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I’ve been trying to get my toddler to eat healthier snacks.
My toddler (ok, she’s actually three now, which is technically a preschooler I guess, but she still eats like a toddler) doesn’t like healthy food. It’s frustrating, because she used to. Her first food after avocado and banana was broccoli. Organic steamed broccoli. Then free-range chicken. She ate nothing but fruit, vegetable, and meat till she was a year old. And broccoli was always her favorite. She loved spinach too.

Then, when she was about a year old, we went on vacation with family, and she discovered cheerios. That was the beginning of the end.

Now she’s a pasta-and-bread addict, which would be bad enough if she didn’t also have a sweet tooth like, well, like her mom, if you must know the truth.  I caught her eating sugar straight out of the bowl the other day. (I used to do that in college, but I haven’t done it in years! Where did she even get the idea? Is it genetic?) She asks for candy for breakfast. She refuses to drink water because she only wants juice. And I honestly don’t know where all this came from. Where did I go wrong? Is it because I delayed junk food for so long and now she wants to make up for lost time? Is it my total failure as a parent? Whatever happened to the love for healthy, organic food that I thought I was nurturing in her?

I’m hoping it’s just a phase, but in the meantime, I comfort myself with the one healthy food she’s always thrilled to eat: homemade organic popsicles.

The recipe is so easy it barely counts as homemade. I mix yoghurt (organic, and local from Atlanta Fresh if I have it; either plain or vanilla flavored) with frozen organic fruit (usually strawberries). The mix should be about 50/50, but I don’t measure, I just toss it all in the blender and push the button. (Actually I let my daughter push the button, because that’s her job and she’ll throw a fit if she doesn’t get to do it.) If it doesn’t blend easily, I add a little more yoghurt. When it’s smooth, I pour the mixture into popsicle molds and put them in the freezer. (Any extra mixture makes a great smoothie.) Then just wait about 12 hours. The hardest part of the whole thing is getting my daughter to quit opening the freezer every ten minutes to see if her popsicles are done yet.

I like these much better than juice popsicles, because they’re made from real fruit, so they have fiber, and the added yoghurt gives them protein and calcium. They don’t even taste that sweet, but my daughter thinks they’re dessert. Except that I let her eat three of them in a row, which I would never do with dessert.