How many of you have that picky toddler? You know, the one who rules the roost and chooses what they will eat, when they will eat, with no rhyme or reason between one day and the next. My first child, I was so ignorant. He ate everything and loved everything. Living on a produce farm meant he was exposed to a huge plethora of vegetables, and he would happily gobble up kohlrabi mash, eggplant casserole, winter coleslaws and more! Then, my second came around, and feeding him has been a whole different story. He is so picky, and finding what he does and doesn’t like has not been easy. I have managed to sneak in healthy foods, like these awesome Spinach Muffins or by making a super-food packed breakfast smoothie. But, I recently found another food that he adores, popsicles! So, I found a way to make popsicles a perfect, healthy snack, and it has worked out for both of us. (Sidenote – he still only gets one popsicle a day as a treat, so don’t worry – its not breakfast, lunch and dinner!)
It’s All in the Ingredients
So, how dare I feel confident giving my son a popsicle every day, even if it is after a dinner that he refused to eat? I make sure to pack these popsicles with as much nutrition as possible, that’s how! I have had a lot of fun coming up with healthy popsicle recipes that I feel good feeding him. Every single popsicle I have made has some combination of fruits and vegetables, and then I toss in some extra healthy additions, like chia seeds, ground flax, greek yogurt, or more! The top two favorites in our house were the “Blood Orange Carrot Delights” popsicles (wow – they were so vibrant and delicious!) and also the “Spinach Strawberry Sweet Treats.” (My five year old and I have fun coming up with the popsicle names – another benefit of making your own!)
As with anything in motherhood, when I make popsicles, I want it to be fast and easy! So, I made sure to get the proper equipment. I love these popsicle molds: they were cheap and delivered in two days on Amazon prime, but they are of good quality. I also utilize my blender to blend up the ingredients. Finally, I am fortunate to have a juicer, which I have used a few times as well! I highly recommend having either a citrus juice or fruit/vegetable juicer in your house. I can often get my kids to drink a fresh, healthy juice that includes cucumbers, celery, carrots and more because they love the process of juicing together, and the taste and colors of a fresh juice!
Making the Perfect popsicle
Here is a small photo guide of how I made my most recent batch of popsicles, which we named the “Crazy Combo Popsicle.” It had spinach, bananas, chia, yogurt, frozen peaches, frozen blueberries, and orange juice.
First – add your ingredients in a blender. I try to use at least 3-4 packed cups of spinach and 1-2 Tbsp of chia seeds. Then, I just toss in some frozen fruit, a scoop of yogurt, and enough juice to get it blended.
Then, have your popsicle molds ready, and pour in your freshly blended goodness.
Then, put the caps on and place them in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours before eating. Finally, enjoy any extras as a fresh smoothie right on the spot!
Some recipe combinations:
2 Carrots, 2 Orange, 1 grapefruit
2 Blood oranges and 3 carrots
Spinach, Strawberry, Yogurt, Flax, Apple Juice
3 Apples, 2 Carrots, 1/2 lemon, 1 inch ginger
Kale or spinach, Blueberry, Peach, Yogurt, Chia, Orange Juice
And honestly – whatever other combination of fruits and vegetables that you can think of!
Give it a try – you will feel good knowing your children are getting some nutrition out of their popsicles, and won’t mind when they ask for one. If you come up with a good recipe, please share!