Food For Thought

I am a vegetarian.  This is an unlikely lifestyle choice for me, as I am a descendant of a long line of German butchers, and my own father was one of the founders/owner of a local sausage company.  I made the decision to eliminate meat, poultry and fish from my diet over 30 years ago.  This decision was based solely on trying to live a healthier lifestyle.

As a child, I did not really enjoy many of the animal-based meals I was served in my VERY carnivorous household.  I often spat out my meat into a napkin to throw away after dinner.  Later, when we got a dog, I just fed her my unwanted scraps under the table.  During my senior year in high school, my father had two heart attacks, almost back-to-back.  A dietitian came to our home to teach the family healthy meal alternatives, which focused on less fat and sodium in the diet. I took this nutrition education seriously and decided that now was the time to “go vegetarian.” (My sister, a devoted carnivore at that time, took a different direction with our new-found nutrition knowledge.  She actually became a registered dietitian.)

As I have matured over the years, my vegetarianism has evolved from its original status as a healthier diet plan, to a more spiritual and environment-friendly focus. I never try to convert anyone to the “veggie side”, but I do believe that an occasional meatless meal can be a healthier, often less expensive alternative to the meat, chicken, fish menu.  Just food for thought!

A Potential Foodie in the House

My son does not like fruit.  Once he was past the Gerber baby food stage, he pretty much quit eating the stuff.  (He will eat an occasional banana and watermelon, when it’s in season.)  He does like vegetables, though, and not just the starchy, lower-in-nutrition ones, like corn and potatoes.  He eats healthy ones like broccoli and cauliflower, and even the yucky one, spinach.  In fact, when he was just a little guy, he ate so many jars of carrots and sweet potatoes, his skin actually turned orange.  (There is an actual medical term for this, but it currently escapes my memory. I will call it “pumpkin-itis.”)

I recently started buying orange juice again.  This was my attempt to get junior to at least drink some fruit. Surprisingly, he now likes a little glass of OJ with his breakfast.  Today, he even said to me, “Mom, the next time you go to the store, will you buy a few oranges?  If I like orange juice, I will probably like oranges, too.”

I remember a few years ago, our pediatrician reminded my son to give foods a second, or third, or tenth chance, because his tastes will change. I think that my little boy is growing up and his taste buds are, too!