The first time I ate a fresh pear, I was roughly twelve years old. The flavor concerned me, and I asked my mom if there was something wrong with it. You see, I grew up on Hamburger Helper, Kraft macaroni and cheese, and Dole fruit cocktail in heavy syrup (still a favorite of mine–the maraschino cherries!). It wasn’t till my twelfth year that my parents finished grad school and finally had the time and money to introduce fresh foods into mine and my sister’s diet. It was a bit of an adjustment. Even at school we were used to eating processed foods.
My sister and I still give our younger brother and sister a hard time for being born a decade after us and getting to take advantage of dad’s newfound love for cooking. This is something that I talk to my dad about a lot, and he says that not finding ways for us to eat healthier earlier is one of his biggest regrets. It has taken me a while, but I have slowly but surely introduced every variety of food into my diet and learned how to cook along the way. Eating and preparing fresh foods brings me so much joy and keeps me healthy. The infographic below discusses the importance of educating children on food, and not just any food, real, healthy food.