The transition to cow's milk hasn't been easy. Theo just isn't that into it and it has been a slow process! It's kind of ironic, as he has had some almond milk with meals since he was eight months old, specifically to become accustomed to drinking something other than water from a straw cup. The best-laid plans...
After some experimenting, I discovered that it is more an issue of the vessel - milk in a straw cup and not a bottle - than the taste itself. Before I figured that part out, I tried, with varied success, mixing cow's milk with almond milk, with a splash of orange juice (gross), with a plant-based milk called Ripple and with goat's milk. He still usually refuses milk in the morning upon waking up and at night before bed. If he has any, he only takes a few sips. It's not a big problem, as those feeds are not really necessary and will disappear in the future. Because daytime milk is more important, we are still aiming for increased cow's milk intake at meals and snacks.
Why is cow's milk important? In my Babygroup class, I've learned that it has nutrients (particularly fatty acids) that are crucial for brain development. Yes, Theo can get these nutrients through other foods like dark leafy greens, flaxseeds, eggs fortified with omega-3s, fish and other kinds of dairy like yogurt, cheese and cottage cheese. He consumes all of these foods, so there's definitely no need to panic. I've also learned that the transition to cow's milk can take 1-2 months! Knowing all of this, we're patiently continuing with the transition. (We're almost a month in now and are finally seeing more interest and intake!)
In the last few weeks, I've had success with making oatmeal and smoothies with cow's milk. That's where this particular smoothie comes in. It is very simple - hardly even a recipe! - but Theo loves it, and at this point, it is one of the ways he most enjoys drinking milk. This recipe is flexible, as you can use any fruit you want, various spices and/or additions like chia seeds or flaxseeds. You can also use any non-animal milk if your baby is under one year or your toddler/child just doesn't drink cow's milk. Have fun with it!
For babies/toddlers 12+ months – and kids and adults of all ages!
Makes about 16-18 ounces of smoothie
Prep time: 2 minutes
Cooking time: 1 minute
- approximately 1 cup of peach slices - fresh, frozen or a combination of both
- 1 cup of whole milk (or milk alternative of your choice)
- ½ cup of Greek yogurt (we prefer Fage)
- a pinch of ground nutmeg
- Place all of the ingredients in a blender.
- Cover and blend on high speed until it's smooth.
- Serve in a straw cup with a wider straw (see below for recommendations).
Straw cups with a wider straw that have worked well for Theo's smoothies include the Nuby straw cup, the Munchkin straw cup and the Thinkbaby straw cup. We also have the Thinkbaby stainless steel straw cup. The Nuby cup seems to be Theo's favorite at the moment.
I have used both fresh and frozen fruit for smoothies and they both work well. You could do all frozen, all fresh or a combination of the two!
You can use any fruit you and/or your baby like in this smoothie. You could use approximately one cup of one kind of fruit, a ½ cup each of two kinds that combine well, etc. Let me know if you need suggestions!
You could also add other ingredients such as a teaspoon to a tablespoon of flaxseeds or chia seeds (or both) and other spices such as cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, etc. Whatever seems tasty! Have fun playing around with it.
If you want to add some greens, you can add a handful or two of baby spinach or kale.
For babies under 12 months and toddlers that don't drink cow's milk, you can still make this smoothie! Simply use a non-animal milk like unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, soy milk, Ripple, etc.
The smoothie should keep in the fridge for a few days; just make sure it is covered somehow.