When I was in high school my parents took us on our first family vacation to a place that wasn’t Cape Cod or Disney World. We went to Key West. We took a plane. It was a really big deal. It was our first vacation that included eating in restaurants that weren’t McDonalds or buffet style. I was 17. The whole thing was overwhelming. Being away from my friends for five days felt like the end of the world. There was no texting or email or facebook to check in with. It was awful.
One way I cope with being overwhelmed is with food. I go straight into Bread and Vegetables Mode. At every restaurant, I ordered all the side vegetables they offered, no sauce, no seasoning, just vegetables and some butter. And extra bread. Nothing else. Much better. My brothers made fun of me at every turn, as they enjoyed steaks, but I was much happier. Until I could get home and get back to the regular routine.
This week Riley’s school is having a Family Favorites Dinner at the school. We are bringing crackers, cheese, fruit and applesauce. Trying to offer her new foods at dinner never goes well. She’s tired from the day, has a hard time staying at the table, and is too overwhelmed for something new. She has always been a pretty good eater, but her list of favorites and even tolerated foods is dwindling as she gets older. No matter what, though, she will always go for her fruit and vegetable favorites.
What are your family favorites?