Have you ever had the struggle of trying to feed a child who refuses to eat anything green, or colorful at all? It can be a totally overwhelming experience, especially if your child has special needs too.
We asked Luke Miller, father of Archie, a young boy with autism, exactly how he got Archie to start drinking his greens.
There is definitely hope and it may take many attempts, but with patience and persistence, and a little treat here and there, it’s certainly possible! Plus the results are totally worth it.
Find out how he did it below.
“It suddenly hit me this morning as I simultaneously played good cop and bad cop with my son Archie- It is amazing that he will even look at this stuff let alone drink it.
I was attempting to get him to down a highly nutritious tall glass of berry, banana and spinach smoothie. This morning was not the best of attempts as I erratically switched from- “If you drink this we can go to the toy shop” To “If you don’t drink this there is going to be trouble”
Today I was facing resistance, but like every other day in recent history we eventually managed to get him to drink it.
I am going to be brutally honest in this article, as I think it is important for anyone who is thinking of getting their kids into healthy food to know that my experience was not an easy one.
I do see young children walking around the farmers market, happily munching on raw carrots and eating spinach out of a brown paper bag without any fussing or fighting. But for us it was a very different story.
My youngest son is called Archie and while I don’t like to label him as the autistic child, he has been diagnosed with autism, alongside ADHD and epilepsy.
He is a fussy eater, if we are putting it gently, and if we are saying it how it is….. Well let’s just say we have had dinner plates fly because I cut his pizza into slices and he has now got into the routine of cutting each of his chips into 20 pieces before he eats them.
Unfortunately when he was born me and my partner Louise where a lot less food conscious than we are now and in hindsight it would have probably been easier to give him good food to start with instead of trying to change his dietary routine, but you live and you learn and it is my opinion that if something is the right thing to do, you should do it even if it takes persistence.
So with the information I have just given you, you can imagine how it went down the first time (which was a few years back now) that I presented Archie with a cup of bright green smoothie.
We were met with resistance to start with, but what Archie hadn’t banked on was that I had a trick up my sleeve that he was not ready for. Bribery, it’s okay you can judge me if you like, but if there is something I have learnt about diet and nutrition it is- it’s not always what you put in your body that is the problem, but it can also be what you don’t put in your body.
So I was more than happy to use bribery to convince my son that drinking green smoothie was his best option, the dialog went something like this:
Me: “Archie drink your green smoothie”
Archie: “No way!”
Me: “Do you like crisps?”
Archie: “I love crisps.”
Me: “Drink your green smoothie and you can have these! (producing a bag of crisps)”
I have to be honest I don’t remember the exact dialog we had, and it was not easy getting him to take that first sip. It was a lot of smelling, licking and spilling on the table before he tried it.
It took us the best part of an hour to get him to finally cave in, but when he had that first sip his words where “Mmmm that’s delicious”.
Now this is where the story gets interesting, because while I expected it to have a positive side effects on him I could never of guessed how good these side effects would be!
My son is a long term sufferer of eczema, we have been to the doctors countless time, they have tried him with numerous creams including steroid creams and even antibiotics, after 3 days of drinking this smoothie his eczema had gone. Not only that but his eyes became sparkly, his skin literally changed colour (not to green though, although being a hulk fan I am sure he would have loved that) and he started to sleep a lot better.
When we missed a few days of his smoothie, he still kept his sparkle, but his eczema would return and while I am not saying this will work for everyone with eczema, we cured my son’s eczema with green juice.
We are now a few years down the line and we alternate smoothies and green juice, we no longer have to bribe him quite as much, but the occasional toy or snack usually gives him the push on his non-compliant days.
This morning was frustrating as it took us a while to get him drinking, but yesterday was simple as he just tipped it straight down and said “more please”.
Being a parent can be hard, not just if you have an autistic child, but every child comes with their own unique set of challenges. But if I can get my son (who I have to recook his dinner if I cut it in half) to drink green juice and smoothies, I am sure you can too, and the benefits of doing so were greater than I could have ever imagined!
Below is the recipe for the juice I made for my son, even if you don’t have eczema or ADHD it is still pretty yummy. So get juicing!
Have You Had A Similar Experience?
Looking for green smoothie inspiration? Try some of these delicious recipes:
Want to know how to make the perfect green smoothie?
What about a delicious Tropical Green Smoothie?
This Mint Choc Chip Green Smoothie will get your taste buds excited!