I remember when the twins were young and we were trying to wean them off of the bottle, they kept losing weight. At two. They had to have a nightly formula feed to make sure their caloric intake was enough to keep a pound on. In fact, at 6 years old Squirt weighs 31 lbs. Her brother, at 3 weighs in at 32 lbs.
The pediatrician suggested that I try making a milkshake with instant breakfast powder and full-fat ice cream. I tried this, eager to get some food in these skinny bottom five percentile children. They hated it. With a passion. I believe one of them spit theirs out.
Years and years later, I am on a smoothie diet, in which I make a spinach/fruit smoothie every morning. It makes enough for two servings, so I save the other half for lunch. The girls have noticed this and started asking to "taste" my smoothies. In lieu of giving them my smoothie I offered to make them a chocolate one. There was lots of excitement about this. So I made them a milkshake/smoothie.
2 packets of chocolate instant breakfast
2 cups whole milk
3-4 hefty scoops of vanilla ice cream
I threw it all into the blender and portioned it out into three straw cups. (Which I got on a super sale at Kohls a couple days after Christmas. I don't care that they have gingerbread men on them- they were less than $2) The milkshakes were an instant hit, and I have been making them pretty consistently for after school lunches ever since.
Today I decided to test how far their love of pureed drinkables went. After all, my green smoothies were pretty healthy, packed with vitamins and whatnot. So I made a super helping of the smoothies for lunch today and handed them out.
Success! All three loved it, and I got a gold mommy star for eeking in some spinach to their diet!
So I've come to a conclusion: we are going to make tons more smoothies. Perhaps this will result in the kids' diets becoming a bit more balanced? (as in more than an occasional pancake here and there) I decided that I needed to get a better blender for this task and bought this one- not a huge budget buster, just in case this new smoothie phase is short lived. (It's a blender AND a food processor; squeal!)
--- update! Do not buy that blender! Has the exact same design flaw my old, 10 yr old blender has. Cuisinart just cannot make a decent blender. End of discussion ---
I plan on integrating some peanut butter into the smoothies, most likely with Janssen's recipe. We'll see how that goes; Squirt is adamant about not liking anything with peanut butter. (girl hates PB&Js) There is also a large list of new smoothie ideas to try here.
It's not that my kids are "picky," they just don't eat very much in the span of a day. (except for all things cinnamon. Cinnamon rolls? They hate. It's so weird) Things they loved and gobbled up yesterday will be left cold on the plate tomorrow. I've even experimented with meals full of junk food! Like pizza and fries for dinner! And cookies & ice cream! Same story, they would nibble then leave. It is only until just recently that the kids started expressing being hungry between meals. I got "they won't ever just starve!" a lot. And I always came back with OH YES THEY WOULD! They never ask for food! Ever! But even though they ask for food, they think 1-2 graham squares constitutes a meal.
Right around the time I was coming to this smoothie conclusion, I read Elizabeth's take on kids and food. It really resonated with me. This whole idea of not making food into a "thing" is brilliant! And the results seem to have been proven with her husband's family. I just want to not create children with food anxieties! I have food anxieties! (as in I want food- all the time!) My kids are the opposite, but still! Issues!
I will be fine to make smoothies indefinitely for every meal if I have to! As long as the food drama calms down, I am on board.