I have been wondering why Sam (6) and Sadie (3) have such different food preferences. I know they are different people. They are different ages, different genders and were created differently. Yes, yes. I know all that. But for some reason I still need to find another explanation. Maybe it's because I love food so much and therefore spend a lot of time thinking about it, making it, planning for it, etc. Maybe I have too much time on my hands, but that can't be it. For whatever reason, I ponder. Ponder along if you like.
Sadie eats all manner of vegetable. She hogs the asparagus in early spring, devours raw peas as if they were chocolate chips (and, as if she were me), eats raw green beans as if they were raw peas, eats raw kohlrabi (even more than her father) and pops cherry tomatoes. Even the romas ripening on the table aren't safe. I walk past and find Sadie-bites out of four or five of them at a time (She actually gets punished for this because she has been told that anytime she asks for a tomato she will be given one- the half-eaten ones attract fruit flies, people!). Lately, it's been raw carrots. We have to make her stop for fear she'll get sick.
Then, there's Sam.
Sam doesn't like vegetables, especially raw ones. My heart goes out to him. He tries. Occasionally, after Sadie has dove into something, he'll ask in a feeble maybe-I'll-like-it-this-time voice, "Can I have a tomato?" I try not to fall on the floor and in one smooth motion pass one to him. He takes a bite and says, "No, thank you" and Sadie gobbles up his piece.
Here is what I have come up with. When Sam was first learning to eat solids, we lived in a villa (a fancy townhouse) in a development. We had no garden and I had yet to visit the farmer's market. So, what vegetables Sam was introduced to were store-bought-traveled-hundreds-of-miles vegetables. When Sadie was first learning to eat solids, we were into our second garden- twice the size of the first. We were eating more vegetables (both in kind and amount) and therefore she ate more vegetables. Sam was there, too. Just a little bit older and much more skeptical.
Now, I know this isn't necessarily the answer. Miriam will either support or discount my theory. I don't know. What I do believe, though, is that children exposed to a larger variety of foods at a young age are more tolerable and more willing to try different things. Always.
What about your kids or you? My theory seems too simple....