Much education today is monumentally ineffective. All too often we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants. ~ John W. Gardner
Taking the opportunity to make something healthy is an art in and of itself, especially something liked by a ten year old. Kyle has been sick for the last few weeks. He’s been battling this ear infection for nearly a month, being on his second dose of antibiotics. Along with the ear infection, Kyle seemed to picked up the flu. This past Saturday night, Kyle crawled in bed with me and to my surprise, I woke up in the middle of the night feeling like I just entered Dante’s Inferno. Kyle really had a fever! His body ached and he was miserable, to the point that around 3:00 am he wanted to get up and go to lay on the couch. As I rolled out of bed, half awake, we made our way out to the living-room and plopped ourselves down in front of the TV to catch a little Phineas and Ferb.
By Saturday Kyle was feeling a little better, but not quite right. Since Kyle has been on antibiotics for so long, I wanted to get a little yogurt action into his system. Naturally, (pardon the pun) I don’t like him to eat the yogurt with high fructose corn syrup, aspartame and such in it. I usually buy all natural yogurt only containing cultured grade A milk. Bland? Yes, but if you mix it properly with other ingredients it’s a great nutritious snack. So I told Kyle we would make yogurt smoothies. I figured it was a different treat, which would sooth his sore throat and accomplish my original intent, to get yogurt into his system.
We made our Tropical Fruit Yogurt Smoothies. Basically about a half a cup of plain yogurt, a cut or so of crushed ice, and tropical fruit in 100% natural juices. Blend and serve. It’s not an overly sweet treat, so Kyle decided to doctor it up a bit by adding a little honey. Through Little Acts of Kindness I have talked about Kyle’s love for honey. He drank the Yogurt Smoothie since I asked him to, and he knew the yogurt was good for him, but he wasn’t a huge fan. He never said anything, well that is until dad opened his mouth and said, “Next time make mine without the yogurt. I don’t like it.” Agg, dad sometimes should not be allowed to have an opinion or speak!
Well now, Kyle, who really does like to cook and experiment in the kitchen, which I completely encourage decided he wanted to continue making different types of smoothies. On Sunday right after church, Kyle said he wanted to make a smoothie without yogurt. Thanks dad! Kyle said, “I’m going to make a healthy fruit smoothie, Aunt Heather!” How could I object, plus it seemed like Kyle was starting to feel better. He asked me what he should put in it and I responded by telling him to start experimenting and thinking of what would go good together. Next thing I knew, he was adding blueberries, which are one of his favorite foods, a banana, tropical fruit, and yes the honey made its appearance. I did suggest to him to add a little milk just to loosen everything up. He really had a lot of fun adding the fruit then test tasting his concoction. He made sure he made enough for everyone and he served us all our own smoothie. It was really tasty!
Apparently, Kyle must have been really feeling better and really enjoying his smoothie Sunday, because later in the day, Kyle mentioned he wanted to try another type of smoothie. He asked me, “Aunt Heather can you make a smoothie out of apples?” I told him it might taste good if he cooked down the apples and added cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, lemon juice and maybe a little sugar. Next thing I know, Kyle was peeling the apples and preparing to cook them down. This smoothie contained cooked down apples, spices, milk, ice, and the honey made its appearance again. It was really pretty good! It would be a great fall smoothie made with apple cider, but regardless, very tasty. And keeping with Kyle’s style made enough for all of us. Now it looks like my plan to get natural yogurt into Kyle was pushed aside, but he was feeling better and really enjoying himself, all while learning.
It’s amazing how an introduction to making something new can turn into a passion and peek a child’s interest. So what is your smoothie?