LifeWays is a magical place full of ever-changing and growing children. Seemingly every day the children change their preferences and tastes as they grow and learn more about themselves and their environment. We of course witness the physical changes that the children go through, but we also experience the changes that occur as the children become more adventurous with their diet.
Just as the long, cold winter has given way to brightly-colored flowers and rainy afternoons, some of the infants have begun blooming into lively toddlers. We are beginning to see teeth where once a smile revealed only pink gums. Words such as "hi" have replaced the inscrutable sounds that let us know some of the youngest children wish to have our attention. As these young ones are growing their new teeth and learning how to say actual words, they are also defining their preferences by rebuffing foods once deemed palatable in favor of new textures and tastes. This was recently evidenced by an entire serving of broccoli having been discarded to the floor while a bean quesadilla was enthusiastically devoured.
Changes of the palate are not just present in the lives of the youngest children, some of the older children have been making strides in expanding and changing their diet. Some of the children often make requests for meals containing plain white rice or plain pasta. These have been the desired foods for some of the children for as long as I have been cooking at LifeWays. The requests for certain plain foods have not decreased, but instead of untouched meals being scraped into the compost bin, I am seeing nibbles of meals being taken and am met with triumphant, "I tried the red rice today!"
Change is a necessary and wonderful part of the human experience. Some changes occur without any effort on our part, while others occur only when we are brave and make the decision to try new things. One of the great joys of working at LifeWays is having the ability to watch these changes occur as the children develop and grow into the amazing human beings that they are.