Smoothies are packed with nutrition and so easy to eat! If your child can’t drink through a straw yet, you can spoon-feed smoothies like any other puree, but smoothies are also a great straw-drinking teaching tool as Melanie Potock explains on Speech and Feeding Solution’s Facebook page.
Let your child help make the smoothie. Pick the ingredients together and let your child put ingredients into the pitcher to be blended. This is a great way for them to learn about and touch different foods.
Language And Senses:
Talk about how the different foods look and feel when you put them into the pitcher. Frozen fruit feels cold. Yogurt is cold from the fridge, but not as cold as the fruit from the freezer! The juice splashes when it pours, but the yogurt is a lot thicker. Give your child the descriptive words to talk about all the different foods.
There are some really delicious (and beautiful) smoothie recipes at Kale Studios or you can make up your own from whatever you have on hand. I like any smoothie with some frozen fruit, a banana, yogurt and juice. The most important thing is to have some liquid so it will all blend together, you can use milk, juice, almond milk etc. I love orange juice and oranges in a smoothie, but I stay away from citrus with kids who have a history of reflux because citrus can exacerbate reflux. Add almonds, add spinach, get creative with your combinations!
Then blend and drink up! If your picky eater isn’t ready to try drinking a smoothie yet, once your smoothie is made, stir, pour and draw with a straw to explore the texture and color. Finger paint to touch it and taste it from your fingers.
Enjoy the deliciousness! Happy food play!