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Happy, Healthy March from Little Hands
Happy March! Are you all happy to see the month appear on the calendar that will bring the first day of spring? I'm pretty ecstatic about it. I may hold a play date celebration March 20th when spring officially begins. With this month bringing spring and St. Patrick's Day, we have a good time looking for fun foods and activities that are green. Our most recent green obsession is a kale smoothie.
Kale is high in fiber, iron, Vitamin K, cancer fighting antioxidants, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and calcium. It lowers cholesterol and fights against arthritis, asthma, and autoimmune disorders. You see where I'm going with this? If you want to find a super food, here it is. That may be enough for you, but maybe not so much for your children. I can relate.
Both of my girls, the two-year-old in particular, have decided that "I don't like that" is their new favorite phrase. I don't like to sneak in healthy food or lie to them about what they're eating. I've found that in being honest, I've been able to help my 4-year-old understand that just because you don't like a food one way doesn't mean you won't like it another way. She recognizes that she doesn't care for raw celery, but she does like it cooked soft in a soup. So, when I gave them a smoothie that was green instead of the usual yellow or pink, they questioned it immediately. I explained that it was green from the kale in it, and I showed them some fresh kale to let them see what it looks like. Because it was already in a safe food they really enjoyed, they were quick to at least try it. Of course, the kale taste was pretty nonexistent with honey, yogurt, and fruit in there as well. What they learned was, "I like kale in my smoothie." We're still working on working tiny amounts of raw kale into their salads and other foods, but I always fall back on reminding them that they don't dislike this food completely.
Over the last week, I've slowly increased the amount of kale and decreased the amount of berries. I've switched to less intense flavored fruit like bananas to keep it sweet, but the smoothie is much less sweet and fruity than it was last week. Whether in soup or smoothies or whatever, if you introduce a little of a food honestly, then slowly increase the food in a non-intimidating way, children are much easier to sway to the healthy side.
So, why not try it out today? Grab a blender, processor, or magic bullet type appliance and throw in some kale, orange juice, yogurt, honey, and fruit. Knowing what nutrients your children are getting makes that sound of a straw slurping up the last of a drink so much sweeter.
Until next time,
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