I remember talking to a teacher who told me that a child had once told her that he was one boy at home, a second with his friends and a third at school. She asked him which was the “real” one and he said a combination of the three.
This has stuck with me through the years as I feel it’s probably true for most of us. The parent, the worker and the friend are all probably a little different.
It also goes someway to explaining why our picky children eat foods elsewhere when they are unable to do so at home, or conversely, find eating away from home more challenging.
Eating is very complex, emotionally, socially and mentally. Our child may find that having cucumber at daycare is OK and yet look upon it as devil’s spawn at home. Similarly Gran may have the world’s best meatballs but no matter how closely we follow the recipe it is just not the same at home.
On the other hand our child may find school lunches or party settings unbelievably challenging and refuse to eat anything.
If we think of them of three slightly different children eating can make more sense. The child who is confident and a leader at Kindy may find eating new foods a fit for them in their “work” persona. Grandma’s house may be filled with warmth and cookies so food is associated with love and comfort. Home can be a place where we are able to show the extreme ends of our personalities and food gets caught up in this. Or maybe home is where we can be brave with mum there in the background.
I was thinking about this for myself and how I feel about food does change depending on the situation, who I’m with and where I am. Now the trick is, finding the triggers and the support factors and replicating them in new environments.
Judith is passionate about good food and is even more passionate about enabling other people to enjoy the wide variety of fresh food available today.