Last night I made a salad of romaine lettuce and grapefruit segments for Rael and me to have with our dinner. Thing is, I’ve never liked grapefruit. Hated it, in fact. Until now. For some reason, while I was grocery shopping earlier in the week, I was compelled to buy a grapefruit…I just had to have it. You might say I craved it. Who knows why?
All I can say is this: as I thoroughly enjoyed the grapefruit with my salad, I remembered my mom eating grapefruit halves for breakfast as part of one of the many diets she tried when I was young. The grapefruit was always her favorite part — she loved it. She always encouraged me to taste it and tried to sell me on its juicy tartness, but I wasn’t buying. I loved to eat just about everything as a kid, but I drew the line at grapefruit and Brussels sprouts. She never pushed me about it. Apparently the fact that I didn’t like grapefruit was no big deal in her eyes.
Here I am, over 30 years later, enjoying a new food for the first time. (Same thing happened with Brussels sprouts last year.)
Taking the long view gives me hope for my finicky kids. And makes me see the futility of pushing them to eat foods that are unappetizing to them. Encourage, yes, force, no. Model cooking and enjoying a diversity of foods, yes, chain myself to a weekly parade of pasta and vegie dogs, no.