3 Reasons to Try Food You Hated as a Kid

Watermelon SlicesIf you’re like me, there is a food (or two) that you have never liked. It’s possible you associate it with something negative from your past and you literally cringe at the thought of seeing it, let alone eating it. For me, those foods are were peas and watermelon.

I’m typically the type of person who will try just about any food. I once ordered tripe – google at your own risk – when I was in Italy simply because it sounded cool and unique. That was not a pleasant dinner. Nonetheless, I tried. But the thought of trying peas and watermelon, no thank you!

Here’s the scoop about my issues with peas and watermelon. I had a babysitter when I was 6 or 7 years old who always made me eat peas. I don’t know why I remember this, but I can envision sitting at the kitchen table and she‘s insisting (in my memory she’s definitely yelling) I eat canned peas. I didn’t eat a pea again until I was in my early 20’s. Did I magically discover my long lost love for peas? Definitely not, but I tolerate them and even enjoy a little pea soup now and again.

The watermelon issue is a different story. I don’t have any particular bad memory with watermelon, but I’ve always (up until a week ago) affirmed, whenever the topic came up, that watermelon is the one fruit I absolutely, positively don’t like. I think I ate a piece when I was a kid and decided it was disgusting. We can make ourselves firmly believe anything, for as long as we choose, if we want (both a good and a bad thing – that’s the power of the mind).

Well, last week I bought a watermelon for the first time in my life. The last few months my fiancé has been saying how badly he would love some watermelon (it’s summer here in Brazil so they are in season), and I guess I was curious about why I really didn’t like watermelon. They happened to be on sale and I decided I would just give it a try. Of course, you guessed it, turns out watermelon smoothies are delicious (I’m still not eating it straight, but baby steps, right?).

My point in sharing my pea and watermelon experiences is that we all have a food (or foods) that we have strongly disliked from our childhood. Maybe it’s because you associate something negative to them, like a pea shoving babysitter, or maybe you just always told yourself you didn’t like something. It’s also common that parents unintentionally drive kids away from some foods by forcefully pushing their kids to eat them. Regardless of your reason, trust me, trying that food again is in a small way liberating. The self-created identity you have held around it for years is gone.

Here’s 3 reasons to take a deep breath and try the food you hated as a kid.

  1. You might actually like it!  Go figure. Who knew that watermelon could be so delicious? (I know, almost everyone but me.)
  2. Increased Nutritional Scope.  As long as your food isn’t a jelly donut with sprinkles, that is. Since most people typically eat the same foods every day, adding in some nutritional value from a new source will likely provide your body with something it doesn’t always get.
  3. Letting Go.  If your food has some type of bad memory associated with it, you can heal from that emotional pain. Finding these small ways to heal is always beneficial to our health. And if you end up really not liking the food, you still walk away gaining something – more of yourself.

What food came to mind while reading this? Are you putting it on your shopping list? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.