“Yuck Mom! I can’t believe you like that…” says Parker, my oldest of 4 kids. I was drinking a green smoothie. I have one daily for breakfast and had for a year and a half. When I first started I tried smoothies on my kids. They loved them. Then I added veggies to them and they could tell…mainly in the color…so they would not even touch them. In the past year, they each had consumed less than a cup of smoothie…even without veggies in then.
I remember the day my oldest brought me a tiny scrap piece of paper. I do not even know where it came from. One it was a recipe for a smoothie. He asked if we could make it. I almost fell over. Parker, the boy who turns his nose up daily to my green drinks of goodness! I looked over the ingredients and said, “Yes! In fact we have everything here.” I did change a few things and explained to my son why. The original recipe called for:
*6-8 strawberries, tops removed. Why remove the tops? I paid for the organic tops and nothing is wrong with them if you have a good blender that will take care of them.
*1 cup of canned pineapple with ½ cup of juice. It was summer and I had a $1.50 fresh one sitting on my counter! I chopped it up and used about 1/4 of the pineapple and a little water to count for the liquid.
*1 cup of orange juice. I do not give my kids juice on a daily or even weekly basis. There is a load of natural sugar in there, but no fiber. I did however have 2 oranges that I peeled and threw into the blender.
I blended away. To my surprise all of my kids loved the fruit treat! They asked for seconds! To this day in my house, Parker’s Smoothie is the name of their favorite afterschool treat. I made it just like this a few times, and then I changed it. I asked the kids if I could add another fruit (either cherries or blueberries depending on what I had fresh/frozen) and they said sure. I asked if I could put a little spinach in it if they color did not change. They said sure. The dark fruits covered the color of the spinach. My little ones drank up “Parker’s Smoothie” without thinking twice. I did a little mommy dance!
As parents, whenever we have our kids hands-on in the kitchen they eat more because they have ownership. The same is true for a recipe they bring you. My kids know that this is Parker’s Smoothie so they all love and drink it. My 2 oldest bring me recipes from books they check out in the library or seen in a magazine and ask if we can make them. Some, I have made before and some are new to our family, but because my kids have ownership in the recipe, they love to try it.
Now, Parker still says, “Yuck Mom!” to my smoothies. He now finishes with, “I can’t believe you like that when you could have MY smoothie.”
- 6-8 Strawberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1/4 of a chopped fresh pineapple or 1 cup of frozen
- 2 oranges peeled
- ½ blueberries or cherries (fresh or frozen)
- 2-4 handfulls of spinach
- 1/4 cup of water
- Add to a blender and blend until smooth. Optional: Hold off on one of the frozen fruits until the spinach and other fruit are smooth. Add at the end just until smooth to keep the smoothie cold.