Happy Thursday. Welcome to this week’s Running with Spoons Thinking Out Loud link party, where stream-of-consciousness is the name of the game! Thanks to Amanda for hosting!

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Me, at age 4, before I’d learned to be afraid of the water.

Lately, I’ve been researching and writing about topics related to Pediatric nutrition. I’ve had a great time talking to parents about what their kids love—and hate—to eat and how they encourage healthy eating. I was spoiled growing up in that my mom was a great cook who magically struck a perfect balance between introducing us to new things without forcing them. I don’t remember any dinnertime battles, no bribery. She picked up really well, I guess, on what my sister and I responded to and how to work that into our everyday life. Food was fun without being, like, “Are we having fun yet?”

For this week’s Thinking Out Loud post, I thought it would be fun to revisit some of the foods I loved as a little kid:

*Oatmeal—My mom used to serve rolled oats and make little wells in the surface, into which she’d pour milk and then drizzle maple syrup over the whole thing. I loved watching the milk and syrup swirl around and make cool patterns.

*”Rampion”—Aka salad. My sister and I were obsessed with this Rapunzel cartoon. In the beginning of the movie, Rapunzel’s mom was asking her husband to go harvest some rampion to satisfy a pregnancy craving (folate was important even in the dark ages or whenever that story takes place).  My sister and I constantly asked for rampion, so every possible leafy green was given this new name. Worked every time.

*Mac and cheese from the blue box—For the once-a-year craving, Kraft is still the only thing that’ll do. I just add green veggies or serve with a salad and use olive oil instead of margarine or whatever the “classic” prep is. I’ve learned from talking to parents that mac & cheese is basically a vehicle for other, healthier foods, but my mom denies ever pureeing cauliflower or squash in there. She says she trusted us to eat veggies in their native form.

*Broccoli—They were like little trees. How cool is that? As a Sagittarius, I think I appreciated the no-bullshit factor in being served non-mystified produce.

*Yogurt—We used to pour it in a bowl and make faces out of sliced fruit. Or maybe we only did that a few times and it just really sticks out in my memory. Either way, I remember eating a lot of yogurt as a kid.

*Banana Baby Food—I used to beg my mom for this crap, even after my sister was eating all solids. She eventually found a way to phase it out, I guess.

*Kix Cereal—I always wanted to string garlands of it like on TV, but my mom somehow convinced me to eat it instead.

*Black Raspberry Ice Cream from Carvel—This stuff was the bomb back in the day. Why I ever went over to the soft-serve/fro-yo dark side for so many years (1990-2010-ish) should be beyond my scope of comprehension, except I totally blame the fat phobia that reigned during that time. I had a friend with a “cool mom” who used to serve us fat-free cheese and all other manner of fake foods, and it took me a few years to realize there was nothing cool about that.

What were your favorite foods when you were a kid? 


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