Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Teach a Child to Eat a Lobster…

We live in an age where we believe children will only eat white food. Not just white food, but white food with no flavor. What was the last white food you saw growing in nature? There are a few that beneath their skin have white hearts but they are not foods served to children. We imagine what a child will or will not eat. The decisions made on his behalf will either stifle or educate his palate. As these children mature they no longer know if the memories and likes or dislikes they have are their own or if they are remnants of what they have been taught.

Even if parents are adventuresome eaters they often don’t make the leap to allow their children to try new flavors and textures. Our food choices for our children are sometimes based on perceptions rather than reality. Take lobster as an example. We assume they will be afraid of the way it looks. In most cases not true. Children have imagination and are fascinated by the prehistoric nature of lobster. They see a compatriot of dinosaurs and other creatures from story books. They view them with a mix of horror and thrill. It is a sea creature that the child can feel an authority over.


Every year at the Lobster Festival in Rockland, six to ten year olds compete to see who can eat the most lobster. They attack the shells like young warriors and eat the meat with gusto. They leave the stage with a sense of victory over nature and with the thrill of shocking the audience with their own audacity. They know there are adults in the crowd who view their success with wonder. They hear the whispers, “Can you imagine a child that eats lobster?”

Yes, imagine. A child will eat lobster, not only eat it but enjoy it.