Every other Friday, I lead the chapel program at our local preschool.

I spend the morning with a roomful of 4-year-olds, teaching, dancing and singing songs.

Those little ones are a tough audience. They haven’t learned the art of artifice, so if they’re bored (or confused or just plain cranky), you know it!

To compensate, I try to make each lesson as interactive as possible. And if I can add a little food to the mix, so much the better.

Last week’s lesson was on the Fruit of the Spirit — a pretty esoteric topic even for adults. How could I make these nine attributes of the Holy Spirit understandable to a group of 4-year-olds?

I decided we’d make a “Fruit of the Spirit Smoothie.” Each of the nine attributes would be represented by a different fruit, which we’d plop in a blender. The children would drink the resulting smoothie at lunch time.

The idea sounded great on paper. But as chapel time got closer, second thoughts reared their heads:

* Would my blender be powerful enough to puree all these fruits?

* What kind of “fruit” would I use in place of yogurt or milk?

*  Should I add ice?

* Would this thing even taste good?

“I’m not sure this is going to work,” I told our preschool director (and a few parents) before chapel started.

But it did. The nine-fruit smoothie was delicious, and my little chapel friends loved it.

It’s a perfect drink for the 4-year-old set … and all the adults in their lives!

Nine-Fruit Smoothie

  •  1/3 cup apple juice (love)
  • Juice of 1 orange (joy)
  • 1 cup coconut milk (peace)
  • 1 cup frozen mangoes (patience)
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries (kindness)
  • 1/2 cup blueberries (goodness)
  • 1/4 cup seedless grapes (faithfulness)
  • 1 banana (gentleness)
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple (self-control)

Whir everything in a blender until smooth. Serve immediately or chill up to 2 hours.