What Brand is This?

The first time I made homemade granola bars, Shine looked at them and said, "What brand is this?" I replied with, "The Mommy Brand." "Oh, well, I don't think I like these. I prefer (yes, he really said prefer...it's one of his favorite words!) the ones in the green box."

Many of my homemade versions of his favorite commercial foods were met with the same comments. Although we always ate nutritious whole foods, I relied heavily on the abundance of pre-made "natural" foods available in Brooklyn. Many of the brands we grew to depend on are simply not here in Jamaica. Those that are found here are very expensive. So, I have been forced (in a good way) to make my own.

I regularly make granola bars, vegan nut yogurt, chocolate syrup, butter, bread, biscuits, quick breads, peanut butter, nut milk, salsa, ketchup, jam, vegan mayo, pasta, cakes, cookies, muffins...you name it and I pretty much make it! It helps a great deal that we have access to fresh foods year round and that between our CSA, Mom-in-law's farm and the farm market down the street, our fridge is overflowing!

After months of refusing to eat any of my homemade food, Shine is finally coming around requesting that I make him certain things. I was really surprised at how long this transition took. Mo and I have always been avid cooks and we have always eaten healthy foods so I wasn't expecting this outright refusal of all things homemade.

I was overjoyed this past weekend when Warrior and Earth Mother came to visit and joyfully ate all of the homemade food! It had been something that I was anxious about for a very long time. Until this weekend, we had always spent time with them at their grandparents' house. There had always been this buffer of sorts (which is another post entirely) so I was nervous that when they actually came to our house, they wouldn't eat any of our food. I think they were surprised at how few boxes, cans and packages are in our cupboards. Warrior would say, "This is homemade too?!" before tasting anything and then, "Wow, it tastes good!" Mo even gave them a label reading lesson in the kitchen. "Read this and tell me if there is anything you can't pronounce in the ingredients," he said, handing them a bottle of locally made BBQ sauce. "If you can't pronounce it, you can't digest it. Don't eat it."

I am happy that my children are learning what real food tastes like. I hope that I can inspire them to continue making healthy food choices long into the future. How about you? Has your family been resistant to your homemade efforts?