My family of boys, both old and young, have a terrible relationship with fruit. It is like a fruit phobia. I wonder if that is a real documented phobia? It is impossible for me to understand since I love the stuff myself. Currently I am addicted to these small grapefruits that are juicy and yummy and good. I have eaten way too many of them over the last couple of days. That is how it goes with me though. I tend to get on a fruit kick, where I can't get enough of grapefruit, blackberries, blueberries, watermelon, cherries, usually whatever is in season or on sale at the grocery store. I buy it, eat it to excess, then take a break for a while. So knowing that you should understand that fruit is always in this house, available for snacking by any of its members. I am here to tell you that my members are not interested at all!
Let's take a look at the boys in the house and see if we can try to understand their complicated relationship with fruit. I should start with my hubby. His relationship with fruit is awful, although in the last six years or so he has expanded his fruit horizons a bit. Prior to 2003, he would eat an apple and/or applesauce. Didn't really love either, but he would eat them on a rare occasion. At 38 years old he ate his first banana. His entire life he loved all things banana flavored - banana bread, banana pudding, Banana Twin Little Debbie's. But at 38 he took his first bite of a fresh, real, whole Banana. He ate the whole thing. It was a sight to behold. I won't go into how much he struggles with taking the peel off of a banana - we will save that for another post all on its own! So as of this posting he will eat bananas, applesauce, an occasional apple, and for the first time ever last Thursday night at 44 years of age he ate a fresh blackberry. His first fresh berry EVER. I called his sister, my mom and dad, and countless friends with the news. It is like I need a baby book to write down his introductions to food - but he is FORTY FOUR!!! I made a huge deal out of it too - trying to get the little men in this house on board with how fabulous and rewarding the eating of fruit can be. Now let's look at their walk with fruit.
The idea for this post is actually because of my oldest son, who on this blog I call "13". This afternoon after school 13 walks into the house and immediately turns up his nose and says "What is that awful smell?" I am sniffing all around trying to find the source of the odor that has attacked his nostrils. He finally narrows it down to "That thing!" That thing was a sweet little innocent grapefruit half sitting on the kitchen counter that I hadn't yet consumed. 13 eats zero fruit - none - zip - he seems to think it is physically impossible for him to eat fruit. He might be right because his relationship with fruit has been bad for as long as I can remember. Even at baby food stage, he always preferred the carrots, sweet potatoes and squash over any of the fruits. Surely he would eat at least the applesauce? Can't recall. Anyway, I can remember once when he was about 2 years old or so and we were down at my parent's house for a visit. There were some green grapes sitting on the counter and my mom cut a few in half for him. She handed them to him and he picked up a half and licked it. All hell broke loose, he was spitting, choking, licking his arm and the counter top trying to get the grape taste out of his mouth. It was hysterical. A couple of years ago he was in the grocery store with me and said "Mom, I think I want to try a banana." I picked myself up off the floor, grab the closest banana to me, paid a cashier and tore out of that store. In the privacy of our car, he peeled that banana and took a honest good bite. Then he barfed. It was not hysterical, it was maddening. I shared this story with some of our friends and they just found it impossible to believe that this kid would not eat fruit. One night they were over for dinner and some friendly wagers were offered up for 13 to give a strawberry a go. He bit it - he barfed. It is just ridiculous. It must be the texture, because fruit tastes great!!! Here is his saving grace - he will eat lots of veggies. It is because he eats veggies that I can sleep at night.
Moving on to our youngest son, that we will call "7". He is an eating machine. He loves food in general - carbs in particular seem to be his favorite. Pasta, rice, bread, those are what make his heart sing. On the fruit front however, he will eat raisins. That's it - just raisins. Are raisins even considered a real fruit? In this house we call them a fruit. We also consider NutriGrain Strawberry Fruit Bars a fruit, because he also eats those. He also eats some veggies, although not nearly as many as I would like. Food challenges abound in this house.
In the end, I will blame my hubby's genes as the reason my children have such fruit phobias. I will take the blame for them being bad jumpers - those are my genes for sure. Maybe they will outgrow this phobia. As I have typed this blog, I have decided to redouble my efforts to introduce fruit to my children's bodies. Maybe I will try blending up some fruit with frozen yogurt and act like it is an ice cream treat. Might just work with 7! 13 not so much - he doesn't like ice cream. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE CHILDREN!!!!
Wish me luck!