Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Acquired Tastes

With Hallowe'en and some recent work with young athletes, I started thinking about foods from my childhood.  I didn't know then what I know now about nutrition and health, but our lives were also different (and it wasn't that long ago!).  Here are a few things I reflected on:
  • Eating out was a special (and rare) occasion, not a weekly or daily event
  • Pop/soda might have been around for holidays and camping trips (again, not a daily or weekly item; not something constantly on the grocery list)
  • Sweet cereal was only purchased when we had cousins coming to stay with us (not a daily or weekly item)
  • We did have Campbell's soup on chicken and pork chops; but boneless, skinless chicken wasn't the 'norm'
  • I had never heard of (or eaten) an avocado, sushi, or various other ethnic cuisines
  • We sometimes had pancakes for supper (I do love breakfast foods)
  • We typically had apples, orange, and bananas available; grapes on occasion
  • You couldn't get as much fresh produce variety during the winter as you can get now
  • I remember stating my favourite food was hamburger helper in grade 3
  • We were sometimes treated to slurpees after a softball tournament or game
  • I loved water and not so much milk (which is still true for me)
  • I loved helping unpack the groceries (I could now spend a day in the grocery store no problem)
  • There weren't Tim Horton's locations on every corner, or restaurants in every neighbourhood
  • People used cookbooks and recipe cards rather than Pinterest to plan their meals
  • etc.
Some things are still the same and some things change (for me and society).  Children (and adults) can be picky and new flavours can be scary, but now I love to experiment in the kitchen.  Convenience food doesn't really happen in my household and vegetables/fruit are always on my mind when I'm planning a meal.  A common theme, from above, was the frequency of these so called 'treats' - items that have become staples in some routines.  For many people, childhood foods include sidekicks, ramen noodles, and kd - and if you haven't heard already, kraft dinner is removing artificial dyes from 3 of their kid-friendly varieties (fun shapes).

I talk with young athletes about developing healthy habits now and early on, so that it's one less thing to think about when they make the playoffs or have a big game - it just becomes part of the routine.  I think it's so important to start early and I am very passionate about preventative health, especially because I know and see how hard it is for adults to change their habits.  I also talk with parents about the foods they purchase or have stocked for their hungry youngsters and teenagers.

Food and memories are closely connected, what do you think of when you reflect back on the foods of your past?

Here's to a healthy future,
Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching