Smoothies are often brought up as a healthy snack or meal replacement for adults, and they seem like they’d have similar benefits for a baby, but should they be given to little ones?
The reason smoothies have become so popular these days is that in our hectic lifestyles they’re relatively quick and easy to make and can keep you full until your next meal. They’re also a way of combining a lot of healthy foods into one glass that would normally take you longer to eat, or it might contain foods that you wouldn’t want to sit down and eat from a plate.
There are also a lot of health food companies out there selling various weight loss smoothies as a way to curb hunger, replace meals, and thus lessen the total number of calories that are consumed in a day. Those you’ll want to avoid, and there are plenty of recipes you can follow that will make it so you’ve got lots of ideas and can get a grasp on what’s OK to put in a smoothie for a baby.
Can I Give My Baby Smoothies? Answer: Follow These Steps
You’ll want to avoid pre-packaged smoothies or those that are used for weight loss or those that are intended to serve as an appetite suppressant. It’s best to make your own smoothies at home so that you have complete control of what goes into them. It’s also a good way to give your child nutritious items like oatmeal that might be a pain to feed them with a spoon, but are more edible when they’re blended up smooth and served with other ingredients.
Be sure to check each ingredient you use in the smoothie for allergies and digestion before giving them in smoothie form. If you give your baby something in a smoothie that they can’t handle, it will be harder to ascertain which ingredient is causing the problem. To introduce new foods make sure that your baby is only give the new food, and then monitor both how they accept it, to how they digest it and any stomach trouble in between. Once a food is cleared you can add it to your food journal and you’ll soon have a list of pre-approved foods that your baby responds well to.
Not Too Many Food Combinations
A smoothie will most definitely contain several different ingredients all mixed into one blender, and while they may each be healthy on their own your baby doesn’t need to have all of those foods at the same time. Take it slow and don’t get too exotic when first starting out. Using a fruit that your baby has already shown they can handle, and keeping it to one fruit is best. As your baby gets older you can begin to combine fruits for a more robust flavor and more nutrition. The same thing goes for vegetables, although they typically contain far less sugar than fruits so you don’t have to be as picky, but keep in mind they probably won’t be as eager to drink them as a fruit smoothie.
Not Too Much Sugar
Many smoothie recipes call for ingredients that will have sugary foods in them like fruits. You’ll want to select your ingredients carefully, or modify a recipe to keep sugar content to a minimum. Pre-packaged smoothies that simply require you to add water or milk will most definitely contain large amounts of sugar, or they’ll have sugar substitutes if they’re a diet or low-cal smoothie. Glucose levels are something you’ll want to keep in mind in your child’s early years. Here’s an article that helps give a grounding on baby’s blood sugar levels.
Mix Things Up
If you’re looking for a quick meal for your baby, breast milk is still the number one way to go. You don’t have to go cold turkey with the breast milk once your baby starts eating solid foods. You can supplement it in their diet for as long as you’re still producing. Adding breast milk to your babies smoothies is a great way for them to get the nutrients from the milk and can be a way to sneak it in there if your baby no longer prefers to drink it straight up.