And one way to help your child learn to love nutritious foods is to get them involved in food preparation. When I think about holistic nutrition, I think about engaging all of the senses! Start as early as possible; toddlers can have tons of fun smelling the foods, feeling the different fruit and veggie textures, and sampling the recipes.
This time of year is especially great for smoothie making! In our home, we get out the trusty Vitamix, spread out all of the ingredients, and make it a fun game. It’s a great time to practice colors and counting with your children. Let them grab handfuls of greens and place them into the blender. Toss berries in from across the room, pour the milk in and let it splash! Whatever makes it fun for them.
Here is a tasty blend we make at home that packs a nutritious punch, with a little left over for you to enjoy (if your little one is up for sharing)! Alter the ingredient amounts to suit your taste buds.
- 1-2 cups non-dairy milk (almond is great)
- 2 tbsp of almond or cashew butter (optional)
- 2 small handfuls of spinach or mixed leafy greens
- 1 banana*
- 1 -2 cups of blueberries, strawberries, or mango
- 1 tbsp of raw honey
- 1 tbsp of chia seeds or 1 -2 tsp. ground flaxseed
*Freeze your bananas prior to blending for a more “fluffy” smoothie texture.
This is just one smoothie variation – the possibilities are as vast as your imagination. Don’t be afraid to experiment and write down your favorites. If your kid loves it, you can use popsicle molds and enjoy the frozen version later to help combat the summer heat!