With the chaos, destruction, gas-rationing and power outages in town the past two weeks, it has been hard to think about what to cook for dinner.
During the time we were without power, I found it difficult to eat healthily and was fueled mostly by coffee through the day and red wine by candlelight. Even worse, I let the children eat more snacks and candy than they normally would.
So, as soon as power was restored to our corner of Baristaville, it was no surprise that I was craving something healthy—not least to serve my kids. That particular healthy something turned out to be a drink: Rainbow Swirly Smoothie, a delicious treat loaded with antioxidants, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids.
I got the inspiration for them in what now seems like an eternity ago, way back on the Sunday-before-Sandy. On that day, I had the pleasure to meet Stacey Antine, author of Appetites for Life – The Thumbs-Up, No-Yucks Guide to Getting your Kid to be a Great Eater when she spoke at the Montclair Cooperative School Bookapalooza.
She spoke to the children in attendance about eating healthily then got them to help her make these delicious smoothies. Sounds a bit crunchy, but no, don’t be shocked: they loved it.
Equally, I loved her commonsense approach to getting kids to try new and different foods. Her rule was simple: they had to take a proper mouthful—give it time in their mouth beyond their initial reaction to texture—and then give the new food either a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down. Saying “yuck” on first contact was strictly forbidden.
Thinking about it, her approach makes perfect sense: kids judge everything they try initially on visual cues and secondly on texture, meaning that their immature palettes rarely get the chance for the flavor of the food to come through. Follow this rule and at least your food has more of a sporting chance and ideally, you should experience fewer “yucks.”
As it happens, these smoothies received a big thumbs-up from both the kids and adults at Bookapalooza. And now that my blender is powered again, Rainbow Swirly Smoothies have become a regular fixture on the breakfast menu at home, getting a big thumbs-up every time.
Rainbow Swirly Smoothie
6 ice cubes
1 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
½ cup 100% pure orange juice
1½ cups fresh strawberries (can substitute blueberries, raspberries or frozen berries)
2 tablespoons flaxseeds, ground
1 tablespoon honey
- Place ice cubes into blender and crush ice (looks like snow!)
- Place remaining ingredients into blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Pour into cups.