Monday, March 2, 2015

Don't yuck my yum

"I like double-decker peanut butter and radish sandwiches!, and I told my friends that they couldn't eww my yum" Clara proclaimed giddily one day.

"Radishes?" I asked. She had never eaten radishes. "And peanut butter sandwiches?" Our school is firmly nut-free so the idea that Clara ate this meal at school seemed truly perplexing.

Finally, I learned that the rabbits of David Cleveland's book "The April Rabbits" were making aforementioned peanut butter radish sandwiches, and Clara was delighting in taunting her classmates with the promise of eating these sandwiches.

It is true that Clara is a good eater. I feel blessed that she will eat nearly any fruit or vegetable, almost always devouring the broccoli or salad on her plate before anything else.

Many six-year-olds have a more limited palate, and so on more than one occasion, Clara came home from school saying that the other kids made fun of her for eating something they wouldn't touch.

"Don't eww my yum," Clara said earnestly one day to her classmates as she munched on a smoked salmon, caper, and cream cheese wrap. Her teachers taught her this phrase, more commonly known as "don't yuck my yum," and it is so simple and so true. 

Live and let others live seems to be a pretty good maxim for most things in life.

I'm happy to have a daughter who is willing to try different foods, but most of all, I am grateful to have a daughter who is not afraid to be different from her peers, a girl who doesn't let their "yucks" ruin her "yum."

Clara gets ready to eat sushi.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons why Lila and Clara are such good friends. Lila is also quite the adventurous eater! Just dare her to try something: a grilled hot chili pepper, a sautéed rooster comb, sour cream and onion crickets... she is totally game. (Yes, these are things she has actually eaten and enjoyed!) What throws people off the most is that Lila appears to be "picky" because she rejects the typical foods that kids are "supposed to" like such as mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, and happy meals. She takes her food selections very seriously and the food activist in her becomes compelled to inform her peers about the dangers of a junk food diet. (I've had to sensor her from yucking their yums sometimes.)

Her gourmet taste can get expensive but it's worth it. I love that she'd rather go to a farmer's market than a toy store or when showing her pictures of an upcoming vacation she'll hone in on the entrees being served above all else. I have to say, we are really lucky. My husband and I would love to take credit for her eating habits, but it's hard to know if we had anything to do with her willingness to try new things. Also, what has worked with Lila may not work for other kids. A couple of things that we think may have helped: We have a household rule-- "try it before you say you don't like it." And we get her involved with cooking-- according to her, whatever she makes is delicious, of course. (Actually, it usually is.) I agree with Ellyn, I love that our girls enjoy a variety of foods and are not afraid to eat outside of the box

According to Lila, Crickets are not only tasty, they are also a great source of protein.
-Ellyn & Tara

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