As I had mentioned before, my sweet little Frick and Frack (a.k.a Noah and Luke) are probably the most particular children on the planet when it comes to food. Their daily diet usually goes like this:
Morning: Both boys will usually have what they call a “super smoothie” (mini Stoneyfield
smoothies in a small plastic container). Sometimes Luke will surprise me and throw in a handful of Cheerios or some toast. Noah eats next to nothing in the morning which is highly stressful to me during the school year when I want him to eat a good meal before his mornings packed full of activity. He is usually starving by snack time.
Mid-morning Snack: Both boys like crackers or fruit.
Lunch: This is when I get to play the role of short-order cook. Their “usuals” include PB&J, Grilled Cheese, Yummy brand Chicken nuggets with ranch or ketchup, occasionally, Luke will eat a scrambled egg, and as sides they both like yogurt and more fruit. Both boys will rarely eat the same thing as one another. Annoying.
Mid-Afternoon Snack: They like fruit snacks or crackers.
Dinner: (See lunch.) We do succeed in getting them to eat spaghetti with meatless crumbles about once a month.
Oh and for beverages, water is sort of a four-letter word. Noah will drink plain or chocolate milk. Luke hates all milk. They both would like it if I hooked up an IV of juice to their arms. But I am very adamant that they can only have juice twice a day at the most.
So there you have it, my little boys’ horrid diet. It stresses me beyond belief. As a vegetarian who loves veggies and fruits of all sorts, I get ulcers when I think of how malnourished they probably are. I literally pray every night that they will have some sort of epiphany and want to try different, healthy foods; just something that doesn’t come out of a plastic bag or package. How good can it be to eat the same things every, single day? And believe me I have tried many tricks to sneak healthy foods into their bodies.
Smoothies weren’t even successful because of the texture. My mother-in-law and I were talking one day about it and she said she liked her juicer for that reason. It eliminated a lot of the pulp. She had the Breville juicer. I told her I’d give it a shot. She warned me it was a pain to clean but I told her if It worked, I’d clean it with a toothbrush every day to sneak the kids some healthy food.
She brought it over and immediately. Noah was fascinated with the big box it came in. I started pulling carrots, apples, spinach, peaches, pineapple, celery, pears, and strawberries out of the fridge and he asked if I was going to put it all into the machine. I told him yes, that I was making special juice that would make me super strong. He went to get the stool to help me. I still wasn’t convinced this would work because he likes to help me in the kitchen all the time but usually won’t try what we make together. I chopped the vegetables and fruits into smaller pieces and plugged in the blender. I let him flip the switch to start it up.
He looked up at me and smiled a big grin. Then he asked, “Can I put the apples in, Mom?” I nodded nervously envisioning his fingers getting sucked in, but I told myself, “Just be careful and don’t discourage his interest.”
He dropped the apple in with a thud and I quickly pulled his hand back and put in the insert to press the fruit to the spinning blades. A gush of juice poured out into the pitcher. “COOL!” Noah exclaimed. “Can I try some?” I felt my shoulders relax. This just might work!
I was skeptical when we dropped in the carrots and spinach and the juice took on an ugly color. But Noah was still excited to try what he was now calling “Mama juice.” When we had a fairly significant amount of juice in the pitcher, I poured him a small glass. He stared into my eyes as he took a sip. I was ready with a bowl in case he gagged it back out. He smacked his lips a few times and his eyebrows narrowed. I was sure he was going to say he didn’t like it. Then true to form, always going for the surprise he set the glass down and flexed both arms “Mom, I am super strong! I tried it, and I like it! Can I have some more?”
It took everything in me not to start dancing around the kitchen. He hates it when I praise him too excessively. I think in his four-year-old mind he finds it patronizing. My hands were shaking with excitement, so I carefully poured him a bigger glass and he happily gulped it down. I was giddy! Luke had been watching from the other room. I asked him if he wanted to try some. He is far more stubborn about food and said, “No.” I decided not to push it thrilled with my success of just one kid trying it.
So I have used the juicer about three or four days a week since we got it. Noah and Luke like picking out the produce for it at the grocery store. We try to find as many colors to put into it as we can. Luke has helped make it a few times but I think he’s scared to try it. I have slipped it into his sippy cup a few times when he wasn’t looking, but he figures it out pretty quickly and won’t drink any more. I keep trying just in case.
My little Gracie is only two-and-a-half months old but I am going to try things a little differently with her and use baby led weaning to introduce her to different flavors and textures when she is ready for solid foods. In the mean time, I eat tons of healthy food so at least she’s getting it through Mommy’s milk.
Now, I am psyching myself up to do the extra work and make Mama juice in the mornings before the boys go to school this fall- it’s only three weeks away! But I am glad that we’ve figured out one way to give them a healthier start to the day.