My Favorite Foods … When I Was Seven

A book I wrote when I was seven shows how my tastes have changed over the years. Take a culinary trip down memory lane with me, won't you?

Look what I unearthed in the archives of my youth.

My husband, Chris, turned 30 yesterday. To celebrate, my parents sent him a nice birthday card … and a stack of books I wrote when I was in first grade. No lie.

I had this terrific teacher at Glenwood Elementary School in Rose Tree Media (represent!) named Mrs. Loose, who used to have us write, illustrate and “publish” little hardback books, which my parents and grandparents dutifully saved all these years.

Among the titles in my series are such page-turners as My Woods, My Dog, Bike Ride, My Dog Kelly (the sequel to My Dog, I’m guessing), and My Friend Kelly (not to be confused with the dog, of course).

As I paged through them this morning (laughing hysterically), one title caught my eye: My Favorite Foods. Huh. I wonder if my favorite foods as a seven year old are still my favorites, now 21 years later?

Let’s find out. Below, check out my words and illustrations as a seven year old, annotated with my thoughts as a 28 year old. Read through it, then tell me in the comments: How have your tastes changed since you were a kid? If you’re a parent, how are you making sure your kids have a diverse palate when it comes to food? Share in the comments.

Can’t speak for my brother, but I’m actually not a huge apple fan anymore. I know I should be—they’ve got some vitamin C and potassium, and they’re pretty low-calorie to boot—but I just don’t have a hankering for ’em like I apparently used to. Now if I were to choose a favorite fruit, I might say kiwi or cherries or grapes or blueberries or avocados (yup! It’s a fruit). Also? How amazing is that tree?

Still true, especially now that I’m a runner. Banana and peanut butter on whole-wheat toast is my go-to pre-run (and pre-race) snack. Good for warding off muscle cramps, too. I don’t pack them in my lunch anymore, though. Is it just me, or do bananas packed in lunches cause everything else packed with them to taste and smell a little banana-y?

I am still a total pie addict. It was always a bit of a joke in my family that I’d request pie instead of birthday cake every single year. Hasn’t changed one bit. My favorites: key-lime, pumpkin, blueberry—well, you should know the different kinds of pies (and if you don’t, we can’t be friends).

Still half true. I mean, who doesn’t love pizza? But a favorite food … I’m not so sure. These days, if I eat pizza, it’s usually homemade with a pumpkin-based dough and topped with veggies and fresh herbs from my garden. I load it up with sauce and go light on the cheese. Also, for the record, I am inclined to say that pizza made it on to my seven-year-old favorite foods list largely because it is easy to draw; as you can see, drawing was (and still is not) my strong suit.

True. Chicken was alive at one time. (Gosh, I was smart.) I’m still a chicken-a-holic, only now I eat breasts, not legs, like they’re going out of style. The possibilities are endless!

I had my second ear of corn for the entire summer just last weekend, so I think it’s safe to say corn would no longer make my favorites list. Of the summer veggies, tomatoes probably top the list. I pop cherry tomatoes like candy and eat heirlooms like apples. As for the front-teeth issue, I can only imagine that I wrote this book in the months when I had no front teeth because my brother accidentally knocked them out of my mouth. Accidentally.

I mean, just in case you forgot.