My daughter Maddie had always despised vegetables to the point that no bribe (not even an ice-cream cone with rainbow sprinkles) was enough to let any veggie pass her lips. Green veggies were out of the question, but orange, yellow, and red ones didn’t make the cut either.
Apparently, Maddie’s self-imposed ban applied only to those veggies that required chewing and not to ones that could be enjoyed by sipping, however. When my brother, Maddie’s uncle, visited us recently, he whipped up a couple of green smoothies. To my amazement, Maddie, who adores her uncle and will basically eat or drink whatever he’s eating and drinking, not only sampled a sip of his smoothie, but she actually liked it.
I know what you’re thinking. Green smoothies are not for everyone. And if your kid won’t eat intact veggies, why would he opt for liquefied versions?
The fact is, once your kid tastes a smoothie, he may decide he likes it. Smoothies are cool and refreshing. They can be strong or mild, depending which veggies you toss into them. And there’s always a fruit alternative, if your child is not one for adventure. You can add in greens as he develops a taste for it.
In the meantime, you may want to start with a fruit smoothie. Your little chef will love choosing colorful, healthful ingredients and tossing them into the blender.
What You’ll Need
- ½ cup frozen blueberries
- ½ cup frozen strawberries
- 1 large ripe banana
- 1 chilled apple
- 1 ½ cups chilled coconut water
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
What to Do
- Let your helper wash the blueberries and strawberries, and put them into the blender.
- Invite her to peel and slice the banana and add it to the blender.Teachable Moment: 3 Things to Know About Bananas
1. They don’t grow on trees.
2. The word banana comes from the Arabic banan, meaning “finger.”3. If you peel a banana from the bottom up, you won’t get the string things.—Chiquita Bananas
- Peel, core, and quarter the apple.
- Ask your assistant to measure the coconut water and lemon juice, and add them to the blender, along with the cored and quartered apple.
- Show your child how to secure the top of the blender and press the “high” button, while you supervise closely. When the contents are puréed to a smooth consistency, pour into two glasses and serve immediately.
What You’ll Need
- 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 cup strawberries
- 1 apple
- 1 cup chilled coconut water
What to Do
- Invite your helper to wash the spinach, remove tough stems, and place the greens in the blender.
- Let him peel and slice the banana and slide it into the blender.
- Show him how to use a small plastic knife to remove the hulls from the strawberries, and toss the berries into the blender.Teachable Moment: 5 Fun Strawberry Facts1. There are roughly 200 seeds on a typical strawberry.
2. Strawberries aren’t even true berries. Technically, berries have their seeds on the inside.
3. There’s a museum just for strawberries in Belgium.
4. Ancient Romans thought strawberries could cure bad breath and chronic fainting.
5. The average American eats about 3 ½ pounds of fresh strawberries a year.—Food Republic
- Peel, core, and slice the apple. Have your helper toss the apple into the blender along with the coconut water (which he can measure).
- See step 5 (above) and serve immediately.