Try Something New, you just might like it! ( #clevertrynew)

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Thank you to P&G’s Have You Tried This Yet? program and Kroger for sponsoring my writing about trying new things and breaking out of my everyday routine. Click here to find great savings on high-performing P&G products at a Kroger store near you. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.
Some of my earliest memories involve food. I remember little heart shaped sandwiches that my mother cut out for Valentine’s Day. I remember the homemade cookies she made that I would sell to my friends at lunch for a quarter (and then go home and eat MORE cookies!). I remember licking the beaters when she made a cake and hiding lima beans under my napkin because I HATED them! My mom was a good cook but a traditional one. I grew up in New England and we ate pot roast, chicken, and the occasional take out pizza. Pizza had pepperoni on it or sometime sausage if my parents were feeling creative. Italian food was as ethnic as my family got! Living an hour outside of New York City, there was quite a bit of Italian food around!
I was a slightly picky eater as a child but since I wasn’t often introduced to new foods, I rarely had to turn my nose up at something. If we went out to a restaurant, we certainly weren’t going to go anywhere particularly out of the ordinary. Usually, we went to Friendly’s and I ALWAYS got a grilled cheese sandwich and french fries. Always!
When I went away to college, I cooked what I knew I liked. I ate a lot of baked potatos and chicken, peanut butter and jelly, and (of course) grilled cheese sandwiches. After leaving college, I followed the love of my life down to Houston, Texas and boy was I in for a food awakening! Houston is a melting pot of people and along with those people came some unique food experiences. I ate crawfish etouffee, aligator, sausage made with wild boar caught in South America by a friend, and lots of jalepenos! We had friends from China who cooked us REAL Chinese food…the kind you don’t find in most Chinese American restaurants! It was an eye opening experience that has continued on for the last 15 years. Here in Georgia I have been introduced to okra (which I really don’t care for, actually!), Indian food, and have continued my love affair with the jalapeno.
When I had kids, I promised myself that I would not raise picky eaters. I have never once made a separate dinner for my children because we were having something new that they might not like. I learned early on to serve fruit, bread, and a glass of milk with the meal and insist on the ‘3 bite rule’. Was it easy? NO. The first time I insisted on the 3 bite rule, my son fell asleep at the table crying. He was almost 3. For those of you who think I am a terrible parent: He did it ONCE. The next night he ate his three bites (with complaints!) and every night since it got easier. Now, at the age of 11, that boy eats everything you put in front of him. There are still occasional complaints but since he eats everything from hummus to asparagus, I don’t worry too much about it.
Children wil eat what they are exposed to most often and if you only serve hotdogs and pizza, they will only eat hotdogs and pizza!
I wish it hadn’t taken me so long to figure out how amazing a samosa tastes and I wish there were not so many ethical issues surrounding the eating of alligators because they really are quite tasty! Of course, when I go back home for a visit, I always ask to go to Friendly’s. And, yes, I STILL only get a grilled cheese sandwich and french fries. There is something to be said for comfort food as long as that is not ALL you are comfortable eating!

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