Vegetables and Protein for Picky Eaters


As a certified health coach, I frequently have parents asking me about the best ways to incorporate more vegetables and protein into their children’s diets. My advice comes in two parts: One, the best way to encourage your children to eat healthy is to eat healthy yourself. It’s difficult to expect children to eat foods that you are unwilling to eat. If they see you eating lots of fruits and vegetables and lean protein, they will be much more likely to eat it, too. The second piece of advice is to be sneaky.

Toddlers are all about drinking out of crazy straws or fun cups, especially if the drink contains something other than the typical water or milk. In order to infuse our sixteen-month-old’s diet with more vegetables and protein, we’ve recently been starting his day with the breakfast of champions: a super smoothie. He gulps it down like his life depends on it, and it doesn’t take much more effort than what we were preparing before.


Ideas for what to include in a super smoothie:

  • Spinach (frozen or fresh)
  • Kale (frozen or fresh)
  • Berries (frozen or fresh)
  • Greek yogurt
  • Applesauce
  • Milk
  • Avocado
  • Nut butter or PB2
  • Chia seeds (soaked — we actually keep ours in a Mason Jar in the refrigerator, and they last up to a month)
  • Flax seeds
  • Pumpkin
  • Whey protein

His smoothies never contain all of the above ideas at one time, but we mix and match based on what we have handy. Super smoothies are also a great way to sneak in other things, such as coconut water or prunes if your kiddos are constipated. Plus, if you make enough, you can also indulge in some super nutrients, too. Happy healthy eating!

Previous articleConfronting My Mom Shame
Next articleSt. Patrick’s Day: Before Kids Vs. After
Katie Q
Katie is a Butler University graduate, who was lucky enough to meet her husband the third day of college. After graduating as one of Butler’s top 10 women, she went on to do Teach for America; South Carolina. She was a second grade teacher in a school with a high Hispanic population and loved every second of it. Never intending to be a stay-at-home parent, she worked until the day before she gave birth, took one look into her son’s eyes, and decided she wanted to be a stay-at-home mom after all. After re-prioritizing upon the birth of their son, Katie and her husband decided to move back to Indianapolis to be closer to family. She recently graduated with her master’s degree in education. She loves to cook, celebrate holidays, watch movies, party plan, travel the world, take walks, and play with her Border Collie. You will likely find her seeking adventure, hunting for bargains, helping others get healthy through her passion as a health coach, or cuddling on the couch with her hubby, baby, and puppy. If you’re interested in reading more about her crazy adventures, check out her personal blog, A Quinning Love.