There is a difference between being proud and bragging, right? Cause I’m just gonna say it. I’m gonna put it out there:
And there are few things that bring me more joy than when my boys so openly try new foods and LOOOOVE them.
The way they inspect what’s in front of them. Go in with gusto. Close their eyes. Smack their lips as they moan: “Mmmm….Good.” Open their eyes again with a new sparkle in them. And then dig in for more. In those moments, my heart just about bursts.
Food is something that makes me so incredibly happy. To me, food is love. Food is travel. Food is community. (And for the record, I didn’t say cook, I simply said food.) And the fact that we are raising little humans that love food - well I love that.
I mean, bravery is one of the qualities I most strongly want to instill in my kiddos. And man, it is downright brave to taste, chew and actually swallow some of the things they have during our time in Japan. But we gently encourage them, letting them know that everyone has different tastebuds, so you never know if it is going to be the most delicious thing THEY have ever tasted, so they should go for it. Hey, life is too short to miss out we say, but then leave it up to them.
I attribute their openness to:
Steve and I being adventurous eaters. Especially Steve. He has eaten everything from feet to brain to testicles all from animals not to be mentioned. The boys have witnessed this. They see first hand the joy food brings to their parents and mirror our behavior.
Their age. We moved to Japan when the kiddos were 2 and 4-years-old. They are so young they don’t know what’s “weird” and what’s not. Squid on a stick? Sure! Fish heads? Why not! Ignorance is bliss. How beautiful is that?
Exposure to flavor from the get-go. From a young age, they have been exposed to flavors from around the world. During our time in Minneapolis, we belonged to a meal kit service (localcrate.com) that taught us to cook differently. Without it, I am sure we would have been in a rotation of pasta and bland city. But with it we exposed them to Indian, Thai and Mediterranean flavors. Fish, pork and tofu. Fresh produce, fresh herbs and the pure bliss of fancy cheese.
Who’s to say what’s “normal”? We eat “normal” food too. There is still spaghetti ordered, taco nights, pizza had and french fries too. But they don’t consider this food any different than other food - it is just part of the mix. To be honest, sometimes it is hard to order off the kids menu, which I secretly love, but our wallet doesn’t.
Last weekend as we strolled through the local fish market and Chase ran from stall to stall collecting sample fish parts cooked in every which way and truly loving it, it made me so grateful for this experience. That we are raising boys who love food as much as we do and are brave enough to try new things during our time abroad.
Ok fine, fine, fine, I admit it: #mombrag.