I frequent a number of cooking boards online. And I do quite a bit of reading. The more I “listen in” on conversations about what children eat, the more I hear people saying things like "grown up food" or "kid food". Honestly, it wouldn’t even occur to me that there was a difference… and, although I’m not a parent, I just get the feeling that making this distinction is a bad idea. So, when Peef found this article in the New York Times, he knew I’d love it.
People who know me have heard me talk about how I TRULY believe that most food aversions are learned. I don’t think we are BORN with them; I think they’re based on a lot of psychological factors that come into play over the course of our lives.
Let me offer up a few examples. Say we have a bad experience (or two, or a few) with asparagus… we will probably decide we’d prefer not to eat it. Same goes for the time we got sick after eating a certain cheese… yeah, that makes for a good aversion too! Even eating a specific food or dish on a day when we're in a bad mood could trigger an aversion; our brain links something BAD with the food... and it becomes something we don't really want to eat.
If we don’t revisit these aversions – and make the conscious decision to change them -- they just STICK with us. And we spend our lives avoiding foods.
So -- how many of these things were developed at an early age, when we were "allowed" to make these differentiations between adult/kid food? I grew up eating almost everything. And I enjoyed eating foods for which my parents expressed pleasure. Until I was almost in high school, I never knew that my mother disliked anything! She encouraged us to be adventurous and try new things. She never refused to make something that she didn't care for -- and she ate it right along with us. I never second guessed them. I grew to like anchovies because my father was just NUTS for them...I seriously wonder... if kids weren't exposed to the idea that certain foods are "less likeable" than others, would they still dislike them?
Food for thought.