The Breakfast Smoothie
Getting my daughter to eat breakfast in our house has been nothing short of a miracle. With her reflux, the idea of eating when she gets up is quite literally nauseating as anyone who’s experienced an acid reflux attack could attest to.
She slept in a special bed, we tried special diets, smaller portions, etc. She normally wouldn’t eat until about 10 in the morning (3-4 hours after getting up). With her food challenges, she was put on a special amino-acid based food supplement called Neocate Splash at the age of 1 and is still on it today, but even with that – she was always extremely small for her age. She could barely keep herself in the 20th percentile for weight and her growth curve looked more like a yo-yo than that of a healthy child. I knew if I could just figure out a way to get breakfast in her – it would help. After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day and the meal that should fuel our brains.
One day our fabulous dietician suggested we look at smoothies. MJ always did much better with drinking, and really liked pureed soups and so forth. She also thought we could get a a bunch of other vitamins, supplements and other things like flax oil in it to help with her regularity (poor girl has also been officially diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
I am extremely pleased to say – this did the trick, my daughter has gone from rarely if ever eating breakfast to drinking her breakfast every morning and with pride, I can say began growing like a weed. When she turned 4, she was mainly in size 2-3 and now 7 months later there are several pieces in her closet that are a size 6 (for length mainly, but hey I’ll take it) and there’s few pieces that are even a size 4 any more. She won’t be 5 until the summer, but the majority of her wardrobe is a size 5 – that blows my mind, I never had the child who was in anything larger than her age. I owe it all to our breakfast smoothies.
1/4 cup rice milk
1/4 cup fruit juice (we use cherry which as a side note is said to help calm anxieties)
1/2 cup frozen fruit
a small handful of baby spinach (about 10-12 leaves)
1 tbsp of honey, agave or maple syrup
1 tsp of flax oil (2 on occasion if she happens to be backed up)
We then add other supplements on the advice of our naturopath.
Once blended, we pour the smoothie through a strainer which gets rid of the seeds and pulp to avoid any texture issues and literally makes it a “smoothie”.
If you are concerned about protein, another variation of this smoothie could be replacing the juice for peanut butter (or almond or sunflower seed butter) and raspberries. You could even add some banana to this version for some extra nutrients.
As our guest poster Jessica-Bunn Kewley said, it definitely takes a village to raise a special needs child and I know that with out the help from our dieticians and naturopath MJ would not be the whopping 40 pounds 🙂 she is today at the age of 4 1/2.
Happy smoothie making,