My cousin C shares my overall view that the more varied the foods you expose your children to, the more likely they are to end up eating a healthier diet. The idea is that you increase their odds of eating healthy food when you introduce them to a vast array of healthy produce.
When C was a young child, her dad would do the grocery shopping each week. He allowed her and her brothers to pick any fruit in the produce department to try. The more exotic the fruit, the more exciting it would be for them to take the fruit home, figure out how to cut it, and then eat it. C recalled happy memories of trying to find the most exotic fruit possible and the adventure of eating it.
C shared this memory with me in the context of another story she was telling me, about how she invited her son's friend and his mom over for lunch one day after preschool. C served egg salad and sliced nectarine. The friend's mom was very curious. "What is this exotic-looking fruit?" she asked C. C was a bit surprised, but explained it was a nectarine, which is basically "an un-fuzzy peach."
I share this with you for two reasons:
1. I think it is a cool idea to have your children pick out *any* fruit and have a little food adventure in your kitchen. Heck, you could even figure out where the food was grown and make it a little educational experience, learning about another part of the world.
2. Is a nectarine really that exotic?
I realize that not all children have extensive access to fresh produce. I count myself fortunate that our grocery has many different types of fruit--so many that even I have a difficult time recognizing all the varieties. Which is probably why we ended up with these in our cart over the weekend:
R picked these out and I have to say that I think I would rather stick to clementines or even regular ole' oranges. Just a bit too tart for my taste...but they are shaped funny, which is why they piqued our interest.
Now go buy some crazy-looking fruit...