Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Green Smoothie Recipe for Babies and Toddlers

If you have a baby or toddler and are ready to introduce them to the lovely world of green smoothies then keep reading. If you are an adult who's curious about green smoothies or have a child who has never tasted one before, then keep reading. This post is for you too!

By about 8 months of age, most babies are ready for green smoothies. We like to avoid plastic sippy cups and instead use small glass or ceramic cups (I just go to the thrift store for these) for introducing green smoothies and other liquids. This gives babies and toddlers the opportunity to learn how to properly drink from a real cup right from the beginning. And, as an added bonus, they lessen their exposure to very toxic substances found in plastic: BPA and BPS!

                        Tom's TED talk on cruciferous vegetables

Why introduce green smoothies to a baby? This is the perfect time! Children's taste buds develop in the first 3 years of life so it's best to take advantage of this time and offer a wide variety of healthy food choices. This helps to establish a taste bud-brain connection to different flavors and textures! Kale and other dark leafy green vegetables can have a strong flavor but are also a powerhouse of nutrients. The amazing chemicals in kale and other raw cruciferous vegetables assist in detoxification. In fact, sulforophane in these dark leafy greens ramps up phase 2 detoxification in the liver, providing over 72 hours of protection from both environmentally and internally produced toxins. Considering that cancer is the leading cause of death by disease for children in the US today, I think it's very important to make sure that older babies and toddlers are receiving at least one small serving of raw cruciferous vegetables every one to two days. Green smoothies are a perfect way to get them in!

Baby Green Smoothie

This mild-tasting smoothie is very simple to make using a high-powered blender. Once your child gets accustomed to this version, add another leaf of kale to the blender (the flavor will get a little stronger). I like to add a little freshly squeezed lemon juice to all smoothies which will help prevent the fruit from oxidizing and keep the smoothie fresh, especially if you plan to store it in the refrigerator for a day or two. Some babies react to citrus so please check for a reaction before adding it to the smoothie. I like to buy bunches of ripe organic bananas and then peel them and freeze them in large containers to have on hand for smoothie recipes like this one. If you have leftover smoothie, you can freeze it in popsicle molds. My kids love eating green smoothie popsicles!

1 ripe pear, cored
1 large frozen banana
2 cups water
2 large kale leaves
small handful of fresh mint leaves
juice of 1 small lemon (optional)

Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender and blend until ultra smooth and creamy. Serve immediately or pour into a jar and store in your refrigerator for up to 2 days.

*Note: If you are following The Elimination Diet then omit the lemon juice during phase 1.

More Green Smoothie Recipes:
Peach Ginger Mint Smoothie
Cherry Beet Detox Smoothie
Blueberry-Cucumber Smoothie

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About the Author

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. She is the founder of Whole Life Nutrition, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them, and offers elimination diet recipes, healthy gluten-free recipes, paleo and vegan recipes, as well as tips for feeding your family a nourishing, whole foods diet. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!


  1. Thanks for this post, it's so important to introduce babies and small children to a range of different flavours while minimising 'sweet' flavours where possible for as long as possible.
    This smoothie would be fabulous for anyone however and in particular I love smoothies that combine kale and pear - it's divine!

  2. Thanks for the recipe. I've been trying to make baby food with lots of greens but my 15 month old takes little interest - I think maybe I've been trying to include too high a ratio of greens, after looking at this recipe. Maybe if I start with fewer greens and ramp up he'll take to it better.

    1. Yes, it's good to start with fewer greens for little ones. And if he still isn't interested, wait a month and try again. :)

  3. At what age do you think it's safe to introduce greens to a baby? Mine is 8 months, and while I'm anxious to start him on green smoothies, I also don't want to burden his liver, which is still developing. Would love your thoughts!

    1. It really depends on the baby. Anytime between 8 and 10 months is a good time to start. How are you thinking that greens could burden a baby's liver?


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