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We often don’t realize our diets lack variety until our children go out in the world.

We made tacos for dinner yesterday. While it’s a common food in my home now, I had never heard of tacos until I entered school. My mother made comfort food such as fried chicken and tuna casserole at our house. The closest thing we had to ethnic food was spaghetti and meatballs.

My first taco was in my primary school cafeteria. I loved it so much that I excitedly told my parents all about my lunch when I got home from school. I couldn’t remember what it was called, but did my best to describe my new culinary discovery. My dad finally announced that I was talking about a taco.

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Through my youth, I discovered many other interesting foods such as corn dogs, finger steaks, burritos, and Frito pie. Since I was a very persnickety eater as a child, my mom made many of the dishes that I mentioned liking from school. She wasn’t a fan of messy food, though. I don’t think she has ever made tacos. She compromised and made taco salad instead. I think she was secretly trying to sneak more healthy choices in on us. Our taco salads were mostly tomatoes, onions, and greens. We all loved it, so it became a regular dish.

Like mother, like daughter. I thought I had exposed my kids to a variety of foods while they were small. However, my step-son returned from Army training in Virginia and told me all about a new kind of pie he’d discovered. He described the full bodied sweetness and rich color of this particular pie. I asked him the name of this incredible new pie. My boy responded, “It was called pecan pie.”

I nearly fainted! I make pecan pie at least once a year. I pointed out that he has had access to pecan pie ever since I came into the family. He had never tried it, though. I had never insisted he try it, so he was an adult before he ever indulged in that which I believed he had always enjoyed.

Many of us take our food choices for granted. Our children eat what we feed them. We often don’t consider the variety of our cuisine. We are, therefore, surprised when our children tell us about common foods that are new to them.

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