Friday, April 10, 2009

One Remark Causes Lifelong Food Prejudice

When my girls were young, I agreed to babsit a neighbor Chris's daughter Eden for the day because her regular sitter was ill.  My neighbor hadn't returned by dinner time, so I made an extra pizza sandwich for Eden. A pizza sandwich is a slice of bread painted with tomato paste, shaken with basil, oregano and marjoram, topped with any veggies I have in the house (that day I had onions and mushrooms), covered with sliced or grated cheese (usually mozzarella) and baked or put in the microwave until the cheese melts. It goes nicely with salad.
It's a quick easy dinner and serving one more is no trouble.

As soon as I put it on the table, my girls began to eat eagerly.  Eden just stared at them for a while. I was a picky eater, so I didn't worry about it. If Eden didn't eat, her mother could feed her when she got home. Then Eden said, "You eat onions and mushrooms?" in the most derisive voice I have ever heard from a child.  My girls immediately stopped eating their pizza sandwiches. I thought it was a one-time thing. Again, nothing to worry about.

But, after that, whenever I served anything with mushrooms or onions, they either refused to eat it, or picked the onions and mushrooms out. My younger daughter is now 38 years old. She served turkey with stuffing for family dinner and announced that she had left the onions out of the turkey dressing because she doesn't like onions.  There were also no mushrooms.

A lifetime of food avoidance from one casual remark by one dinner guest. That is something to think about.

1 comment:

  1. This story is really scary. One comment leading to a lifetime of food avoidance. Yow. Those little minds are too impressionable.

    My mom told me, as a baby I would eat everything. Then at 6 months old I had a cold. After that I would not touch almost any vegies. Took about 20 years to get over it. Of course it could have been her over cooking anything green until it turned yellow or gray. I learned to cook and then problem solved.