Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Frozen Yogurt Drops for Babies and Toddlers!

My son has always been a veggie-lover. The child has more than once requested peas and corn just to eat by themselves as a snack. As a parent who is very concerned about what my children eat, this truly brings me joy. Even today when I cook a meal, he will always eat his veggies before his protein because he prefers them. My daughter enjoyed eating veggies as a smaller baby, and there are some veggies she still enjoys. I can usually get her to eat cauliflower, any kind of roasted winter squash, sometimes sweet potatoes, and she will always eat kale chips. But quite often she will refuse to eat her vegetables at dinner, so I've had to get creative to make sure she gets veggies in her body each day. I have shared several veggie muffin and pancake recipes with you already, like spinach muffins, pumpkin muffins, spinach pancakes, and sweet potato muffins. (Zucchini muffins, carrot muffins, and beet pancakes will be coming soon!) She will also happy drink any smoothie or eat any popsicle even when it has spinach or kale in it. 

Another way I like to sneak veggies into her diet is with yogurt drops. If you spend any time on Pinterest looking at kid-friendly recipes, you've probably seen the method for making frozen yogurt drops, like this one. It's very simple and just involves putting drops of any flavor yogurt on a baking sheet, freezing them, then popping them off and storing them in a bowl in the freezer for a quick, healthy snack. I got the idea to put veggies in the yogurt drops when I had extra baby food that I needed to get rid of. The veggie yogurt drops went over so well that I still make them for her, and she will always very happily eat them! Actually, she thinks they are a treat, so sometimes I even give them to her as a treat after her dinner. (Shh! She doesn't need to know that there are hidden veggies!) 

I thought I would share how I make these yogurt drops for anyone who may also have a vegetable-wary baby or toddler. This is really more of a method than a recipe. I never measure anything, I just put some vegetable puree, some fruit puree, and some yogurt in a bowl and mix it up. You can add some honey or maple syrup to sweeten if you'd like. You can also add spices such as cinnamon for more flavor. If your mixture is too thin, you can add in some ground flax seeds or even some ground oats or baby oatmeal cereal. There is really no way to mess this up! It is a great use up for leftover baby food or any time you are left with a small amount of fruit or veggie puree that you can't think of a use for. I have pureed leftover roasted sweet potatoes to make these as well. 

Frozen Yogurt Drops

1/2 cup vegetable puree (any vegetable) 
1/4 to 1/2 cup fruit puree (any fruit puree, applesauce, or mashed banana) 
2 Tablespoons to 1/4 cup yogurt (I usually use plain whole milk, but any flavor you have will work!) 

Optional add-ins: 
1-2 Tablespoons ground flax seeds or ground oatmeal 
1 Tablespoon honey* or maple syrup 

Mix ingredients together in a bowl. Pour into a zip top bag and cut off a small tip as if you were making a bag to pipe icing. Make small dots of your yogurt mixture on a baking sheet or plate lined with plastic wrap. If you are making a very small batch, a plate will do, but I usually use a baking sheet. (The plastic wrap helps to keep the yogurt from sticking, and makes the whole process much easier!) Make sure your yogurt dots are not touching, or you will end up with a large sheet of yogurt. 

 Some flavor combinations that have been successful with my little one: 

1/2 cup beet puree + 1/4 to 1/2 cup strawberry yogurt 

1/2 cup butternut squash puree + 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce + 2 Tbsp plain yogurt 

1/2 cup butternut squash puree + 1/4 cup peach puree + 1/4 cup plain yogurt + 2 Tbsp ground oats 

1/2 cup sweet potato puree + 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce + 2 Tbsp plain yogurt + 1 Tbsp maple syrup + 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1/2 cup carrot puree + 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce + 2 Tbsp plain yogurt + 1 Tbsp honey*

*Remember do not use honey if making these for a baby under 12 months old!* 

Peach/Butternut Squash/Yogurt

Beet/Strawberry Yogurt


They look super cute when you pop them off and add them to a bowl. Adding the vegetables gives them a nice bright color, so there is definitely no need for food coloring. 

My daughter seriously can't get enough of these. She would eat them every day! Try these with your little one. They are a perfect finger food! 

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