I am fully convinced that taste is acquired.
African kids love something called “pap.” Pap is cornmeal that is boiled into a paste. It has a slightly sour taste and is not particularly appealing to me, but it is the mainstay of an African’s diet.
In other parts of the world people eat all kinds of things we might find unappealing and love them. Why? Because that’s what their parents fed them, and they have acquired a taste for whatever the food may be.
Now let’s look at the American diet. As a nation, we have become increasingly obese, and the foods we are eating to get that way are expensive. Let’s look at breakfast foods. The mainstay of our breakfast diet is cereal. Turn a $5 box of processed cereal to the side and look at the ingredients label. The second ingredient will most likely be sugar. You can quickly see that you are spending your hard-earned money mostly on sugar.
So what can you do? Feed your family whole grain non-processed cereals.
“But they won’t eat it!”
They will if you retrain your family’s taste buds to like cooked whole grain cereals. They will be getting less sugar ,and they will get a healthy infusion of nutrients and fiber. Cooked cereals don’t have to be sticky and unpalatable. And they are not time consuming to prepare. Ounce for ounce, they are a terrific bargain.
Here’s how to make oatmeal on the quick:
1. Get real oatmeal—not the little packets that also include sugar. I like steel cut oatmeal if I can get it. At least get old-fashioned oats—good old Quaker Oats work.
2. For one serving—probably big enough for two kids, dump 1 cup of water and ½ cup of oatmeal into a large bowl—sometimes the mixture boils up and can spill over the side of a shallow bowl.
3. Add whatever you like for flavoring: cinnamon, raisins, Craisins, sliced almonds, chopped apples, etc. Or if each of your kids like something different, wait until the oatmeal is cooked and add the flavorings for each child.
4. Put the bowl in the microwave and cook it for 4 minutes on high power.
5. Take it out, stir it thoroughly, and serve. Now you can decide if you want to add a little brown sugar. Put a little milk, or just a scant tablespoon of cream on it and give it to the kids. I can’t believe they won’t like it.
Other cereals to cook are Cream of Wheat, Cream of Rice, and Oat Bran. All of them are good, healthy, and inexpensive. Oh, by the way, kids learn best by modeling. That may mean it’s time for you to change your eating habits as well.
What healthy and nutritious breakfast cereal is served in your home?