It’s funny how things change over time. Like our taste buds, for example. As young professionals (YPS), we’ve come a long way as far as our culinary cravings are concerned. From a generation of Lunchable lovers and Dunkaroo devotees, to a group of health and flavour-obsessed foodies, here is our list of 11 foods that so many of us hated as kids but have grown to love today.
1. Broccoli: They looked like little trees and we were certain that’s just how they tasted. Broccoli was (still is) the ultimate kid-loathed veggie. Today, however, we’ve all grown up and have found a way to appreciate the iron and nutrient-rich plant, whether steamed or stir-fried, raw or slaw-ed. From the fitness freaks to the take-out fiends, we now know that broccoli is actually the ultimate superfood.
2. Meat loaf: It was the iconic measure of every mother’s cooking talents, and more often than not it didn’t look good. Though meatloaf may still not look like much, we’ve come to love it as a good hardy meal and nostalgic comfort food.
3. Brown bread: If it wasn’t soft and white, and especially if it had any kind of seeds in it, forget it. As kids, we liked our PB&J on cake-like Wonderbread only. Crust-less too, please! Nowadays, that refined carb and preservative-packed loaf is every dieter’s devil, and if we’re going to eat any bread at all, we’ll take the darkest and most seed-filled possible.
4. Spinach: Like so many other veggies, spinach was just another mound of green on our plates that we as kids wanted nothing to do with. Adults tried their damnedest to entice us, telling us that eating spinach would make us big and strong (like Popeye). We weren’t buying it. But today we are. Now we know that the versatile veggie is amazing for us and we gobble it up raw, steamed, and especially juiced.
5. Fish: If it was served any way other than breaded and in stick shape, we weren’t into it. But thank goodness our palates have evolved, for today fish is known to be one of the leanest and most healthy proteins available. Not to mention, it’s a so-called “brain food.” From a light and mild cod, to a rich, dense sea bass, YPs are down with fish, and now prefer it in actual fish shape.
6. Mushrooms: The texture hasn’t changed, we’ve just learned to appreciate it. As kids, we thought mushrooms felt and looked weird and tasted like nothing. Today, they complement so many of our fave sauces, soups, and veggie/vegan staples. And then, of course, there are truffles…
7. Yogurt: When all we really wanted was pudding and ice cream, our parents thought they could trick us with healthy, gloppy yogurt. But that texture and undeniable bitterness wasn’t fooling anyone, even if it was banana or chocolate flavoured. Of course, those were the days before we cared much about protein or all the tummy-loving benefits of probiotics. Sure, we may still prefer pudding and ice cream today, we just now know better. Plus, now we have Greek yogurt and somehow (like magic, really) it’s almost better than pudding.
8. Brussels sprouts: Tiny cabbages? Gross. There was, and still is, just something about Brussels sprouts that has always made kids cringe. Maybe it’s because they smell like feet and rarely ever get doused in cheese like their cauliflower counterpart. Fortunately, we YPs seem to have come around to the little balls of green goodness, and now they grace menus in top restos as well as our tables at home.
9. Beans: This was a tricky one for us as kids. If they were hidden in a warm pot of chili, bring it on. But if they were green, especially of the lima variety, not a chance. Of course, as we learn more about the many benefits of plant proteins, we’re eating beans and legumes like crazy today. Plus, as the song goes: “Beans, beans, good for the heart, the more you eat the more you… ok, that’s enough (we’re adults now).
10. Lemons and Limes: It’s not that we hated them when we were young, we just had very little use for them. Apart from grandma’s lemon meringue pie or a cold lime popsicle on a hot day (and dares of who could hold a slice in their mouth the longest), the super sour fruit really had no place in our childhood. Cut to present day, though, and we’d be lost without lemons and limes. Gin would never be the same. Mexican and Thai food would be missing a very essential zing. And water would be even tougher to swallow…
11. Water: Not technically a food, but one ingestible that we YPs have made a huge 180 on. Colourless and flavourless, we had zero interest in drinking water as kids (well, except when running laps in gym class… for some reason water from a public fountain tasted amazing then). Today, of course, in our current infinite wisdom, we are actively swapping those kiddy sodas and “fruit drinks” (whatever those are) for wondrous, life-enhancing water. Ahhh.