Living LifeWise: The Taste Buds, They are A-Changing

Living Lifewise Sunday, September 29, 2013 Written by

Living LifeWise is a regular column provided by LifeWise Ambassadors – LifeWise employees whose healthy choices are helping them live better lives. Today’s column is provided by LifeWise Ambassador Christopher Breunig

As a kid, I hated beets. Period. I did everything I could to avoid them. This lasted until I decided to hide beets in my pocket during dinner, forgot to take them out and sent them through the washer. The result? Beet-colored clothing for everyone.

My wife’s grandfather had a huge garden in Tustin, Calif., which meant she grew up eating fresh vegetables and fruits year round. When my wife and I were dating, I was confronted with beets again. She ordered a beet salad and offered me a bite. To save face, I decided to try them, only to discover that they were earthy, sweet and rich in cool cubes bathed in a mustard and herb vinaigrette. My hate turned to love in an instant.

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What was so different? I had never eaten a fresh beet growing up – just the canned discs that tasted metallic and of the preservatives they bathed in during their time spent in a can. My mother also didn’t try different recipes with beets.

As parents of young kids, my wife and I never made “kid food” – particularly because our kids were good eaters. At the age of 3, my son loved clams and my daughter ate olives and capers. If our kids didn’t like what we made, they didn’t have to eat it. But my wife had an amazing response to these situations. She would say that even though they didn’t like a given food the last time they tried it, their taste buds were constantly changing and rewiring through age 25, so they owed it to themselves to try it again. More often than not, this turned a kid into a fan.

As adults, we have the ability to change our taste buds, to taste things anew because we chose a new ingredient or recipe.

Keep an open mind and don’t shortchange your own taste buds.

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Christopher Breunig is married and father of a son and daughter in their late teen years. He lives in Bellevue and tries to serve as a good example to his kids, and sometimes as a cautionary warning.