I remember once, ages ago, complaining to a friend about what a picky eater Forrest was. At the time, I think he was only really eating breads (muffins, rolls, etc.), and hadn't touched a fruit or vegetable in months. And this other mom suggested all casually, "Why don't you make him smoothies? My kids love smoothies."
And I think I actually laughed out loud, because it seemed to me that a child who will drink smoothies is not a picky child.
Thank goodness, Forrest has been improving on the picky eating lately. I still think he's absurdly picky, but at almost 5 years old, he's finally becoming more willing to try things. 9 times out of 10, he'll take a microscopic bite and declare it disgusting, but at least he'll try. This feels like huge progress to me.
And although he insists that he hates almost every ingredient I put into smoothies, he actually is loving and requesting them lately.
The smoothie love started a few months ago--Forrest was out running errands with my mom and watched while she ordered herself a smoothie. I swear to you, the greatest persuasion tactics in the world wouldn't have made the smallest impact if it had been me drinking a smoothie in front of him, but we're not talking about boring mom here. We're talking about Grandma. I'm not sure she even had to offer--he asked for a sip and then proceeded to gulp her entire smoothie down, and started requesting them at home. Which Darcy appreciates, since she can't say 'smoothie' but loves them anyway.
And now, these homemade smoothies are probably the only source of actual vitamins and nutrients that he ingests. I'm only half joking.
I almost always have these ingredients on hand, so it's really easy to whip up a quick smoothie when he asks. Here's the formula that has worked best for us:
1/2-1 cup ice
1 1/2 cups frozen mixed berries
1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
1 banana, fresh or frozen, chopped
1/2-3/4 cup lowfat vanilla yogurt
1 cup juice (or milk, or almond milk)
Our blender has been slowly dying for years now--I'm always a bit surprised when it kicks on after being plugged in. We really ought to just get a new one (especially since the kids are such smoothie fans now!), but in the meantime, I try and help it as much as I can by chopping up some of the ingredients before adding them to the blender.
I give 1-2 handfuls of spinach a rough chop before tossing it in--I love using spinach in smoothies because (and I'm being totally honest here) I think it tastes like nothing. So why not add some healthy greens when they have literally no impact on the flavor of the smoothie? Forrest doesn't need to know.
I used new Green Works Pump 'N Clean while making my smoothies the other day--it's completely food safe, so it's great to use if you need to clean up a tad while cooking. I used it to clean off my knife after chopping the spinach. I love that I can use it one-handed, and that it's totally safe to use in the kitchen and even around food. (Be aware, though, that it should not be used to clean up after raw meat or fish!)
Then just jumped right back in to chop my banana.
If I've really gone heavy on the spinach, or if I'm using milk instead of juice, I'll sometimes add a bit of sugar to the blender, too.
If you're interested in trying out new Green Works Pump 'N Clean, grab it in the natural section of the cleaning aisle at Target. And even better, f
Do you use natural cleaning products like Green Works in your kitchen? And--as the parent of a picky eater, this is always on my mind--how do you convince your kids to try healthy new foods?