Much of parenting consists of striking a balance between two sometimes irreconcilable elements: what they want versus what you want for them. On the one hand, there are all those things little kids crave – playgrounds, freedom to scream, sugar, permanent markers. On the other are those you want for them – safety, health, vegetables, Crayola washables. Sometimes it seems as if never the twain shall meet.
But they shall. In fact, many of the great moments in parenting consist in transcending these opposed world views, in finding those areas where the two circles representing What They Want and What We Want for Them overlap in the Venn Diagram. When they do, you know you have achieved true parenting success.
Enter the smoothie. You might think of a smoothie as little more than some ice and blended fruit, maybe with some yogurt or ice cream or coconut milk thrown in to sweeten things up. But you’d be wrong. In fact, the smoothie is the very essence of the Venn overlap, the place where the twain meet, the apotheosis of clever parenting.
Reflect on it for just a second. My kids, for instance, each have a fruit or two that they don’t particularly like but will agree to eat if sufficiently incentivized or forced. One likes strawberries but not bananas or pineapple, the other likes grapes but not blackberries or peaches. Neither will touch mango. But – and here is the critical thing – they will eat all of these, with delight, in a smoothie. A strawberry-banana-pineapple-grape-blackberry-peach-mango smoothie will not just go down with ease, but they will actually finish it and ask for more.
How is this possible? It seems to bend the very laws of physics. Fruit on a plate is rejected; the same fruit in a glass is taken with glee. Fruit on its own is pushed away; the same mixed together wins smiles and applause. It’s inexplicable. Smoothies seem to jar the metaphysical order of the universe.
I don’t know how it works, but I know parents must take advantage. With smoothies, fruit is at once both what they want and what we want for them. Whoever invented the first smoothie is surely deserving of a Nobel Prize, possibly the one for peace.
It’s almost too easy. Enter the smoothie, and use it with abandon.
Our latest recipe:
- Fill blender with:
Any other fruit left in the fridge