Daniel is kind of a picky eater. We feel if – on average – we can get one full meal into the child every day, he’s probably doing all right. I’m sure this pickiness is genetic and I admit it’s me he gets it from. When he was a baby, he refused to eat certain things. I tried them myself and was forced to agree they were pretty nasty. As he’s gotten older, I’ve told him it’s okay to not like certain foods, but he should try them before he makes a decision.
For example, I used to shy away from calamari. It looked like deep fried rubber bands. However, I took a chance and found I really liked it. In my life, I’ve cautiously sampled chili and pizza, gnocchi and Chinese food that wasn’t Chop Suey. In each of these cases, I found I was wrong in my initial assessment, Sam-I-Am.
Other times, I’ve been right on the mark. I don’t like runny foods. I like my eggs cooked hard. I like my steak cooked medium. The idea that a food item might seep from its place on the plate is really unappealing. I don’t like spinach. My mom used to feed it to us from a can. It looked like the algae growing on the edges of the pond behind our house. While Meka introduced me to non-canned veggies (which are so much better than canned), I still think spinach is icky.
I have to admit I haven’t always followed my own rule about trying foods before disliking them. Fish eggs of any kind give my stomach the wigglies, such as caviar and roe. Head cheese sounds like a condition, like toe jam (which I wouldn’t want to eat either).
I admire adventurous eaters. I watch that guy on the Food Network who travels around the world, sampling this and that. There has to be a really interesting story behind the first person who decided to eat a lobster. I mean, who looks at that – all claws and shell and hairy legs and antennae and says – hmm… good eating. Of course, maybe I’m admiring the second person who ate a lobster. The first might have led the meal off with Nightshade salad covered in Toadstools. There are pros and cons to everything.
For a long time, I avoided anything pickled. I finally gave in on New Years Eve and tried pickled herring. I assumed it would be awful and – not so surprisingly – it was awful. Given that experience, I feel I can make some blanket assumptions about certain types of food and avoid them without denying myself the possibility of a positive experience. Unlike Daniel, I don’t have to worry about not eating enough!