My 7 year old son has always been a good eater. He may have gone through a time early on when he wasn’t too excited about food but that period was brief, thank goodness. When we were in the thick of it I was constantly stressed out that he wasn’t getting enough food. I feel for the moms whose kids will only eat macaroni and cheese or pizza. I think it would
make me crazy. My total foodie friend’s daughter started out OK but then she hit an age of peanut butter and plain bagels. I think that things have gotten a bit better now for them since at birthday dinner last week she ate duck.
I have tried to instill in my son what my mom instilled in me; you can’t tell me you don’t like something just by looking at it. If you put it in your mouth and you don’t like it, that’s fine. But the whole eyeball tasting thing doesn’t work for me. Because we follow this rule, the 7 year old will try just about anything. And most of the time he likes what he tries.
Lately when we weekend market it we have been trying to purchase at least one locally grown product that we have never had before. The only rule I have is that by the time I purchase it I have to know what it is. After that, we just kind of go with what looks good. This past weekend we bought bitter melon (this is still in the fridge, its bumpy ugliness and renowned bitter flavor have made me a bit of a procrastinator) and Japanese turnips.
We had visited one of our favorite produce sellers, Ma’O Organic, to pick up some of their delightful eggplant. They were out but while we stood there we decided we would get something else. Something new and exotic. That’s when we saw the Japanese turnips. They come in a bunch, are white and about the size of radishes. I had never had them before. Sold!
I embarked on a google recipe search when we got home and found one that required cooking the turnips on the stovetop and then dousing them in honey. I figured with the 7 year olds’ love of honey, what could be bad about that? And the answer is nothing. As soon as they were cooked the other night I brought one over to him and he put it right in his mouth. I had popped one in my mouth just before handing him his and I did not like it. It is sort of beety and kind of like a cauliflower maybe but in a bad way. When I handed him his I told him that I didn’t think he would like it. He tried it anyway. He absolutely loved it. He loved it so much that he instigated an argument with his dad tonight when he found out that dad had eaten the last two pieces. As I sat watching this go on, I thought to myself, what could be better. Arguing over this vegetable, recently unknown to our family, but now loved by the 7 year old. Experiences like this will prompt us to continue our adventurous eating and will hopefully be something that my son carries with him for always.