I am so excited to have a guest post today. My daughter Katy is sharing a fabulous nutrient rich smoothie recipe that she developed to serve the needs of our incredibly energetic granddaughter whom we shall call Sweet Pea. I have had many requests from mothers and grandmothers for ideas and recipes for feeding children on a whole food plant based diet. Through much experimentation Katy is accumulating a list of recipes and meals that are Sweet Pea friendly and also meet Katy’s criteria for nutrition. This is an ever evolving task. As we all know, kids are fickle and some days they won’t eat what has previously been a favorite meal or snack. Be forewarned – this is not a Chef AJ Ultimate Weight Loss friendly recipe! This recipe was developed to meet the high fat, high calorie needs of a growing child under the age of 2.
Sweet Pea’s Mo-Mo Smoothie – Guest Post by Katy
I have a very sweet and strong-willed 18-month old who would really prefer to be a strict fruitarian. Fortunately, these days Sweet Pea is willing to eat some vegetables, and all the grains and carbs, in addition to her big bowls of fruit. I have to remember that we’ve come a long way. We had a rocky start with introducing solids and, for a long time, Sweet Pea would only eat fruit. The smoothie that I’m sharing today is the result of standing in the kitchen, asking myself what else I could throw in the blender along with her beloved fruit to get more fat and protein in her little growing body.
If you research the recommendations for daily calories from fat for children under age 2, you will see that recommendations range from 30% to 50%. See Dr. Fuhrman’s Disease Proof Your Child. Even on the low end of the recommendations, it’s very high compared to what an adult needs. So, if you’re shocked by the amount of high fat whole foods in this smoothie, just remember that it’s not a smoothie for grown-ups! This was created for a little girl who would gladly eat a fat-free diet of kiwi, blueberries, apples and grapes all day long, even though now is the time in her life when she can enjoy the richest whole-foods indulgences without consequence!
When I first started making this smoothie, our little Sweet Pea wanted to do all her feeding on her own, but couldn’t yet work a spoon and didn’t like straws. I was thrilled to find reusable pouches like the ones that many pre-made baby food purees come in. The ChooMee reusable food pouches are our favorites, because of the silicone toppers with a flow control valve on top (most helpful if your little one enjoys flinging the pouch around).
Even though Sweet Pea can now use a spoon very well, she prefers her smoothies in the pouch. The smoothie also freezes up very well in the pouch. Just squish it around a little in the pouch once it defrosts to mix it back up.
This smoothie recipe usually fills about six of the ChooMee pouches, which are labeled at 5 ounces each. I probably only fill it to about 4 ounces, since the smoothie will ooze out as you close it if it’s too full. Some days Sweet Pea will down three of these pouches in a row. Other days, she takes the entire day to finish one, just sipping here and there.
Our little Sweet Pea named this smoothie “Mo-Mo” herself. I would like to think that she’s saying “more-more” because it’s so yummy. But I know that’s not the case because we speak Spanish in our home, so she says “más” when she wants more—even when she’s with her English-speaking grandparents. In fact, this minute she is shouting “Más mo-mo!” We can only conclude that it’s her unique attempt at simplifying the Spanish word for smoothie, which is “licuado.”
Sweet Pea’s Mo-Mo Smoothie
- 2 cups organic soymilk (I use Edensoy Extra)
- ½ small avocado or ¼ large avocado (I buy the Teeny Tiny avocados at Trader Joe’s)
- 2 heaping TBS flaxseed meal (I use Bob’s Red Mill Golden Flaxseed Meal)
- 2 heaping TBS hemp seeds
- 1 heaping TBS NuttZo butter or other nut butter
- 1 sliced frozen banana
- 2 heaping cups frozen mango
Put all the ingredients in a high powered blender like a Vitamix. This smoothie is rich indeed. If you use a frozen banana along with the frozen mango, it almost has the consistency of a “nice cream.” I use my Vitamix and really work the plunger with this smoothie, just as you would for “nice cream.” If you don’t have a high-powered blender with a plunger, you might still be able to make this if you increase the amount of soy milk and halve the rest of the ingredients.
Some notes on the ingredients:
I choose to use soymilk in this smoothie, although any plant-based milk would work. Soymilk is the highest in fat and protein of all the plant milks. Out of what is available where I live, Edensoy has the highest fat and protein count of all the soymilk brands, because they have a very high ratio of beans to water. They sell two kinds of Edensoy soymilk at my local Whole Foods. One is simply soybeans and filtered water, nothing else. The other is Edensoy Extra, which is fortified with B12 and other vitamins. It is also sweetened with malted wheat and barley extract. I wish they offered one that was both fortified and unsweetened, but they don’t. I’ve used both kinds in this smoothie, and it tastes the same to me either way. If you have concerns about soymilk, you should check out what Dr. Greger has to say: herehttps://nutritionfacts.org/video/who-shouldnt-eat-soy/ or here https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-effect-of-soy-on-precocious-puberty/ (especially if you have a girl). Dr. Fuhrman also dispels many soy myths here https://www.drfuhrman.com/learn/library/articles/104/dont-fall-for-the-myths-about-soy
I like to use NuttZo butter just because it sneaks in a little more nutritional variety, with the long list of different nuts and seeds it contains (brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, etc.). I buy NuttZo butter at my local Costco. They only carry the crunchy one, but with a Vitamix it still comes out as smooth as silk.
Alternatively, Trader Joe’s also carries a Mixed Nut Butter. It doesn’t have quite the variety as the Nuttzo brand, and isn’t organic. But it still provides a little more variety than a single nut butter. NuttZo butter and TJ’s Mixed Nut Butter are both salted, which is okay with me. But, if you prefer, an unsalted cashew or almond butter would also work.
I have also made this smoothie with 2 cups of frozen blueberries instead of mango. It is just as tasty as the mango version, but stains everything! 1 cup mango and 1 cup pineapple is also a nice tropical combination.
A handful of spinach can also be added to this smoothie. The one time I tried it, it tasted great to me. Sweet Pea, however, didn’t go for it. I don’t know if she just wasn’t into smoothies that day, or if she was turned off by the flavor of the spinach.
To save money, we buy the frozen fruits, organic hemp and flax seeds, and nut butter for this smoothie at Costco. It is the most affordable place that we have found to buy organic frozen fruits.
Recipe and post courtesy of Katy.
I am encouraging Katy to start her own blog where she can share her discoveries about feeding a young child a whole food plant based diet. There is a lack of information out there about how and what to feed babies and toddlers. Most of the information is directed at older children.
Plant Powered Families is one of our favorite cookbooks for feeding a family. The recipes are kid friendly and tried and true. Dreena is a mother of three girls and these are the recipes that her family loves. Dreena gives you product and ingredient information and plenty of tips on how to pack school lunches, how to deal with parties and picky eaters. I have been a recipe tester for Dreena for a couple of projects and I can tell you that her recipes always turn out amazing! Even on the Chef AJ Ultimate Weight Loss Plan I use her soup, stew and chili recipes just omit the salt and oil and they are perfect for a SOS free food plan!
I myself have not made very many recipes from the Forks Over Knives Family Cookbook but I have several friends on Instagram who love the recipes. There is some information about feeding babies their first year on a whole food plant based diet and also beyond the first year. The recipes are geared towards family meals with foods that should appeal to the younger crowd as well as mom and dad.
I hope this post helps some of you parents and grandparents who are looking for healthy ideas to feed the amazing children in your lives. We have a responsibility to teach and model good nutrition to them. Our actions speak louder than our words. They want to be like us. Every time I am eating a salad in front of Sweet Pea she insists on trying some – so far cucumbers, broccoli and kale are her favorite but she prefers the latter two cooked!
Happy Healthy Cooking,
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