avocado
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1 banana
- 1/4 inch peeled ginger (Do not add too much ginger or it will overpower the smoothie)
- 1/4 cup applesauce (This ingredient is optional. For older babies you can replace this with 1/2 an apple or pear instead)
- 2 cups water
- Blend all ingredients in a high powered blender until completely smooth.
- Do not add sweeteners to the smoothie. Children are developing their food preferences and can get accustomed to artificially sweetened foods which can be detrimental to their health. If you choose to add a sweetener--no honey before age one.
- You can feed the smoothie to your child with a spoon or in a glass.
- Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for later. Adding a little lemon juice will keep the smoothie fresh even longer.