When bananas get boring…

When bananas get boring, why not add coconut?  Coconut brings the good fats which keeps your child fuller for longer.  And the dipping is a kid enticer too.

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We do organic dessicated coconut to avoid nasty preservatives.  And why not compare coconut milk brands while you’re at it.  Some have a long list of ingredients, others are simpler.  I go full fat for the growing boys

🙂 Heidi

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Child-friendly green smoothie + 10 tips to entice your child

Are you looking for a green smoothie that will provide PLENTY of nutrients to start your child’s day and tastes delicious?  Are you feeling like your child could never come around to this?  Well then read on for the recipe and how to wean your child onto this delicious breakfast OR snack.

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Here is the recipe for one: (tip: write it out with the quantity for the number of people you are making it for and stick it up on the kitchen wall until you know it back to front!)

The ‘works’ green smoothie (AKA ‘the juice of a sea cucumber’)

  • 1 kale leaf, washed and stalk removed
  • 1 handful spinach, washed
  • 1/2 orange, peeled
  • 2 tsp almonds, soaked in water night before and drained (allows nutrients to be absorbed by your body better – ‘bioavailable’)
  • 1 tbs goji berries
  • 1 tbs chia seeds
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup water (or equivalent ice)
  • optional: probiotics, changing chia for sunflower seeds, linseeds or pepitas, 1 tsp Superfoods for Kidz ‘Vital Veggie Power’ (particularly used for Master 21 months who eats minimal orange or green veges if we’re being realistic!), swap 1/2 orange for 1/2 lemon + 1/2 pear.

Blend until smooth.

just some of the ingredients you can see...

just some of the ingredients you can see…

Superfoods for Kidz - Vital Veggie Powder

Superfoods for Kidz – Vital Veggie Powder

Here are some of the steps we took to wean the boys onto this smoothie….and who now SLUUUURRP it!

1. Start on an easier smoothie.  We started with 150ml almond milk, 1/2 banana, handful of soaked almonds, 1 tsp carob powder, 1/2 tsp honey or 1 date, probiotics, pepitas/sunflower seeds thrown in. See my post, ‘What About A Brekky Shake‘ for further ideas. Adjust the carob/cacao/cocoa or slightly more honey to entice them in.

2. Make small changes…slow and steady wins the race!  We started adding 1/4-1/2 tsp barley grass powder.  This is a great start in developing a taste for some supergreens and the boys gradually got used to 1 tsp barley grass powder.  This then became the green/chocolate smoothie.

3. Give it a name.  The boys were used to names such as ‘choco-coco banana’ or ‘honey cinna-banana’ so by the time I announced we’d try a new smoothie, they were excited to name this new one.  This time I drummed up more excitement by using Master 3.5’s new interest, sea animals.  I suggested ‘what about the juice of a sea cucumber?’.  A definite ‘YES’!

4. Introduce a new cup/straw.  As we are trying to get rid of plastic and the chemicals that go with it, I decided to invest in some stainless steel cups and drinking straws.  I brought these out on the day we tried the new smoothie.

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5. Plan to drink the new smoothie yourselves first and only offer a taste for your kids – miracles can happen when there is no pressure and they see others enjoying it.  The first morning I made the new smoothie (juice of a sea cucumber), I talked it up, but only made enough for my husband and I, not planning for the boys to drink more than a taste.  They both had a taste and Master 22 months took the bait…. ‘MORE!’.  So we donated one of our smoothies to him and made do that morning with some sneaky ‘low-fives’.

6. Slow and steady wins again.  I then made Master 3.5 his usual ‘choco-cinna banana’ in WITH the remnants of the new smoothie.  In fact, I knew half of the ingredients of the green smoothie weren’t THAT far off what he was used to.  So I added the almonds, goji berries and chia but left out the orange and greens (there was already some taste of them in the dregs) and added almond milk instead of water.  It was daring but he went with it!

7. Blend and blend again. Sometimes the smoother the better, particularly with fibrous foods like orange.  Be sure to start weaning off super smooth once you have the kids hooked in so they don’t rely on ‘no bits’ forever.

8. Know went to step up, and went to back down.  Again, slow and steady wins the race.  Keep making your green smoothie first, and making your child’s preferred one with more and more dregs.  I sensed that Master 3.5 was interested in the new smoothie after he saw Master 22 months slurp his up.  He just needed a day or so extra to get his head around a change in his breakfast routine, not SO much the taste.

9. Give some warning.  I planted the seed ahead of time and one day confidently announced ‘we’ll be getting up early to get out and go to the beach tomorrow morning, so we’ll all have the juice of a sea cucumber tomorrow okay?’.  He agreed, although I was probably still prepared to make his back up if he needed.  Nope, he was completely happy to enjoy the new drink with us!

10. Educate! We have drawn a picture and told the story of how each ingredient does something to help our body.  Master 3.5 is learning to have a sense of ‘taking care of his health’ as he asks me to go through each ingredient and what it does again!

your body will thank you!

your body will thank you!

Of course another idea would be to get your children involved in making the smoothie and talking about all the yummy ingredients in it, pointing out the ones they already know and the ones that sound enticing (like goji berries).  I didn’t play up the greens but maybe that was just me anticipating a reaction!

And the best bit about this shake is… you won’t even have to fake a ‘yummy’ smile as you drink, because it really is delicious!

Please let me know how you get on or other delicious variations  🙂 Heidi

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What about a ‘brekky shake’?

This ‘shake’ is everything-free (dairy, gluten, grain, egg, soy) but PACKED with nutrients for growing boys 🙂

The essentials are:
– about 120ml almond milk (boys intolerant to dairy but also tasty and with calcium)
– pear or banana
– probiotics
– CLS (ground chia, linseed and sunflower seeds)
– about 7 ‘activated’ almonds (soaked in water overnight to ‘activate’ their nutrients’)

scull! scull! chug! chug!

scull! scull! chug! chug!

Other choices determined by boys (all organic):
– carob powder
– dessicated coconut
– cinnamon
– blueberries
– raw honey

And occasionally olive leaf extract added to boost immunity and keep parasites at bay..

The names then become say a ‘berry ripe’ (carob, berries, coconut), ‘chocococobanana’ (carob, coconut, banana), ‘berrylicious’ (berries, coconut), ‘cinnabanana/pear’ (cinnamon, fruit).

Blend this all together and we have two excited (and quiet and still) boys who slurp it all up! This is on top of cereal to fill them up for the day.
We have gotten into this mostly to try and keep two boys with many food intolerances full. But it has become a fun way to add so many extra nutrients into their day (I’ll eventually fill you in on CLS and activated nuts, not to mention how we ended up organic but in the meantime, Feeding two growing boys has all the information you could want on this).

I now feel sad I used to feed Master 3 ‘just’ weetbix and milk!

Getting your child off to the best start – breakfast

delicious and nutritious...

delicious and nutritious…

What does your child eat for breakfast?  Have you looked at the ingredient list of the cereal?  How much does it cost?  How many nutrients do they get out of vegemite toast?  How much salt, sugar and preservatives are in their breakfast?

Have you thought about using a plain and economical cereal (for example, porridge, weetbix) and adding some ‘super foods’?

It might be porridge with a dash of coconut milk and banana or weetbix with cinnamon and pumpkin seeds.  It is fun for your child to choose each morning!

It just takes buying these ingredients and finding a container to store the coconut milk in and you’re ready to go.  [Note: organic coconut, blueberries and cinnamon are definitely best as chemicals in these might be undoing the ‘super’ food factor.]

Talk to your child about the benefits of these foods:

Banana

– they make us feel happy

– they give us energy

– they help us to pay attention to learn

Coconut milk

(whilst there is some contradictory opinions on the benefits of coconut milk, it appears the most recent thoughts are completely positive for coconut milk.  Please make your own decisions!)

Coconut milk and breast milk are similar in regards to their pH levels, nutrient content and fat content.  Because of this, the body can metabolize the fat faster to promote better bone health and brain development.

– helps to fight germs in our body

– gives us energy that we can use all day

Pumpkin seeds/pepitas

– they help to keep us calm and sleep well at night

– they keep our hearts healthy

Blueberries

– they build our immunity, to keep us healthy and keep away colds

– they are good for our intestines, which help break down our food

Probiotics

– the good ‘bugs’ that help our intestines to stay healthy and keep the colds away

– help to clear eczema and allergies by protecting our intestines

Cinnamon

– helps our brain to think and remember

– clears out the bad ‘bugs’ in our body

This is just the beginning in being creative + healthy!