I've written about learning to eat different food than what I was used to and what a pain I was to eat. Thinking back I was a nightmare, my poor mum. When Victoria was born I made sure she would try as much diverse food as possible. She is 8 and she always annoys me to get sushi rolls and her eyes shine when I make a quick curry for dinner. Having made friends from all over the globe not only opened my eyes to many things I didn't know about different cultures, but I learned that there is not one right way to do everything. Not one way to eat food and forget about "my way is better than yours" thoughts!
Besides music, I think that food is pretty universal, especially good food, so why not introduce it to our kids at an early age?
For example, my mum used to go crazy seeing Victoria eat spicy food. And depending what it is, she really loves it. My question is, in places like India, or Thailand, even Mexico, you don't stop feeding your kids because a dish might be spicy. Believe me, I've asked those questions to friends of mine from various countries. For example, do you know when a Japanese child starts to eat with chopsticks? Just as early as a Brazilian child starts to eat with a spoon! There is nothing different between either children, they are simply children, just raised within their own cultures.
And this is not to show off, but to prove a point. My daughter is far from being an excellent eater, to be honest she is going the opposite direction, each day it seems like she eats less and less proper food, she'd be happy living off chips and sweets, but some of her favorite dishes include:
- Hummus (Middle East)
- Mild curry (Indian)
- Pad Thai (Thai)
- Tacos, fajita and the other day she tried & liked burritos (Mexico)
- Pasta, pizza (Italian/kind of American... ok not)
- Rice, beans & farofa, pao de queijo, Brazilian barbecue (Brazilian)
- Edaname, sushi rolls - not all (Japanese)
- Fish & Chips, sausage & chips, pickled onions, Marmite, tea w/ milk (English)
- Cupcakes, steak, burgers & hot dogs, oreos, tuna sandwiches (American, she read this and wanted me to add the tuna and oreos as American)
- Orange chicken, fried rice (Chinese & Indonesian)
- Coleslaw (I confess that I had to look it up, but Wikipedia says, place of origin: Netherlands, Poland, Germany, Sweden)
I find that pretty impressive, as I didn't try most of these foods until I was a grown woman.
My point is, start early, even if you are not moving abroad, try a different restaurant every 3 months, get your kids excited about the different cultures, maybe you don't move, but you might spark a little light inside of them, and they might become future expats!