Fonticulus Fides

Monday, September 29, 2003

I think we've inadvertently turned Zooey into a food snob.

Last week at preschool, a like-minded parent sent apples for the morning snack. I was overjoyed to hear it! Especially because I know that apples are one of the three fruits that Zooey will eat consistently (along with red seedless grapes and bananas).

But Zooey informed me that he took one bite of his apple and didn't like it, so he refused to eat it. That thud you just hear was my heart hitting the floor.

Near as I can figure, they were just ordinary Delicious apples from the grocery store. Unfortunately, there's the rub. Several years ago, my husband would only eat Delicious apples. I preferred Granny Smith for snacking, and I used all different types for apple pie, but still, we mostly bought Delicious.

And then we embarked on an apple odyssey. First it started with organic Delicious apples -- my goodness, they were so much more delicious, we wondered how the non-organic variety could still carry the label. And then we launched into Fujis, Galas and organic Macintosh. A whole new world of apples appeared before us as we sampled Pink Lady and Braeburns and numerous other varieties. We started exploring the local orchards for different types. We dreamed of starting a small organic apple orchard on the family farm (not practical due to the prevalance of cedar trees out there -- cedars and apples are not a good mix, especially when you are trying to go organic).

Through it all, we've never gone back to the average grocery store "Delicious" ones. So the only apples Zooey has ever had have been these other varieties, and the apple he received last week must have been pretty bland by comparison.

I feel bad that he rejected the apple at preschool. On the other hand, I have no intention of giving up our practice of buying better-tasting apples, particularly when the difference in cost per pound is negligible this time a year, when the apples are in season. I told Zooey that I expected him to eat his fruit at preschool, whether he liked it or not, but the kid is four. I don't think he understands how a bland-tasting apple can be good, when he knows there is a sack full of yummy ones at home. I'm sure he thought there was something wrong with the piece of fruit he was given.

This isn't the only food item, either. A grilled cheese sandwich made with Kraft singles on Wonderbread just doesn't compare to the ones I make at home, with rich Wisconsin Cojack on a nice grainy whole-wheat. And if we happen to go out for burgers, we go to one of our favorite restaurants, Lazlo's, not McDonald's. My intentions have always been good, but have I unwittingly turned my kids into picky food snobs who will turn up their noses at what most children think is perfectly acceptable food?



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