Smoothies are a simple and delicious way to get calcium and vitamins into your little one’s belly. Thick, cold, blended drinks, smoothies are similar to milkshakes but with less fat, fewer calories and more nutrition packed in. For little fuss budgets who won’t sit down and scarf a plate of fruit, they’re a great snack, particularly when you can boost up the fiber.
Obviously a handful of kidney beans in your munchkin's smoothie won't cut it; the fiber will come from fruits and grains. Some of the best, fiber-rich fruits for smoothies include peach, nectarine, mango, kiwi, banana, orange and any kind of berry. Frozen fruit is awesome because it’s frozen at the peak of its ripeness and gives your smoothie a cold, smooth consistency. Boost the fiber further by keeping the skin on fruits, such as with peaches or nectarines -- not, obviously, with bananas, kiwis or oranges. Actual fruit is much higher in fiber than fruit juice, so stick with the real deal.
Wheat bran, oat bran and ground flaxseed are other options for upping the fiber content. Just use 1 tbsp. at first, as these lend a grainy quality to the smoothie at which your fussy toddler or preschooler might balk. Always grind flaxseed; you don’t get much of its nutritional value by consuming it whole.
Triple Berry Smoothie
Combine a cup of whole milk with a small container of berry-flavored yogurt, 1/2 cup strawberries, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1/2 cup raspberries and 1 tsp. honey. Blend until smooth.
Combine 1/2 cup vanilla frozen yogurt with 1 cup whole milk, one medium banana, eight frozen, unsweetened strawberries and 1 tbsp. wheat germ. Blend until smooth.
Combine one container of raspberry yogurt with 1 cup whole milk, one medium banana, one small orange, 1/2 cup frozen raspberries and 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed. Blend until smooth.
Combine 1 cup whole milk with one small container of plain yogurt, one kiwi, a banana, half a mango and 1 tsp. honey. Blend until smooth.