Sneaking Spinach into a Toddler’s Diet

When Lucas was a baby, and we had just started feeding him solid foods, I had what I thought was a brilliant idea. I would make him vegetables. So many vegetables that by the time he was a toddler, he would be so used to eating vegetables that he would love them. I told one of my friends this plan. She has four children, and laughed at me, but wished me luck. This didn’t deter me. Oh no, I thought my idea was brilliant.

Fast forward one year, and Lucas won’t touch vegetables. In particular, his baby puree favorite, broccoli, is evil. I think it may be the texture. He even looked at cauliflower with suspicion yesterday, announced it was broccoli (despite my husband’s claims that it was more like potatoes). To be fair, Lucas doesn’t really love potatoes either. It’s just that potatoes aren’t evil like broccoli is.

Anyway, the point is that I’ve had to start getting creative. I have been sneaking spinach into things. I am going to start sneaking broccoli in next. The first of such spinach sneaks is this green juice that I have concocted. He drank the entire container, all three times I’ve made it for him. I know that it works because I had my husband try a bite, and he asked how much avocado I put into the smoothie. I told him none, and so he asked what made it green. And didn’t really believe me when I told him spinach. I consider that a win. Banana really does mask the taste of vegetables.

To make this recipe, I immersion blend 1/2 a cup of milk (I use whole milk), 1/2 a cup of plain yogurt (the flavored yogurt have sugar added, which you don’t really need), and a large handful of spinach. The spinach packed is probably about 1 cup total. Doing the immersion blending at this point allows you to really make the spinach dissolve into the liquid. Then, I add one banana, half a mango, 1-2 tablespoons of chia seeds, and immersion blend again. I use this immersion blender, which, particularly given the price, has been a complete god-send!

The whole process takes about 5 minutes. I cut a corner the other day, and left out the mango, and Lucas still drank it all. It’s really the banana that is key here! If you don’t have banana on hand, one cup of a different soft fruit would do (berries, etc.), but you may need to add a spoonful of maple syrup to make things a bit sweeter.

Hope you all enjoy this recipe, and please let me know if you try any substitutions that I should implement!