Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Toddler Smoothies

My boys (17 months) are very interested in learning to eat with utensils. This is theoretically great because it means one step down the independence-from-mommy road. However, after a recent attempt to eat yogurt, I not only took lots of funny pictures, but I stripped them down and sponged them off pretty thoroughly. Hmmm... Cottage cheese, oatmeal, mashed potatoes--these sorts of foods provide great learning experiences. Something "thinner" like soup or yogurt presents a problem. Then, the lightbulb went off: my boys love drinking through straws! (So does my daughter). So I'm now giving them yogurt via smoothies! They love them, it's an easy way to get a little fruit and plain yogurt into their little tummies, and the cleanup is minimal. If you have a toddler (or a grown up--we all like these) in the house, you might consider the following easy smoothies (I've included some from Wholesome Baby Food.com that use pumpkin--one of our favorite yogurt mix'in's!):

Berry Smoothie

2 c. plain yogurt
1 very ripe banana (I stick bananas in the freezer when they start getting ripe and use them for smoothies)
1/2 c. frozen berries (blueberries are a must; others can be added in as well)
squirt of lemon juice or spoonful of orange juice concentrate

Blend it all up and serve! This makes enough for each of my kids to have about 1/2 cup and me to have a bit more. If I'm serving all five of us and it's a significant part of breakfast, I'll double the recipe.

Autumn Smoothie

1/2 cup plain, vanilla or banana yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
dash of ginger
1 frozen banana

Combine in a blender. Blend until smooth. Serve immediately.
Serves one grown-up and one baby.

The Autum Spoon A new twist on the Autumn Smoothie

1/2 cup plain, yogurt
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
dash of ginger
1 banana

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend or process until a thick consistency is created. Add some wheat germ for even more cling!

Banana Pumpkin Smoothie

1-cup milk or plain yogurt
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
(or homemade puree pumpkin)
1 banana
dash of cinnamon

Blend in blender until smooth and foamy.
Serve immediately.


Anonymous said...

My girls also loved yougurt from day one but wanted to feed themselves so I added some unsweetened crunched up dry cereal to thicken it up. Cheerios, rice crispies, corn flakes. My friend from Albania told me later that they add small chopped pita--anything to thicken it up so they can grab it with a spoon. To this day, at almost 4 years, they stil ask for a few "crunchies" on the side to enjoy with their yogurt!

Just found your blog but have really been enjoying it!


Betsy said...

Glad you like the blog, Andrea. Great idea about adding "crunchies"!!! I used to thicken things with baby cereal, but I've long since run out of that. I'll have to start using up some of our regular cereal!

$5 Dinner Mom said...

Another great idea you have! My boys still LOVE the pumpkin yogurt. I make it just about every afternoon after preschool. My older one likes to stir it up. My younger makes a MESS like yours do. I don't mind because then I can do a little dinner prep, unload the dishwasher, whatever needs to be done, while he makes a mess...he's getting better! Depends on the spoon. The "crunchies" is a good idea from Andrea!