As a parent, nothing makes you reconsider your decision to procreate more than having a meal you’ve carefully and lovingly prepared whipped to the floor by a picky toddler or flat out refused by a stubborn pre-schooler.
“What is your problem, child? Do you know how delicious this is? Do you know how long it took to prepare this? DO YOU KNOW HOW FRIGGIN’ ORGANIC THIS IS?”
Unfortunately, your kid doesn’t care. She has made up her mind that all she wants is pasta and butter and that’s that. But the white pasta diet doesn’t sit well with millennial moms, who have learned to count nutrients rather than calories and have been known to add kale to just about anything. We know that little brains and little bodies need nutrient dense diets, but what do you do when your kids essentially go on strike? You do what parents have been doing for centuries: you trick them. And you do so with one magic word – “milkshake”.
I’ve reached out to a dear friend, holistic nutritionist, and juice/smoothie shop owner, Jessica Risi of The Raw Chemist Juice Bar, for some kid-friendly (delicious) and mom-friendly (nutritious) recipes that will have your teething/sick/just-plain-stubborn little one sucking back fruits and veggies like it’s nobody’s business.
- THE VANILLA MILKSHAKE
1 cup of almond milk
1 tablespoon of chia seeds
1 tablespoon of hemp hearts
1 tablespoon of almond butter
1/2 cup of ice cubes.
THE BENEFITS: good source of protein, high in dietary fiber (which can help cleanse the digestive tract and help with constipation), good for sustained energy, great source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids (which is great for brain development and eyesight for kids), good source of iron (which is often low in children’s diets and is beneficial for cognitive and social development), good source of zinc (which could help boost children’s immune system), contains dates (which help support bone development as well as boost your little one’s nervous system health).
- THE TROPICAL MILKSHAKE
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 frozen or fresh strawberries
1/2 cup frozen or fresh mango
2 leafs of kale
THE BENEFITS: sweet and delicious and thus, a great way to sneak in some leafy greens, high in vitamin C (which helps repair body tissue, keeps gums and teeth healthy, and helps heal wounds and cuts), good source of fiber in strawberry seeds, high source of vitamin A via mango (which is great for supporting eyesight development and helping to fight microbial infections and the common cold), high amounts of vitamin A & C as well as calcium and fiber via kale.
3. MONSTER GUTS MILKSHAKE
1 cup of water 1/2 cup of ice 2 leafs of kale handful of spinach 1 ripe banana half cup pineapple
THE BENEFITS: can help fight depression, great for before a child’s sporting event (bananas pack a great energy punch as well as protect against muscle cramps), rich in potassium (which keeps you alert and helps with learning), high in vitamin C, beta carotene, folate, vitamin b6, vitaminE, and magnesium (thanks to the spinach), contains pineapple – a good source of the mineral manganese (which aids in the health of bones, joints and brain development)
4. VERY BERRY MILKSHAKE
1 cup of coconut milk
splash of coconut water
1 cup frozen mixed berries
2 leafs of kale
THE BENEFITS: berries are high in antioxidants and help fight inflammation (which we are now discovering is connected with many diseases), high in potassium (which, as mentioned, aids with mental alertness), high amounts of vitamin A, C, calcium and fiber, improves brain function and memory, high in electrolytes.
Smoothies are a great way to introduce healthy veggies and fruits to our children’s diets without them even noticing. With so many possible variations, you can continuously create new combinations and really ensure your children are getting a wide variety of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. So load up that blender of yours with the delicious combinations that Jessica has concocted for us and throw your head back and evil-laugh as your picky eater slurps up every last drop of her kaled-up, nutrient packed “milkshake”.
The photos featured in this article were all via #rebelmama Ellen Fisher who always posts beautiful snapshots of her life in Maui with her little tribe of raw vegans and their delicious and healthy meal choices.
Do your little ones have any favourite smoothie recipies that always work when nothing else will? Feel free to share!