"'Well,' said Pooh, 'what I like best - -' and then he had to stop and think because although eating honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called."
Dinnertime at our home was always an adventure. All distractions were turned off and everyone was required to be around the table. Although I don't think that it took much encouragement to get us there as it was probably one of our favorite times of each day. See, rules at our dinner table were um, let's call them unique.
First off, it was our discussion forum and so anything (and yes, I do mean anything) was up for discussion. You name it and we more than likely had a discussion about it at our dinner table at some point during my growing up years. The topics ran from silly to serious to disgusting to everything in between and back again. My parents perfectly crafted an environment that allowed us to be ourselves and ask/talk about anything without embarrassment or worry about being in trouble. I can't believe how brilliant my parents are!
Now most people would say that the rule at their house was that they had to eat everything on their plate before they were allowed to leave.
This was not the rule found in our home.
Everything was done family style. We, even as children, were allowed to make our own plates. If we didn't like something that Mom had made, we didn't have to have any. If we didn't like anything that Mom had made that night, we were allowed to make something else . . . a lot of times that meant that we just ate cold cereal. No kidding, I have one sister that lived on ketchup and mayo sandwiches (really the only two things between the bread) for a year. That was all that she would eat.
We were allowed to try things without being locked into having to finish it if we didn't end up liking it. Again, my parents are brilliant. This allowed us to be open to at least trying new things or things that didn't immediately appeal to our sense of sight or smell. Due to this rule, my parents raised children willing to try anything and love a wide variety of food. There isn't a picky eater among us. Sure we all have the things that we like more than others, but for the most part we will eat just about anything.**Really the only thing that most of us avoid, if possible, are onions. Mom is allergic to onions and so she never cooked with them and they were never in our home. Most of us will eat onions, but prefer not to . . . especially raw.
No wonder I am so open to trying new things . . . growing up I was allowed to without judgment and without fear.