The summer sun swelters outside. Inside it is warm, the fruit bowl sits lusciously on the window sill, bursting with seasonal plenty peaches, mangoes, grapes as well as the year-round banana. All of the fruit is at a point of perfect ripeness, begging to be eaten right now before it descends into a pool of pulp. It could have stayed in the fridge and been brought out in economical relays to ripen for a day, but there is something about a full fruit bowl, a promise of health and succulence, that time and again makes me arrange it as still life, as I unpack the shopping, only to be wrong-footed when it all ripens at the same time. Typically the children are only bothering to eat apples, which last forever in the fridge. Desperate measures are called for.

Giving a recipe for a smoothy is hardly necessary. It depends on what you have in the house already. Use this example as a template and adapt and change it as you like. As long as you use fruit that is truly ripe, it'll be delicious. The one essential piece of equipment is a blender, without that, I’d just have to force-feed the children the fruit as is, it is far too laborious to puree fruit by hand on a hot summer‘s day. The joy of making smoothies is the effortlessness.The joy of making smoothies is the effortlessness
A tip for dealing with mangoes: without peeling, slice off both the long sides as close to the stone as you can., cut the flesh in a criss-cross fashion to make 1cm cubes, without going right through the skin, then push the skin up to invert the cubes into a mango hedgehog! The children eat them like this and a very messy business it is, needing a bath afterward.

Suggestions for fruit combinations:

Mango and banana
Pear, berry and banana
Peach and berry
Strawberry and banana
Peach, apricot and banana

Any fruit in the whole wide world can be added to this list, experiment with whatever is in season and make up your own combinations.
experiment with whatever is in season and make up your own combinations
Bananas make a good background for most other fruits and give a good velvety texture, besides being the most likely fruit to have around overripe. If you want to move away from the healthy fruit scenario, you can use bananas with a few teaspoons of hot chocolate to make a scrummy, decadent milkshake. Or go the whole way and put a blob of vanilla ice cream in too. I remember as a child, my mother adding a raw egg to ours to build us up. It made it wonderfully frothy, but then nobody worried about salmonella in those days – I wouldn’t recommend it unless you have a guaranteed source of salmonella-free eggs.

Whatever fruit you're using, let the children press the buttons on the blender and then dole out the smoothie, in glasses with straws, easy in the knowledge that the vitamin quota for the day is being filled.
 let the children press the buttons on the blender and then dole out the smoothie