It happens to every parent. You go to a doctor’s appointment and your child’s physician warns you of something that is “to come.” During my son’s one-year-old appointment, his physician gently warned us that our child’s eating habits might change. He wasn’t referring to our son eating less or eating more but referring to him becoming a picky eater. As a First-Time-Mother, I smirked, and internally insured myself that that was impossible. My little champ has been a good eater for months, there’s no possible way that could change.
Well, fast-forward about 5 weeks after that appointment, my good eater decided that he was no longer into the idea of eating any and everything. I remember it like it was yesterday… my son literally put his hand in his mouth and removed a handful of food, politely dropping it on the floor. Me thinking it was a fluke, I placed another spoonful of this healthy sweet potato and apple mixture into my good eaters mouth. This time, he skipped removing the food with his hand and simply used his tongue to push out the undesired mush. Reality had arrived.
For breakfast, his normal oatmeal, eggs, sausage, and toast were out and Gerber oatmeal was in. For lunch he only wanted applesauce or anything fruit-flavored with an applesauce consistency. For dinner, he diverged from eating whatever we were eating and again preferred only applesauce or anything fruit-flavored with an applesauce consistency. After this went on for about a week, I knew we had to get some veggies into our kiddo somehow.
Well, long story short, one day after finishing up my Saturday morning walk, I stopped at Jamba Juice. As my son observed me enjoying my Apple ‘n Greens Smoothie, he of course wanted to try some. As my son began slurping down my smoothie, a light bulb went off –> Wait, there’s not just fruit in that drink, there’s kale in there! *Insert clouds parting and the heavens singing down* I can sneak veggies into smoothies. Okay, maybe not rocket science for everyone but quite the proud mommy moment for myself.
From that day forward, my son has had quite the amount of veggies in either a smoothie or juiced form. When creating smoothies or juices for him at home, we try to be mindful of the fruit verses veggies ratio; the point is to get him to eat veggies right.
Veggies we’ve used:
spinach, cucumbers, carrots, beets, lettuce, broccoli, kale
Fruits we’ve used:
apples, pineapples, strawberries, bananas, pomegranate, mango, blueberries , tomatoes
Liquid bases we’ve used:
water, coconut water, apple juice and water, pure pomegranate juice and water, pineapple juice and water
Since starting this process, my son’s taste buds have begun to catch on and he is slowly becoming more open to other foods again. Added bonus, my little guy has become a lot more, shall we say, “regular,” since being introduced to smoothies and homemade juices.
(*As a disclaimer, I was not compensated by either Gerber or Jamba Juice for the shout-outs in this post. I mean, if they wanted to send me a few coupons after reading this, I wouldn’t be opposed.)
Charonda Oliphant is a Career Counselor at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is the wife to an amazing husband and mother to a beautiful – and quite energetic – 1 year old son. When time permits, Charonda greatly enjoys spending time with family, crocheting, and baking cookies. Outside of family time, things that give Charonda life include coffee, good company, good conversation, and good food. Additionally, she has been known to annoy her husband with her many requests that he put everything on their shared Google calendar.