Food for Thought
Feed Your Kids Healthy and They Will Want Healthy
By Leanne Ely, C.N.C
Have you ever traveled to a foreign country and been shocked at the foods that they eat? And how about the children? Have you noticed they eat what their parents eat, not dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets and other typical, dumbed down kiddie food that we feed our kids. The fact is (and research supports this) whatever a child grows up being offered are most often the foods they will continue to enjoy for a lifetime. I was fond of telling my children there would be no chicken nuggets on the menu when they took their dates to prom.
A good example of this is butter vs. margarine. There are people who have grown up eating margarine and actually think butter tastes funny. Of course on the other side of the fence are those who have only eaten butter and would never consider eating margarine. How did they get like that? It’s just simply what they became accustomed to.
Interestingly, it is also a fact that some people will never like broccoli. There is actually a biological reason for this that you may have learned in science class that has to do with being a “taster” or “not a taster.” To sum it up: some people’s taste buds will recognize something as very bitter, because they are a “taster”, though most people will become accustomed to certain foods–even bitter foods– and like them. That’s why your Asian friend loves dried squid while you cringe at the thought.
Bottom line is there are two reasons why we eat the things we do-–
1) we are accustomed to it through exposure growing up
2) biology dictates the way we taste.
The lesson here is exposure will equal preference over time; even as a grown up. You can learn to like broccoli; you just have to exposure yourself to it many, many times over. It may never be a favorite food, but at least your awareness is what’s leading your food choices and not overpickiness.
Remember, you can train yourself (and your children) out of picky–it’s all a matter of exposure!