I think I have the most picky child to exist. He is 11, and has been a picky eater since I can remember. It's really difficult to deal with because I have often felt like he doesn't get the nutrients he needs each day. I started to feel really guilty and felt that it was my fault for his eating habits.
Packing lunches for him to take to school was always embarrassing. He would only want a bag of chips, yogurt cup, pudding, and fruit snacks. I couldn't get him to eat any kind of sandwich, soup, salad, pasta, mashed potatoes, etc. I don't know where I went wrong! I tried introducing him to foods constantly as he was growing up, but he just wouldn't have it!
Over time, he has gotten a little better. He will finally eat pizza and macaroni and cheese, eggs and bacon, cheese sticks... but it's such a limited list of items.
It's still very difficult to get him to try new things and vegetables seem like a lost cause. A friend recommended I try to get him to drink healthy smoothies. I make myself a green smoothie in my NutriBullet and love them. I can fit so many nutrients in one smoothie and I don't even know I'm eating vegetables.
I started out with something simple, I didn't want to scare him away with something that wasn't at least a little bit tasty for a kid. I didn't want to make it too sweet because then when I started adding other vegetables, he wouldn't want it and would want the sweet one he had at the beginning.
So, I started out with a banana, a handful of frozen blueberries or strawberries, a handful of kale and about a half a bottle or so of water. Blended up and he LOVED IT.
He got to where he loved the smoothie so much, he was asking me for one each day. I started GRADUALLY adding vegetables without him seeing. I would keep up the same recipe, but add in a carrot. Then I might add in some cucumber or spinach. Some days I would mix it up and and bok choy, throw in an apple or an orange. I always make sure there is a good helping of kale in there! As long as I keep a banana in my recipe, it's usually pretty sweet. Over time, he got so used to the taste that he didn't even notice when I added more and more vegetables.
If you struggle with a picky child, this really helped me. Use fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, not canned. Buy organic when you can. Don't make it too sweet from the beginning but don't make it too bitter either by adding too many vegetables at first. Be creative and have fun! Taste it before you give it to them so you know there is a good balance. Tell them it will give them some great energy like super man! Be cautious of any allergies they might have, wash the fruits/veggies off before blending. Use plenty of water, the frozen fruit will make it really cold. I don't use ice, it takes away from the flavor. Plus, I like it to be easy to drink out of the straw, and water does that. Ice makes it hard to suck out of the straw.
Avoid adding juices because they can be very high in sugar. Lastly, if you don't drink these types of smoothies yet... try them! They literally have changed my health and my life in so many amazing ways. Our bodies truly are amazing and perform so much better when we put the right things into them. You can find tons or smoothie recipes online or create your own!
Does the Blender Matter?
I recommend using something like a NutriBullet (what I have) or a Vitamix or Ninja because it's going to get everything chopped up REALLY fine so you won't be biting into pieces of kale and spinach. I made that mistake by just trying a blender the first few times around. Then, I moved to an inexpensive personal blender and was still "chewing" the drink. Finally, the NutriBullet gets everything completely blended and turns it into a juice. I can put flax seeds and other types of seeds in my smoothie and it grinds all of it up so you don't even know it's in there!
Check out some of these great options to make your smoothies!
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