In our household, we have three fairly adventurous eaters, and one who’s . . . not so adventurous. But we’re not here to cast stones, so let’s talk about the adventurous eaters.
When you love food, it’s wonderful to see your children love food just as much. The Boy, in this sense, takes after his Papa more than after me. I mean, I love my food, but there are still certain things that I would prefer not to eat. (A funny aside: One day, while visiting our friend V. in Montreal, she asked if there were any food allergies or dislikes in our family. After listing the Girl’s dislikes, I said, “But the rest of us, we’re not picky, and we’ll eat just about eating anything. Oh, except me, I don’t like too much ginger, raw onion, raw garlic, horseradish or wasabi, or anything in that family. And I really don’t drink beer or wine….” V. looked at me and said laughingly, “Gee, I’d hate to see what you’d be like if you were picky!” The Beloved Husband merely smirked.) But in the Boy, we noticed since he was about the age of two that he loves to try new foods without hesitation, and after tasting them, there is very little that he dislikes. Spicy foods, seafood of all varieties, slippery, slimy foods (like oyster), foods with strong odours and strange appearances, even durian (!)—he tries them all. Whenever there’s a new item on the table that he’s never seen before, he’ll never say, “Ewww!”, but rather, “What is that? Can I have some?” So he truly is a foodie. And recently, two things have happened to indicate to us how much he loves his food, as if we didn’t already know.
The first is that he suddenly took to pounding the table in delight one evening, and exclaiming, “Ummm, so good!” to show his enjoyment of his meal. This took us—especially me—by surprise, because I had never seen anyone in real life do that other than my husband, and that really threw me for a loop, during our first date. Who knew that someone could enjoy food so much, to the extent that they would have to physically show it with a fist pound? Obviously, it’s in the genes.
The second is something rather amusing that I discovered recently at the dinner table. We were eating a chicken dish, and I heard our Girl say to her brother, “Oooh, here’s a gooey packet for you!” and place something on his plate, whereupon he replied excitedly, “Yay! Gooey packet! Yummy! Thank you!” Curious of course, I asked the two, “What in the world is a ‘gooey packet’?”
“Oh, it’s a name that O. made up. It’s that white, slightly squishy, crunchy part of the chicken. I think it’s disgusting, but he loves it. And don’t you just love the name that he came up with?” Indeed, quite the descriptive name, and quite the interesting revelation that our Boy enjoys eating what I would think most people—certainly four-year-olds—would find unappetizing. He only smiled at me and said, in an almost dreamy voice, “Oh, gooey packets. I love them.”
You gotta be proud of a kid who enjoys discovering, trying, and eating all the wonderful—and maybe even not-so-wonderful—things that the world has to offer.