The Smoothie Debate

My daughters smoothie this morning has prompted me to re post my smoothie blog. I know that in 1 hour she will be back for something else to eat – yet if she actually ate that fruit whole, it would have kept her fuller for longer.

Let me explain.

Blended smoothies are a popular trend with both parents and kids. They are fast and simple, and can allow parents to get foods into a child that they otherwise would not eat. they are also easier when on the run – running late or tryng to get to kindy/work/play date! I know the struggle is real.

I have lots of parents giving their little one smoothies every day. Yes, these smoothies are packed full of fruit & greens and please don’t get me wrong – smoothies are great to get extra vitamins and minerals into your toddler.

However, here is some food for thought.

Liquids are quickly digestible and will not keep your toddler satisfied, increasing ‘snacking’.

Although not a smoothie, a cup of fresh apple juice is up to 2-3 apples (maybe more); eating 1 apple would keep you fuller for longer.

Since toddlers do not have to chew and take the time to eat, they do not have the same biofeedback to regulate how much they are eating. So, it is important to choose the right foods to blend—preferably a combination of vegetables, limited fruit, and dairy.

Higher-calorie/higher-sugar contents in the smoothie don’t offer much in terms of protein and fat. Fat and protein are essential in every meal. Fat helps our bodies absorb vital minerals and vitamin from our food and keeps us fuller for longer. 

P2B recommends the rules of 3’s. Fat, protein and carbohydrate in each meal where possible.

Before making your smoothie put everything you would out in the smoothie on the kitchen bench and look at the content and amounts you are putting in.

The current recommendations for serving of fruit per day for 2 to 3 years of age suggested 1 serve of fruit per day.

What does a serving of fruit look like? 1 serve = 1 medium apple, banana, orange or pear; or 2 small plums, kiwi fruits or apricots; or 1 cup diced or canned fruit (no added sugar).

If you are making a smoothie: Try to limit the amount of food in the smoothie to what your child could eat if the food was eaten whole vs. blended.

In other words, don’t put more food into a smoothie than would be typical for a child to eat. (e.g., do not put 1 banana AND 1 apple AND blueberries AND strawberries in — that’s too much).

I am certainly not saying don’t give smoothies, but I am encouraging you to take on board the above and have them as a “sometimes” alternative

If you are concerned about your little ones diet or are stuggling please contact P2B resident dietiticans:

Way of Life Nutrition

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