My (Jessica’s) boys are both fruit fanatics. They have been known to sit down and split an entire cantaloupe or consume four bananas each. If we have plenty in the house, I don’t restrict their fruit intake when it’s on the menu. My key is that I don’t offer fruit at every meal! We typically have fruit for breakfast and often as part of our afternoon snack. It would be an unfair competition if other foods had to compete with fruit for their attention!
They may have a lot of picky tastes about other foods but it’s rare for my boys to encounter a fruit they don’t enjoy on first taste.
I bought a papaya for the first time and neither of them were fans!
In order to help them gradually learn to like the taste of papaya (and so as not to waste food!), I created this smoothie that combined flavours they knew and loved (banana and orange) with the new papaya flavour.
And it was a winner!
So, you're saying it's okay to sneak food into other foods your child is eating?...
We don’t recommend trying to trick your children into eating foods they haven’t accepted yet by sneaking it into other foods.
But, it is okay to combine foods together and let them know about it!
In this case, I told them that we were going to try the papaya again, but this time we would try it mixed into a smoothie.
I didn’t say “here’s a yummy banana orange smoothie” and hope they didn’t notice the papaya flavour.
It may seem like a subtle difference but maintaining that trust and honesty within the feeding relationship is paramount to feeding success!
Isn’t it better to feed babies whole fruit instead of blended up in a smoothie?Both whole fruit and smoothies can be offered to meet different needs!
Yes, it’s important to offer whole fruits in developmentally safe ways so that your baby or toddler can taste and recognize the fruit in its natural form and to help them develop the skills to chew and swallow these textures.
But while your child is learning these textures, serving the occasional smoothie can give them an exposure to these flavours in an easy to slurp texture!
At what age can you start to offer babies smoothies? The pureed texture of a smoothie is suitable for babies 6 months and older. However, you want to be mindful of the ingredients used to make the smoothie! In our e-book, Smoothies and Popsicles for Your Happy Healthy Eater, we recommend waiting until 9 months before serving most of the recipes. This is because there’s a significant amount of milk, which can interfere with and take the place of high iron foods. When a baby is starting solids, maximizing iron intake and absorption is really important!
Papaya Banana Smoothie
- 2 cups cubed papaya
- 2 bananas
- 1 navel orange
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Place all ingredients in blender.
- Start on low, then slowly turn up to high. Blend until smooth.