Q&A with Katie180: nutritious smoothie for kids.

Today I received an email from a reader who wants some advice about how to oomph up smoothies for her nearly two year old girl who weighs only very little to begin with (she was born prematurely and it seems has stayed on the petite side).

Further she has recently suffered a bout of gastro and is now even littler. Poor bubbas! I know how frail and sunken kids can seem after a week of gastro, my four year old has had it three times since she was 15 months old (you get quick with the towels and outfit changes don’t you??)

So what I suggest for a young child who needs some nutrient dense food after being sick is:

1. Consider that during a bout of gastroenteritis, the intestines can be a bit rouged up from all the reacting to the infectious agent and contracting to expel food contents. As such, particularly in those predisposed to food intolerance, there can be short term secondary dairy and or gluten sensitivities.

Basically the intestines get inflamed and a bit crap at keeping larger particles such as whole food proteins out of the blood stream and then things can get a bit farty/bloaty/loose poo/tummy pain/maybe rashes and headaches etc.

IF you are dealing with a kid who is likely to react with sensitivity after being poorly in the tummy then it’s a good idea to keep these common allergens from their diet until they’re in robust good health again.

2. Keep foods easier to digest such as soft or slow cooked options: porridge, noodle soup, softly shredded meat, mashed potato, baked sweet potato, stewed fruit or softer fruit and so on. In this case, we’re going to discuss SMOOTHIES.

3. Smoothies. My go-to recipe for my own “fussy” (let’s face it she’s four) kid is this:

a) Blend a teaspoon (or two if they’ll drink it) of whole oats / quinoa flakes / sunflower, pumpkin, chia or flax seeds into a fine meal in the blender first.

b) Add milk: use whole fat (preferably organic or A2) milk OR almond or coconut milk, a serve for a 2 year old would be a 1/2 cup.

c) Add a small or half a large frozen banana. Pre-slice bananas in bulk, laying the pieces out flat into a shallow storage tub.

d) Add an egg yolk. Why not the white you ask? Well for me it comes down to taste, it’s a personal thing. Also, the white is the part of the egg most likely to set off egg protein allergy so I avoid it raw for young kids. BUT if there’s no issue with the white go ahead and use the whole thing. (Did you know that you can freeze egg whites to use to whip up at a later date? You can!) Ooh, make sure the egg is free range and organic so that it’s got a better nutrient profile and its chook has a good life :)

e) Add a teaspoon of flaxseed oil. Good retail brands include Stoney Creek or Udo’s. Good stores will have these stored in a fridge as they are best kept cold.

f) Add a dose of probiotics, the Inner Health Kids. Let’s put back what might have been heaved up or unbalanced during the time of infection.

g) Add a teaspoon of honey, Manuka if you can afford it.

h) Other smoothie additions can include pre-soaked dates, apricots, figs, prunes (pour over boiling water then strain), slippery elm bark powder, protein powder (although I generally don’t dig ’em), yoghurt, coconut butter, liquid supplements (Vitamin A, D, zinc), calcium/magnesium powder and my favourite chia oil which you can buy right here for half price currently!

4. For a chocolate version of this smoothie add a teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa and perhaps a half teaspoon of vanilla extract. Mmm!

In general I find the less gritty or lumpy the texture of a smoothie, the better tolerated by young kids especially. To this end, if they’re not into the pulsed oats or seeds, leave them out. An egg yolk, banana, some omega-3 from flaxseed or chia oil and whole milk is a nutritious meal.

5. Coconut butter/oil: Well reported to be a nutritious whole fat that has a history of being used in clinical settings for the malnourished (premature babies, elderly, burn victims and so on) as well as a traditional history of being prided for its antimicrobial properties (for the inside and the outside)… Coconut oil is a must try for getting good fats into little people.

Visit a health food store for a variety that has less of a coconutty taste and spread it on bread, toast and crackers etc as you would butter, then put butter on top to mask it. This is actually a good way of combining the fat profile of coconut oil with other fats from dairy as they enhance each others uptake in the blood stream.

Also bake with it, make icing with it, fry eggs, French toast, stir fries and Eastern flavoured dishes (curries etc.) in it.

Read more of my writing on coconut oil here and here.

~Yours in wishes for a full recovery and some appetite with gusto! K180, x







  1. Just what I need right now! Thanks. Love your coconut oil under butter tip – have been using it successfully for weeks now šŸ˜‰

  2. Ah, dear Katie180,

    If this depth of email is inappropriate, please just tell me – and I do apologise.

    Quite unintentionally, over a period of a good five years, I didn’t eat properly (broke up with my Chef, and other issues): leading to malnutrition with severe protein deficiency. Muscular atrophy, oedema, weird thinning frizzy hair, nails breaking, lowered immune system…

    My particular problem is that, due to medication I take for a quite separate condition, I can’t eat any foods with tyramine. This is non-negotiable.

    I am mostly encouraged to drink 800ml milk each morning with revolting protein powder. I am so sick of this that I can no longer do it: it fills me up so that I don’t eat; and, gives me the runs. Plus, of course, foods high in protein are recommended.

    One year plus since getting the diagnosis, I don’t feel or look any better. I’m doing weekly physiotherapy, but find it difficult to be motivated to practice.

    Any suggestions? Promise not to hold you to them. As I’ve said, if this is inappropriate, I do apologise.

    **Just recalled you’re in the middle of a move…perhaps best to leave this.** Maybe also best not to publish?, as it’s pretty specific.

    I’ll leave it totally up to you. Look forward to some house packing up/moving dance moves….


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