Earlier in the week, I posted on my Facebook page that I finally found a way to get my picky eater to eat the daily recommendation of fruits and vegetables. Believe it or not, Registered Dietitians have picky eaters too, and face many of the same challenges as parents who aren’t in the nutrition profession. It’s not an easy task to get my daughter to eat the recommended “5-a-day for better health.” In fact, some days it’s downright impossible. She likes to take foods out of her repertoire, and yet she is reluctant to add in new ones. For instance, clementines were a favorite for a few weeks. But as soon as I bought them in bulk, they were “off the list” (does that happen to you?). I decided to take my own advice that I recommend to clients who have picky eaters: Try a smoothie! Kids love smoothies, and you can add as many or as few fruit and vegetable varieties as you would like. My mission: To get the recommended “5-a-day for better health” into one smoothie and into one kid.
I started by using the fruits I know she likes; mangoes and blueberries. Then I added in the vegetable she likes; cucumbers. From there, I added in others from my produce drawers in the fridge that would give her the most nutritional bang for her buck. And that’s how the 5-A-Day Smoothie recipe was born!
5-A-Day Smoothie Recipe
Makes 16 ounces
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup kale, loosely packed and chopped
1/2 cup cucumber chunks
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth and all evidence of fruits and vegetables vanish into a smoothie consistency. Serve immediately and refrigerate the leftovers.
I served the 5-A-Day Smoothie to my daughter in a pretty opaque cup with a lid and a straw because I was afraid that the bluish/brownish color would cause the drink to fall into the “ugly food” category before it was tasted (yes she has food categories; ugly and pretty are among them). The cup was cute enough, and so she was willing to try it. Lo and behold, she liked it! She drank the whole thing! Once she was done and we discussed her enjoyment of this fruit-and-veggie-drink-disguised-as-a-yummy-treat, she was surprised that I added kale and she couldn’t taste it. The next time I made it for her, I put it in a transparent glass. She decided that the 5-A-Day smoothie looked like chocolate, so it was deemed a “pretty food” and thus, it was added to the repertoire! (whew!)
This 5-A-Day Smoothie recipe can be altered to suit the tastes of you or your children. Don’t be afraid to add dark green leafy vegetables like kale or baby spinach; they don’t have a strong flavor but they do have lots of vitamins, minerals, and fiber per serving. If you don’t have frozen fruit, add a 1/2 cup of ice before blending, or refrigerate before drinking if you like your smoothies cold. If you change out the orange juice for another juice, make sure that it is 100% juice and has no added sweeteners (natural or artificial).
I am relieved to have found one way to get my daughter to eat the necessary servings of fruits and vegetables in order to keep her fueled each day. Keep your fingers crossed for me that she doesn’t kick it off the list, now that I have bought frozen berries in bulk.
So what do you and/or your kids like in your 5-A-Day Smoothies?
Click here for a link to the printable recipe
Looking to kick the diet habit and start to take care of your health? Are you sick of dieting and what’s it’s done to your relationship with food and your body? Download my free e-book, “The Inner Girl Power Challenge,” and jumpstart your way towards ditching diets, eating fearlessly and making peace with the skin you are in!