Toddler smoothies can be a great way to get vegetables into a little one’s diet because, let’s face it, toddlers are TOUGH to get veggies into. If they don’t pretend to gag on a veggie that you serve they may throw it on the floor, whine and cry about it for half an hour, or (at best) leave it untouched on their plate. For anyone desperate to get some balanced nutrition into a toddler’s diet, a little bit of creativity can help.
Our oldest daughter is a vocally picky eater. She likes to let you know when she doesn’t like something, and she doesn’t like vegetables. We fight battles to get her to eat a small serving of them any time we have them. (Which we still do so that she will learn to eat them, but she is not getting significant amounts of them into her belly this way.) I also am NOT good at cooking and providing vegetables at every dinner. Therefore, I started to buy pouches containing veggies to give both of our girls at lunch. This worked great as far as getting the veggies into their bellies, but it started to take a toll on the wallet since store-bought pouches are not cheap!
Instead of buying 14+ toddler pouches each week at the grocery store, I started to make a simple smoothie for the girls each day at lunch. I hid what I was putting in it the first several times because I was afraid that my oldest wouldn’t eat it if she knew that it contained carrots. However, she loved it so much that she still begs to drink it even now that she knows carrots are a key ingredient!
Below is the VERY SIMPLE recipe for this hidden veggie carrot smoothie for toddlers. I don’t even have exact measurements for any of it because I throw it together so quickly at lunch each day. When it comes to easy toddler smoothies, it can’t get much easier – and both of our girls guzzle it down and love it.
Here’s the simple smoothie recipe:
- 1 Banana
- 3 Large Spoonfuls Vanilla Yogurt
- 1/2 Can Of Cooked Carrot Slices
- 1ish Inch Of Orange Juice (in the bottom of the blender)
I throw all of the ingredients into the blender, blend it up good, and pour it into the girls’ cups! I use a large serving spoon to throw in the 3 spoonfuls of yogurt, so it’s actually a very decent amount and I just use pre-cooked canned carrots. I drain them and put about half of a can into each batch. I pour in just enough orange juice to look like about an inch or so in the bottom of the blender. If you find that the smoothie is too thick after blending, just add in a little bit more orange juice. (I typically try to error on making it too runny rather than too thick since I want my toddlers to be able to drink it easily with a straw.)
I chose to use carrots for this smoothie since they are one of the sweeter vegetables and therefore leave a less bitter impact on it’s taste. I have tried to vary the recipe and add in some additional veggies like spinach. However, every time I do our oldest complains about the difference in texture and taste. You can always add some additional fruit (especially frozen fruit) to change up the flavor if your toddler tires of the original recipe. Our oldest likes predictability and routine, so she’s not a big fan of me changing the flavor on her.
I hope that this simple recipe helps you to get a few more veggies into your toddler!
A few additional notes:
- When it comes to the best smoothie cups for toddlers, my favorite has been the super cheap Take N’ Toss disposable straw cups! Even my 1 year old drinks smoothie well using those cups with little to no spills. The cups have stiff enough straws to prevent toddlers from easily biting them flat, so they work really well for smoothies. They’re not super durable, but VERY inexpensive to replace!
- This recipe also makes great popsicles! Just pour the smoothie into a mold or small cups with popsicle sticks and freeze it. Our girls loved it that way as well!
If you’re searching for some new toddler-approved foods to add to your little one’s diet, make sure you also check out my recipe for no-bake toddler oatmeal bites and/or my list of super easy toddler snack ideas!