Green smoothies for birthdays?

So my 12-y.o. was sitting here with me, excitedly planning her birthday party next month. Making a list of girls to invite, foods she wants provided. We’re doing “Café Rio” type salads, a big platter of pineapple (her favorite thing), and she has asked for . . . green smoothies.

No lie. And this is my most resistant child. (The youngest likes to play “picky,” which I don’t indulge, and the oldest has been condescending about the nutrition I provide, the past year or so since splitting his time between my home and his other home, where the Standard American Diet rules.)

I couldn’t be more shocked. I said, “Wow, really?” And she said, “Yeah, my friends like the green smoothies you make and tell me they don’t know what my problem is.”

More evidence that if you stay the course, they often come around eventually. Sometimes the pressure to cave into pop culture’s tastes can be intense. And I’m not saying you have to take up an extremist position. But I really believe that if you just keep on keepin’ on . . . your kids will thank you eventually. You’ll one day see them doing the right thing by your grandchildren!

7 thoughts on “Green smoothies for birthdays?

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  1. Robyn,

    Do you wash your greens with anything in particular such as white vinegear or do you simply rinse them? I worry about ecoli and other bacteria on my raw fruits and veggies especially because I am pregnant. Do you have any suggestions on how to avoid contamination? thank you.

  2. Thanks. I needed a pep talk in a BIG BIG way! And, I still do! The inlaws will be staying for 8 DAYS in one month my hubby informed me. I wish I was lying or making it up when I say my mom in law (when she came after the last baby birth) feeds my kids chocolate chip cookies FOR BREAKFAST (yes, I came down from nursing baby and from a sleepless night daze and the kids had milk and cookies sitting on the table and were going to town at 7:00 am…..grandma just smiled and said, “I’m spoiling them.”) and Maceys kong ice creams FOR DINNER! I asked if she would buy spinach at the store and lemons for a wonderful whole wheat pasta spinach dish and she came home with a chocolate ice cream KONG at 4:30 pm and Cheetos (plus one KONG for just got chucked in the garbage needless to say). What adult thinks that is a good dinner for a 2 year old and a 3 year old? Again, she smiled and said, “Grandma is spoiling them, and I’m not that hungry either.” I was not amused. I confronted her about it and she just said, “Grandma spoiled them.”

    She also bribes them w/smarties to ‘be good’ at the store, I looked over at my son in church and he had a mouthfull of Skittles and was munching on ‘fruit by the foot’ (UGH!!!!!!!). Grandma had a list of fast food places w/take out every night (surprise!) for dinner and brought it home then tried to give my babies pop and “diet juice” with artificial sweeteners to wash it down because “diet juice” is healthy (without asking).

    Plus, I guess, my freezer full homemade smoothie bars did not seem to be a good summer treat because grandma decided they needed a huge gigantic bag of popsicles instead (I had made them before going to the hospital and pointed out there were lots in the freezer along with all my other healthy snacks).

    I will get through this. I can do it. I can do it. The kids WILL thank me someday. I KNOW I am fighting the good fight! I can do this even if my in laws (not to be rude, they are good good people and loving grandparents but they are morbidly obese) will try to sabbotage me where I live…in my own kitchen, in my own home with my babies. I WILL be strong. I will not cave. I quietly will go about my ways and quietly do my thing with my babies and self and hubby (he gets caught up in the ‘mom spoiling’..but that’s his choice) and the world will stay right. I will do right by my family. I will do it as kindly as possible, but I will be kind but firm. Any suggestions?

    What happens when I’m outnumbered 3 to 1 (hubby and parents against me? especially when hubby’s mom is making all hubby’s ‘favorites?’) and it’s not just pop culture trying to sway our children…but loved ones too? The kids see the Twizzlers, the soda, the Captain Crunch, the potato chips, the Cheetos, the big pink Grandma cookies, the pimento olive bologna loaf, the white bread, the pickles, the big greasy Costco muffins, the hot dogs, the M&M’s, the milk, the fake peanutbutter and the Cream of Chicken soup casseroles my in laws buy and make and are eating at our house for 8 DAYS and, of coarse, that is what my kids want instead too. I don’t buy or make those things.

    It doesn’t work to have meals and menus ready and food bought and planned either. They SHOP for ALL their favorites when the don’t find them in my cupboards because they won’t eat what I make (they say it ‘messes with their digestion’ to eat whole grains, legumes, greens, and so much fruit and veggies). Even when I plan it all out ‘cookie salad’ (nothing salad about it) gets whipped up or something like it and stuck on the table. Unfortunately, if it’s in the house (or in Grandma’s purse) it finds it’s way into my children. It’s such a sporratic encounter because they live out of state that it’s difficult to just go off about how EVERYTHING they buy and eat for the 8 days is just unacceptable to feed my kids. But, the BIG no no’s for me Grandma tries to feed to them on a large scale: processed lunch meat, artificial sweeteners, soda, milk and ooooodles of sugar constantly. I don’t want to feel like the bad guy for 8 days, but they really are over the top with their terrible eating habits while staying at my house and feeding my children. More pep talks please! I’m in serious anxiety mode. Family pressure is intense too!

    1. Momof3,

      I have been on the road for 2 weeks, but I did get online once and saw your post, was preoccupied with it all that day. I am going to cut and paste your comments here into a new blog entry, which will be live sometime in the next week or two. I want to devote some attention to it.

      Your details make this tough situation really compelling to read. Stay tuned. Hang in there–you’ve obviously read my many comments on this topic on the blog and in my books. Don’t know that I have tons more to say, but I’m going to say it anyway . . . .

  3. I know how it is, Mom of 3, I’ve had the same problem before. I think the big thing we have to remember is that it’s only temporary, as soon as Grandma is gone we can get back to our healthy eating habits (although I have to say, it’s super frustrating when Grandma KNOWS thats not what you want your kids to eat and does it anyway).

    Recently, my 5 year old daughter ate a HUGE cupcake at a party, and then that night she had a headache and was waking up all night with a tummy ache. I think it will help to remind her of how she feels when she eats all that sugar. I know it might not work for younger kids, but eventually it will. I also have an ongoing discussion with my kids of what it good for our bodies and what isn’t (with all the ‘whys’).

    Just keep going!

  4. Mom of 3: What a messy situation! Please remember one thing: YOU are their mother, not their grandparents, so you have the final say on what they are fed.

    Personally, I would be firm but kind in putting my foot down, but make it very clear to them that their food choices for YOUR kids are unacceptable, and if they insist on giving your kids this stuff, they have to stay else where…

    I am horrified that they would give toddlers “diet” foods. Artificial sweeteners can have terrible consequences on a young, growing brain. Aspertame can be especially dangerous. It’s frankly poison, and I would do whatever necessary to keep it away from them. In many people, this evil stuff causes headaches. What these headaches really are is damaged brain tissue. I wouldn’t take that chance w/ my kids.

    Be strong and secure in the knowledge that you know best, and you are doing the right thing!

  5. Mom of 3 YOU are the good guy! Your mother in law is the bad guy.

    Can you possibly ring your MIL before they come and lay down the rules of your house? Or get hubby to do it? (He should be supportive of how you want to feed your children healthy food, even if he decides to eat junk himself.)

    Tell your MIL you will be providing all the food for your family and for them. If they don’t want to eat what you provide then they can get their own food. Tell her that you don’t want her to feed your kids anything, because that food makes them sick.

    No one has any right to feed your child anything, despite their motives.

  6. Mom of 3,

    I agree with Roxanne, it’s hard, but you need to kindly, but firmly tell them that you will not allow your kids to eat anything that you do not approve of. If they want to spoil your kids there are plenty of organic and all natural treats they can purchase and give them (and even give an approved list of treats and where to buy them :). Although not full of nutrition, they are a lot healthier than the alternative (in moderation). It’s important while the kids are young to keep them on the right track, if this continues you may be losing instead of winning the fight for nutrition.

    I have a 12 year old, 4 year old, and 16 month old, and I come from a large family and half my family thinks I’m crazy with my rules for nutrition, but I basically told all of them that when they come to my house they eat what I eat or eat or they out, and anything they feed my kids or bring to my kids must be organic or all natural or it goes straight into the garbage. When anyone challenges the way I feed my kids, I kindly point out that my kids have not been sick or had to be on antibiotics in the past 4 years since I went organic and started eating a healthier diet. We do not have to keep a medicine cabinet full of over the counter medications (Benedryl, Tylenol, Mylanta, Stool Softeners, Pepto, etc.) as I am sure your in laws do.

    We are the ones who have to deal with our kids hyper activity, mood swings, crankiness, and belly aches, and compromised imune system, so I think we should have a say in what anyone gives them.

    When I take my kids to my moms I alway take treats, snack and food with them and I make my feelings clear. She is a lot better about it now, and so are a few of my siblings, but it took a couple years to get to an understanding. Now I have my mom, and two of my sisters slowly converting and at least drinking green smoothies. So don’t give up 🙂

    You will have enough of a fight when your kids start school, at least this one you can control. It would help to have your husbands support, maybe comprimise on cooking a healthier versions of foods they may not notice the difference like spelt spagetti, Chicken Kabobs with plenty of Veggies, Spelt pasta salad, homemade pizza, anything you can hide the nutrition in and they won’t notice the difference? I do this with my nutrition resistant family at our BBQ and Potlucks and my food is usually gone before anyone elses.

    I wish you luck, its hard to keep our kids healthy when we don’t get support from our parents or family. I have better luck converting my nieces and nephews because they see how healthy and clear my 12 year old daughters skin is and want to know how they can clear up their skin.

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