3 Ways your child can get more nutrition — through a straw

Nov 16, 2015 at 3:24 p.m. ET
Image: Monica Swanson/the Grommom

My husband and I really try to keep our boys fueled and filled with good food throughout the day. We've taught them why it's important to eat well: It makes them feel better, have more energy, and stay strong for all of their life.

Our fourth son has been our biggest challenge when it comes to eating. Quite simply: He doesn't want to eat very much, and when he does, he doesn't often want what we want him to eat.

So we try to be creative, introducing him to more nutritious foods in a variety of ways. I have found one of the easiest ways to get good foods into my little stubborn guy is through a straw. He loves to sip and slurp down all kinds of drinks. So I take full advantage!

Though I mix it up all of the time, here are three of our go-to drinks to add some substance and nutrition into my little guys' diet:

1. Peanut butter, banana, flax smoothie

This smoothie is a simple combination of 1 cup milk (I use almond) with 1 Tablespoon peanut butter (or almond butter) 1 banana and 1 teaspoon flax seed + ice.  {I love simple recipes with equal measures so I can remember it them easily!}

Image: Monica Swanson/the grommom

This provides protein, plus potassium, and the flax is great for Omega 3 fatty acids which are great for the heart!

2. Berry-Green Smoothie (dairy free)

Another go-to drink I love is a refreshing berry smoothie, packed with greens. My little guy has no idea that there are as many greens in this "fruit smoothie" as there are berries!  (Makes me feel sneaky in such a good way!)

To make this, combine 1 cup frozen berries, 1 cup spinach or kale, 1 cup orange juice, 1-2 Tablespoons honey (depending on how sweet you like it)  + ice.

Image: Monica Swanson/the grommom

Image: Monica Swanson/the grommom

**You can always add other fruit to this recipe, pineapple being one of our favorite add-ins!
This smoothie is packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, and plenty of other vitamins. Plus it tastes amazing!

3. PediaSure Grow and Gain

For days where we are on-the-go, we recently tried out PediaSure Grow and Gain. As soon as I got the little bottles unpacked, my youngest son opened one ("Banana Shake" flavor) and drank it down so fast! With a little milk mustache on his face he beamed and exclaimed "This is my NEW FAVORITE DRINK!"

Image: Monica Swanson/the grommom

Since these shakes have protein, vitamins and minerals, we are happy to give this little guy a few extra calories through this cute little bottle.

With intention and a little creativity, it is possible to get even the pickiest little eaters fueled up for their very active days.

Image: Monica Swanson/the grommom

Image: Monica Swanson/the grommom

Here's to full tummies and messy milk mustaches!

Disclosure: This post is part of a sponsored collaboration between PediaSure® and SheKnows

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