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Green smoothies for kindergartners and pretty girls


Dear GreenSmoothieGirl:

I have been a special education teacher for 17 years and switched to teaching kindergarten this school year!  I am so excited to spend my days with 37 energetic little people.  

To start the year off, we talk about how to treat each other and filling each other’s invisible bucket each day with kindness.  We want to be bucket fillers, not bucket dippers.  

We now have a jar in our class, and whenever I catch someone being kind we get a warm fuzzy (a pom-pom).   When our bucket is full, we get a class party.  Well…I have been a green smoothie drinker for over a year.   My students see me drinking one every morning.   When I asked them what kind of party they wanted to have, when our bucket is full, can you guess what they wanted?  

Not ice cream, not candy, but a green smoothie party!   I am so proud of them, and this Friday we will be earning our first green smoothie party!  Way to go kindergarteners! Thank you Robyn for inspiring me and generations to come!

~Jenn Jettner, Spring Lake, Michigan

Robyn’s note:

If it weren’t for the internet, how would I ever “meet” Jenn, who loves teaching and children so much that she teaches kids to fill kindness buckets every day AND she teaches them to drink green juice! (See the photo attached I asked her to take—she said the party was a brilliant success!) Sometimes I can’t believe I get to read awesome stuff like this every day! I love it!

Kids just want a party! It just has to be special and fun. It doesn’t have to feature junk food! In fact, we do them a disservice by modeling the attitude that parties have to be toxic. If we stop and check ourselves, we might realize that WE, not the kids, have some kind of mental rule that it’s not a party if there’s no sugar?

Jenn (unintentionally, perhaps) did exactly what I did with my 18-month old when I started making and drinking green smoothies. I originally acted like it was very special, and I kept it all to myself at first and just let him watch me drinking it.

He wanted some and I was a little miserly in my sharing it at first—I purposefully created a bit of scarcity and demand! He asked what it was, and I said, “Green ice cream!”

FYI, the whole thing eventually lost its cachet. That 18-month old is now an 18-year old. Last month he won the popular vote for Homecoming King in a landslide.

(Unfortunately, no teacher nominated him—you can make the obvious inferences about my kid, both good and bad, LOL! I used to wring my hands about his attitude towards grades and school, when he was little, but I’ve “grown up” a lot in my parenting. Now I just enforce the lower limits—nothing less than a C- is acceptable! And I laugh about and enjoy how different he is from me, and hope that rather impressive charisma gives him what his GPA lacks, because it’s his life to live, not mine!)

But despite his rolling his eyes at my healthy habits, sometimes he comes over from his dad’s hot-dogs-and-Top-Ramen house to get a healthy meal or snack here. A really pretty girl at school recently baked him something. He knows her to be really interested in health and taking care of her body. She told him he could pay her back by making her a green smoothie! Suddenly he is interested in not only drinking them, but also MAKING them.

Green smoothies are making a popularity comeback in his life I haven’t seen for….oh, a decade and a half?