Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Popsicles That May Just Save Your Toddler's Diet

Aias is an incredibly picky eater. He's also small for his age. These are things that concern me from time to time. Every day is a battle to get nutrients into him, and nothing feels better than knowing he's had a good food day.  I created this popsicle recipe to guarantee he has at least a few basic nutrients in him every day.

I'll start by saying that these popsicles are a tool for the desperate; they are incredibly expensive to make (but check out my coupon code below to save $10)!  If your kid is a decent eater, you probably won't want to bother.  That being said, if you are like me, you've probably sunk tons of money into a variety of foods that you've ended up throwing away when your kid snubbed them anyway.  If you invest in making these and your kid likes them, trust me, it's an amazing investment!  If your kid doesn't like them, well, you will have some healthy popsicles for yourself to finish :)

Three completed super-popsicles

Lots of kids with sensory or texture issues will happily eat food that's frozen and in popsicle form, or so a few pediatricians have told me.  So far it's been the trick to success with getting Aias to eat.

The ingredients:

Greens+ for Kids (by Genuine Health)- A 128gram container usually runs about ~$28 CAD.  Greens+ for kids is a sugar-free powder that you add to water so your kids can the nutrition offered by vegetables

NutraSea Kids-  A 200mL bottle usually runs around ~$18 CAD.  Nutrasea Kids is an omega-3 supplement with EPA, DHA, GLA and vitamin D.

Kindervital Liquid Vitamin for Children- A 250mL bottle usually runs around ~$25 CAD.  Kindervital contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, D, E as well as the minerals calcium and magnesium, and is blended with herbal extracts and fruit juices.

Organic berries/banana- I choose organic berries (and sometimes a banana) to add because your child will get the juice AND the fibre of the berries.  Choose berries that taste good to your child to up the odds that they will eat the popsicles.  I go with organic because berries have so much surface area to be sprayed with pesticides, they taste sweeter, and because they will be consumed raw. 

Full fat or 2% yogurt of your choice- I prefer full-fat plain green style yogurt because we want to get fat into Aias.  Choose any yogurt you think will taste best to your child.

Fruit Juice, Stevia, or Sugar to Sweeten- We sweeten with Stevia.  If your child has a specific fruit juice they like to drink, sweeten with that.  If you are just willing to do anything to get your child to consume the above ingredients, just add some sugar.  Work on getting nutrients into your child now, and then worry about taking the sugar out later. 

Finally, you'll also need a popsicle maker of your choice (any will work, we happen to have a Zoku)

An arsenal of healthy things!

You'll need to blend all of these ingredients together using a blender or hand blender.  The amount of ingredients you use will depend on the size of your popsicle molds and how many pops you are  making.  To make 6 pops in the Zoku, I generally use a handful of berries, a banana, about 1.5 cups of yogurt, a scoop of Greens+, 1 tablespoon of Nutrasea oil, and 3 doses of the Kindervital.

If you are more comfortable with it, you can mix it all up and then measure out single doses of the Kindervital to add to each pop.  Remember, some of the Kindervital nutrients are fat soluble so technically you could give your child too much of the vitamins, so be careful and conscious of that when serving the pops to your child. 

Other ingredients you may want to add depending on your nutrition goals for your child:

Protein powder
Silken tofu
Carrot puree
Flax seed oil
Coconut oil or coconut milk
Happy Planet smoothies for flavor

If you are nervous your child won't eat them, try to make a few tiny batches with ingredients that slightly differ.  Take note of which ones your child prefers.

Let me know how it works out for you if you try these; they've really made a world of difference for us.

Getting cold in the Zoku, almost ready to be eaten.

P.S. You can get most of the ingredients on well.ca, and if you use the coupon code AIASDOTCA you will get $10 off a $40+ order (if you are a new customer).  Check them out here.


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