We all know it can sometimes be tricky to get our toddlers and children to eat a variety of veggies, so here are a few different veggies that you can blend into a smoothie (usually) unnoticed. These are also great for a pregnant mama who is having a hard time stomaching veggies, or a postnatal mama who needs to pack the calories and nutrients in.
Greens are a given and still my favourite way to get greens in, but I have a young one who is partial to pink smoothies, which is very hard to achieve when you add greens in. Here are a list of other veggies you can add in.
Chop and steam cauliflower, then freeze or keep raw and freeze. Add to smoothies frozen or thawed.
Cauliflower is a great source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate and B5, B6.
Chop, cook and freeze or freeze raw, or just add to smoothie without freezing.
Zucchini contains loads of Vitamins and Minerals, including: Vitamin C, Riboflavin, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium.
Chop and cook sweet potato, then freeze chunks and add to smoothie.
High in Fibre and Vitamin C, as well as some B Vitamins and Beta Carotene (an anti-oxidant).
Chop, cook and freeze (remove skin), and add to smoothie.
High in Vitamins A, C, E, B5, Potassium, Zinc, Iron and Manganese.
*Save the seeds to roast with oil, salt and pepper (which are high in Magnesium, Zinc, Omega 3 fats).
Cut and steam, then freeze.
I find that the stems don’t have as much of a broccoli taste as the florets, so are perfect for throwing in a smoothie.
High in Vitamins K, C and Folate and potassium.
Use cooked or raw chunks. Loaded with Vitamin A (from beta-carotene), Vitamin B6, Vitamin K, Potassium, Biotin.
*If you buy carrots with greens, wash and throw the greens in your smoothie as well.
Cook, chop and add to blender.
Great source of fibre, folate, Manganese, Potassium, Iron, Vitamin C.
*Keep the beet greens and throw them in your smoothie as well.
As you can see most of these vegetables do take some prep. I recommend taking a couple hours to chop, cook and freeze these once a month so you are stocked up. OR, if you really don’t have the time for that prep work right now, buy frozen (Organic when possible). Personally, I buy frozen spinach, carrots and cauliflower, and cook and cut up broccoli stems on the reg.
Also, depending on the type of blender you have, your blender may be able to handle more raw veg (like carrots, beets, broccoli stems). But if you don’t have a super blender, cooking them until they are soft will help when blending. Also consider keeping the water you cooked your veggies in and use it as a liquid in your smoothie.
I also suggest adding at least 2 fruits to sweeten up the smoothie (especially for the little taste buds). For example, berries, bananas, mango, peach, apples, pear, watermelon, papaya, whatever fruits you have on hand. I also like to add kefir for the added probiotic benefits. Check out my foolproof smoothie formula below.
Want to get a well rounded smoothie that will provide enough nutrients and calories to last a few hours? Try the formula below to create your own special blend.
-1 cup veggie (any veggies from above)
-1 cup greens (try spinach or kale) (optional, or add 2 cups of above veggies)
-2 handful’s fruit (ex: banana, apple, pear, berries, watermelon, papaya)
-1-2 tbsp fat (ex: coconut oil, avocado, nut butter)
-1cup or more liquid (ex: kefir, water, coconut water or milk, almond milk). Add to desired consistency
-1-2 tbsp protein (ex: hemp seeds, flax seeds, chia, protein powder)
-Special flavour (ex: ginger, mint, cocao powder – choose 1 dominant flavour per smoothie)
-Sweetener (especially if you are trying to convert a little one) honey, maple syrup, apple sauce, dates – add to taste.
If you’re trying to get your little one to drink one of your smoothie creations, here are a couple tips that have worked for me.
-Don’t force them to finish their smoothie, the more you try to coerce them to drink it, the less likely they will drink it.
-Pour yourself a nice big cup…and enjoy it. If they see you choking it back, they will not even try it. Sometimes I only pour myself a cup, then once my littles see me drinking it, they want to try it.
-Make sure you add enough sweet fruits. You want them to love your smoothies so they will enjoy them again. If you try to pack in too many (less sweet) veggies like kale and broccoli without the balance of some sweet bananas or mango they may not enjoy it. And will be less likely to try the next one.
-If you need a new way to sell the smoothie, make it a little thicker, pour into a bowl, and serve with a spoon. Hello “ice cream”!