As I've said before, Lexi is not a picky eater. However, she doesn't eat a lot in one sitting and would rather eat a few small meals throughout the day. There are times when I just can't get her to eat at all (usually just after a growth spurt). The general feedback I have had from other parents is that this is a common problem. This is when I revert to smoothies.
Smoothies are the most nutrient dense meal that I can think of and if I can get a smoothie into Lexi I don't mind if she barely eats the rest of the day. They are ideal for picky eaters (as long as they don't see what you're putting in it) and great for kids that won't eat vegetables. Our go-to smoothie is a green smoothie packed with vegetables. You can find the recipe here.
And if your child still refuses smoothies freeze them into ice lollies for a refreshing "treat".
Here's my formula for a well balanced smoothie:
My favourite is unflavoured collagen. I use The Real Thing PRO-Protein Powder (available at Dischem). It’s one of the purest and most concentrated sources of hydrolyzed marine collagen protein available.
I usually use avocado but you can also use coconut oil, nut butters (with no additives), flax seeds, chia seeds or hemp seeds. There are lots of possibilities!
A small handful of green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, cabbage, beetroot leaves or broccoli leaves add a huge number of nutrients. Green vegetables are high in calcium, fiber, folate, magnesium and potassium. They're also packed with vitamins A, B, E, C and K. This means that greens help with digestion, bone growth and strength and immune system support.
I usually use kale and more recently broccoli leaves because the flavour is not as strong and I can put more into the smoothie.
Lexi's two favourite are apples and bananas. We put apples in smoothies with avocado (and a squeeze of fresh lemon) and bananas for smoothies with nut butters. When they're in season we also use a lot of fresh berries, mango and peach in our smoothies. Fruit is a useful tool to tempt kids into drinking smoothies. Use their favourite or let them choose the fruit.
You'll notice that I avoid sweeteners in smoothies, even the healthier ones, because I find that fruit adds enough sweetness.
We use water but you can also use any milk or milk substitute that you enjoy to add extra calories and nutrients.