Milkshake, the New Vegetable

My two and a half year old, Bobby, prefers ice cream over anything else in the world.  This in addition to his love of chocolate truly makes him my son.  But the preference for all things creamy and sweet does have its downside.  It makes mealtime especially challenging.  After all, how do you get an ice cream lover to get enough protein and vegetables?  Well, the other day, I stumbled across a new strategy.  Milkshakes!

Who knew that by giving vegetables a different name they would instantly become more appealing.   Blended and disguised with other healthy things, they take on another form.  So, rather than saying, “Bobby how about eating some peas, broccoli or green beans,” I now say “how about a milkshake.”

Into the blender go a variety of foods, mostly nutritious.  Yogurt and tofu give him a boost of protein; milk some added calcium; green veggies some essential vitamins and fruit/frozen berries a bit of flavor.  As far as frozen vegetables go, frozen peas and greens work well.  To make it appealing I add a little bit of something special for flavor.  Sometimes chocolate syrup is the magic ingredient and other times juice.  It depends upon what’s around that day.

Here are five of Bobby’s favorite combinations:

Chocolate Milkshake – milk, tofu, veggie (frozen peas, spinach), chocolate syrup

Chocolate Banana Milkshake – same as Chocolate Milkshake but add banana

Strawberry Milkshake – vanilla yogurt, tofu, strawberries, veggie (frozen peas, spinach), juice

Banana Milkshake – vanilla yogurt, tofu, bananas, veggie (frozen peas, spinach), juice

Blueberry Milkshake – vanilla yogurt, tofu, frozen blueberries, juice

Since I’ve reinvented the milkshake, it has become a favorite food option for Bobby.  He literally cheers when I suggest it.  More often than not, however, I don’t even need to suggest it as he just plainly asks for one.  Nothing makes me smile more than my child happily chugging down a protein and veggie packed snack.

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