Starting a few months ago I realized my two-year-old son had some weird food fears that made zero sense to me. It all started with the oft fan favorite, grilled cheese.
Just the mere mention of the crispy, cheesy soul food would send him into a crazed fit.
“No grilled cheese!” he would yell at the top of his lungs.
He doesn't have any adverse reactions to cheese, none that we have taken note of at least. Maybe there was some other strange reason he just hated grilled cheese?
Then it got me thinking of all the foods I didn't like as a child, Mostly for no good reason.
It was a running joke in the family that the only way to get me to stop biting my nails, was to cover them with meatloaf. I hated the stuff. Trying to think back on why I hated it is kind of a shady memory that I can't quite grasp. If you asked me to try your meatloaf today, I would jump at the chance, love it. Maybe it was invogue to hate it and I relished the opportunity to be cool and hate it. Many hungry nights and punishments come out of trying to be cool however.
ThIs is really the only real childhood trauma food in my life. We grew up on the poorer side of things for a good long time when I was young and ramen was a staple food in the house. It is one of those things late in life you just don't have a taste for because you ate so much of it.
However, one horrible day changed my outlook on ramen for the rest of my life, and made it so I couldn't eat it for a good long while afterwards.
Have you ever managed to get a single ramen noodle up your nose so it is hanging out of your nose while also still in your mouth? If you haven't, I’m happy for you, it is a horrible thing to happen when you are a little kid. I still have flashbacks whenever I see packets of ramen.
Raisins are another food I'm not fond of to this day. Overlooking the disappointing nature of raisins being chocolate chip impostors, one really bad sour raisin can tarnish your whole outlook on the snack for the rest of your life.
I actually remember this one like it happened yesterday. Hanging out by the garage door, taking in the nice day, snacking on a little box of raisins when a bad raisin hit me like a freight train on its way to horrible town.
I lost my mind and decided then and there I would swear them off. I have managed to stick to my guns for 35 years on that one.
Tuna Fish helper
Last but not least is tuna fish helper. These days, I will get nostalgic with tuna fish helpers maybe once a year. I have no problems with it now, but when I was a kid I would be convinced something nefarious was up with the meal.
Somewhere along the line I convinced myself the peas were actually fish eyeballs and I just couldn't bring myself to eat them. It was totally irrational and i'm sure asking my parents would have cleared up this misunderstanding in no time, but I kept this horrible secret to myself.
Looking back at all my food follies made me realize that my son is probably going through the same things I did growing up. Everyone has something for the first time and you start to form opinions on those foods whether you remember it or not. The best thing I can do for him is encourage him to try new and tasty things while also keeping and open mind to what kind of fish eyeballs might be lurking in his grilled cheese.