A proud moment in my parenthood was when my youngest, not yet two at the time, would ask for arugula. At mealtime, if she saw me or my husband eating an arugula salad, she would say excitedly "I want awugoowah!"
At first I didn't think much of it, but then I reflected on what many American two year old's are eating every day (think mac and cheese, hot dogs, and chicken nuggets) and I realized that she is probably a rare two year old to even know what arugula is!
Like it or not, our kids are going to end up eating what the adults around them eat. Even before babies are born, they are tasting what mom is eating through the amniotic fluids around them. And then when a baby is breast fed, the flavors, herbs and spices of mom's food go into the breast milk. So, every meal for baby has a subtle variety of flavors, be it sweet, bitter, spicy, or salty. And this is where they first learn to "like" these tastes. After all, what is more comforting than momma's milk?!
When kids grow up, they tend to fall back on what they grew up with, even if they have a bout of junk-food addiction as teenagers. My kids certainly love sweets like jelly beans or chocolate, but if they have gone more than 24 hours without a good dose of vegetables, they end up literally devouring a plate of veggies when put in front of them. They are still pretty young, but I am hoping this love for real, healthy vegetables will last for life.
Dr. Melissa DeForest: I am a Naturopathic Doctor who specializes in digestive disorders. My goal is to educate, inspire, and empower others to lead a life they love.
Disclaimer: All information presented here is for educational purposes only, and should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise, supplement, or diet routine.