In honor of St Patrick's Day, I wanted to share something we have been doing in our house lately. Music Man has always had trouble with constipation since Day 1 (literally in the hospital!!) This is due to extreme low muscle tone which affects not only the face muscles making it difficult to eat and talk, the leg muscles which challenge mobility but also the gut where he would have trouble "going," to put it nicely. We have worked through several several awful medicine routines and gone back and forth with different ways of dealing with it. Last year at the advice of another mom dealing with the same thing, we tried a daily smoothie. Our basic recipe was
Gotta Go Smoothie
1 c liquid (I use whole milk yogurt, kefir, pear juice or even whole milk, in a pinch)
1/4 of a frozen banana
1 T natural peanut butter (I eyeball it.)1T homemade prune butter (Again, eyeball it - no measuring just a spoonful.)handful of ice
The ingredients are interchangeable and measurements are approximate (except I stick to the 1/4 banana.) Music Man loves prune butter thank goodness, but the peanut butter and banana are his faves thanks to visiting Whole Foods after orthodontics visits. They hide the flavor of drinking prune butter. It isn't very appetizing to me but he loves it.
So we did this for a good while - every afternoon during snacktime he had a Gotta Go Smoothie. It worked beautifully! I was amazed. Really. No meds. No crying at potty time. If you have ever dealt with a kid who couldn't go you know what I mean. It was literally God-sent!
Now before I introduce the "lucky" ingredient, let me deal with another issue. I concede that bananas are known to be binding. The simple answer is that bananas are his fave fruit. Actually the banana is the only fruit he eats. He used to eat a whole one daily (until I realized how binding they were for him.) Now he gets part of one banana in a smoothie daily. The peanut butter probably doesn't help either. Again, it is a small amount. It is to cover the taste. He loves it and I just have to deal with it. The yogurt is also dairy which is also binding but his gut needs the good stuff in yogurt. I was blessed by a friend a few weeks ago who gave me some kefir and I have been using that ever since. (Not sure what in the world I am talking about? Well, I am still learning all about kefir myself. All I can honestly tell ya right now is that it is supposed to be better for ya than yogurt with good bacterias and it is sure easier - and cheaper!! More on kefir later, but you can visit The Kefir Lady for more info if you so desire.)
Now we come to the lucky part. I have been, over the course of the last few months, trying to change some of our eating habits. We have followed the Feingold Program for five years to combat the symptoms of Music Man's ADHD. The Feingold Program is a great for folks who buy a lot of processed foods and want to buy processed foods without all the junk in them. The Feingold Program eliminates artificial flavors, colors and petroleum based preservatives. It was a great transition program (or set-down from the way we were eating to where I am trying to go. I am so thankful, so grateful that they exist and fully support their mission. Lately though I have begun making steps towards more whole foods eating. I don't necessarily mean Whole Foods Market (the grocery store,) though I love them and shop there monthly. I mean unprocessed foods as close to their natural state as possible - fresh fruits and veggies, lean meats, healthy nuts. (More on all that later - it is a whole post or posts in and of itself.)
Well, since I have boys who are picky eaters, each in their own quirky way, I have to get creative occasionally. I couldn't just change up his smoothie (i.e. make it healthier) and hand it to him. I had to come up with something cute that my oral aversion kid would latch on to. So The Lucky Smoothie was born.
The Lucky Smoothie1 c liquid (I use whole milk yogurt, kefir, pear juice or even milk in a pinch) My blender has measurements on the side and I have found that 1 c is the best amount in order to make it drinkable for MM)1/4 of a frozen banana1 T natural peanut butter (I eyeball it.)1T homemade prune butter (Again, eyeball it - no measuring just a spoonful.)handful of icehandful of fresh spinach
Yep, I put fresh spinach in that baby. No, he doesn't know it is spinach and no, you can't taste it. My husband went shopping for me one afternoon and had to get greenish bananas so that's what Music Man assumed the green was from. I never corrected him and won't for a while. farm Boy has seen me make them and knows I put spinach in them and he is keeping our secret ingredient a secret. :) I have tasted The Lucky Smoothie so I can honestly say that you can't taste the spinach. I'm still not a fan - I just don't care for banana and peanut butter in my smoothies but I do taste everything I give him. But you have to use fresh spinach!! You can taste frozen spinach - I tried once when we were out of fresh. You can use a tiny bit of frozen just for color but it doesn't blend well either and it it isn't pleasant to look at.
So there you have it. The Lucky Smoothie. Enjoy!