Since my baby started eating solid food at about 6 months I’ve found a smoothie is an easy and excellent way to easily provide her with lots of great nutrition; and she loves it!

I’ve been a smoothie lover for a few years now and have one for breakfast most days. I find them so versatile, varied, filling, nourishing, convenient and an ideal way to introduce lots of great nutrition in my first meal of the day. It didn’t actually occur to me to give baby Sophie smoothies originally – we have had great success with a baby-led weaning approach so she’d been starting her solid-food journey with sticks of cooked vegetables as finger food.

Then one day I was walking through London with Sophie in my baby carrier and stopped in a deli to pick up a green smoothie – avocado, ginger, cucumber, basil, flax seed…it was yummy. Sophie kept looking at it, and me, so I thought, why not?! I’m a great believer that, as long as you wait until they are fully ready for solid food they can eat nearly anything that you would eat, minus just a few exceptions.

Main smoothie ingredients to exclude for babies:

  • Honey
  • Salt
  • Cacao – due to caffeine
  • Protein powders

Sophie didn’t know what to do with a straw at first (other than chew it!) so I put my finger on the end and let a little smoothie into her mouth. She LOVED it! She kept opening her mouth up for more. So, although I was happy for her to have it, and very happy she was enjoying it, I had to stop her having too much! Usually we let Sophie guide how much she wants to eat but I didn’t want to overdo it this first time when introducing several new ingredients. Smoothie for babiesSo that was our green light and encouraged me to start trying Sophie on smoothies at home. We got her a safe glass smoothie straw, which she soon learned to suck herself after a bit of practice, using the ‘drop it in’ method again. Of course, if your baby won’t take to a straw, just make your smoothie a little thicker and go for it with a spoon.

Top tips for baby smoothies:

  1. Try to introduce new ingredients one at a time, especially foods that commonly cause allergies, like nuts, peanuts, seeds
  2. Opt for organic where possible – any pesticides on food will have a bigger impact on their little bodies.
  3. Share with your baby! Don’t waste time making 2 breakfasts. Take some out the jug for baby then add any extra ingredients you want that baby should avoid.
  4. Include carbohydrates, fats and protein for a balanced meal.
  5. Give a milk feed (breast/formula) first – this is the most nutritious food for baby until they are a year old so should still be their primary food source.
  6. Think about the thickness of the smoothie. Too thin and it will run out the straw too quick, too thick and it will be too hard to suck up.
The three bears. Luckily Mummy and Daddy get the same size bowl in our house!

The three bears. Luckily Mummy and Daddy get the same size bowl in our house!

If you’d like to have a go at giving your baby or child a smoothie, here are a couple of recipes you could try. Remember to follow the advice in the boxes above and let your little ones get stuck in!

Creamy green mango smoothie

INGREDIENTS  |  serves 1 adult + 1 baby!   

1/2 cup mango (fresh or frozen)

1/2 tbsp chia seed

1/2 tbsp ground flax seed

1 handful spinach leaves or 1 block frozen spinach

1/2 avocado

1 cup oat milk (or other plant-based milk)

METHOD

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add some water to adjust the consistency to taste.  Add a couple of ice cubes to the mix if you prefer it a bit colder.

 

Banana oat power smoothie

This is a baby friendly version of the cacao power smoothie. We love to have this every weekend before our morning workout. We make the baby friendly version, take a little out for Sophie then add some extra ingredients for ourselves!

INGREDIENTS  |  serves 1 adult + 1 baby!   

1 cup almond milk* (make your own or get one without any nasty additions)

1/2 banana (fresh or frozen)

2 tbsp oats

1 tbsp almond butter*

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tbsp carob powder

1 tsp coconut oil

1 handful spinach leaves or 1 block frozen spinach

1/2 tbsp chia seeds

1/2 tbsp ground flax seeds

METHOD

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add some water to adjust the consistency to taste.

*P.S. Need to go nut-free? No problem. Leave out the almond butter or substitute with tahini paste and swap the almond milk for oat milk.

 

I’d love to hear how you get on if you give it a go. Comment below to let me know.