Homemade smoothie recipes provide a way for parents to vary daily snacks for the kids, as well as introduce babies to new fruits and veggies and include a variety of healthy ingredients in the family’s diet. The variations in smoothie recipes are practically endless, which means they appeal to everyone, even the finickiest of eaters! Smoothies can easily be tailored to specific tastes and flavour preferences as well as individual dietary requirements, and they are so easy to prepare. Just throw a few ingredients in a blender, puree, and voila!
You can create any fruit or veggie combination as well as include a variety of super-healthy additional ingredients to ensure the family gets all the vitamins and nutrients they need! With only a few additions you can turn simple smoothies into a superfood smoothies-toss your basics, like milk, fruits, and veggies into a blender then incorporate some healthy add-ins, such as all-natural nut butters, chia, flax or hemp seeds, and nutritional boosting spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric.
Here are the top 10 superfoods to add to smoothies for an extra nutritional boost:
1) Flaxseed is a natural laxative that also provides heart-healthy omega 3-fatty acids to support brain health and can also enhance the absorption of certain vitamins. With its mild flavour and thickening properties, ground flax is a great thickening agent in smoothies.
2) Chia seeds are composed of 60% omega-3s which makes it one of the richest plant based sources of fatty acids. Because it’s high in fiber it helps regulate bowels which is very important for those babies who get constipated easily. Whole chia seeds are easily digested (unlike whole flaxseed) and are ideal for thickening smoothies and puddings.
3) Greek yogurt contains calcium, is low in carbohydrates and sodium, and a rich source of protein compared to other varieties of yogurts. It adds a thick and creamy texture and its tart flavour helps balance out super sweet smoothies.
4) Plant-based milk such as, coconut, hemp, soy, rice, and quinoa add a touch of sweetness to smoothies and a creamy consistency, making them ideal for babies and toddlers with allergies to animal-based milk.
5) Avocados are high in fat (the good kind) and contain fat soluble vitamin E and heart-healthy folate. They have a super creamy texture and a very mild flavour, which makes them ideal for any fruit/veggie smoothie combination.
6) Extra-virgin coconut oil has a light, slightly sweet, delicate coconut flavor and adds a buttery richness to smoothies. Coconut oil contains heart-healthy fats,is packed with essential nutrients, and has a ton of health benefits.
7) Dried dates contain both soluble fiber, which helps balances blood sugar levels and insoluble fiber, which helps improve bowel function. The addition of dates in smoothies adds a natural sweetness, therefore avoiding the addition of refined sugars.
8) Oats are high in soluble dietary fiber, and a good source of iron, magnesium, selenium, and manganese. They have a high sateity value and when combined with fruits and other smoothie additions they make the perfect “meal” for baby.
9) Hemp hearts are tiny, nutrient-dense seeds that deliver a hefty dose of omega-3 and omega-6 fats. They are a great source of GLA (gamma-linolenic acid), a highly anti-inflammatory omega-6 “super fat” that reduces inflammation and also supports a healthy metabolism, nourishes your hair, skin, and nails.
10) Turmeric is an earthy, fragrant and somewhat pungent spice. It is packed with medicinal and anti-inflammatory properties. It adds a healthy dose of nutrition to smoothies, as well as a deep yellow, earhty hue.
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