It is true that kids will have a manual to train you and not the other way around. The first 15 months of my son’s life (he’s now 3.5 yrs), I was on top of it. A happy (still is), quiet baby (not so much now), who made it simple by sleeping from 6pm to 6am since age 4 months. I thought to myself: “How easy is this!”, ” I can have four of them”, “what is everyone complaining about?”. It was great considering he devoured all the food that I prepared for him, and the fruit dessert after that. And this is what he looked like after a meal!
Then came 15 months and one day. I still don’t understand how it all changed. It’s as if his soul woke up one day and decided to take charge. From this day on, stop eating! Refuse all food, request only liquids! It was a shock. At first, I kept on cooking in denial and throwing it away. One day, I had an epiphany (as all mothers would). I began adding things to his milk cup to supplement for what he wasn’t eating, and soon enough it was his meal. Yes I admit it, he was on a liquid diet. I kept offering the food as usual which he would not touch, and then a Smoothie to fill him up.
Thousands of smoothies later (really!), I consider myself a pro at making them. These were loaded meals with a full list of nutrients, proteins, vegetables, the whole spectrum. In fact, Zeno loved his smoothies so much that he would break into a special dance every time the blender was on, and would invite anyone and everyone who was around to join in. Couldn’t resist, we would gather around the counter dancing and cheering him on! He still takes three a day in between meals which he started eating again after his two-year hiatus.
Many friends have asked me for some recipes, so here’s one of many to come, I don’t really have cute names for these, Zeno calls them by the fruit we use in it, so this is the Blueberry Pear Smoothie. Now when you read the ingredients on some of these smoothies, you might stare in shock, but it works, the flavor is great, and most importantly it is satisfying and good for the kids.
Blueberry Pear Smoothie
makes approx. 18 oz.
10 oz. or 1 1/4 cup whole milk, non-homogenized
1 ripe pear, cored and quartered (skin on)
1 cup baby spinach
1/2 cup blueberries
2 Medjool dates, pitted or 1 tbsp date paste (also called baking dates)*
2 tbsp tofu, firm
1 tbsp peanut butter, creamy or crunchy (we will liquify it anyway)
1 tsp wheat grass powder
*You may need to adjust the amount of dates based on the maturity and sweetness of the fruits you’re using. Also you can substitute with 1 tbsp Agave Nectar to replace the 2 dates.
Place all ingredients in a high powered blender, turn on high for about 40 seconds or until liquified. Serve cold or lightly warmed depending on your child’s preference.