Linda Nidiffer

All writers in Op Ed are here to inform and acknowledge issues of importance to our communities, however these writings represent the views and opinions of the authors and not necessarily of The Advertiser.

I don’t know about you but I am tired of dwelling on crime, war, politics, and the pandemic.  The negativity that swirls around us constantly has driven many of us to the kitchen looking for comfort.  Some have taken up the lost art of bread baking; some have just disappeared in their refrigerator.   I am confessing right now that I do not have a good relationship with food.  I never have and probably never will.  I am okay with it, but others aren’t.

As a kid I was known to be a picky eater.  The doctor kept reassuring my mom that I would eat when I got hungry.  The problem was I never got hungry three times a day like everyone else.  I used to be good for breakfast. I still like cereal and toast just not in the morning.  School lunches were a giant NO and mom’s sack lunches were not much better.  I wasn’t hungry when the school said I was supposed to be—after school I was starving!  We had an early supper at homeon the farm because the animals needed attention afterwards.  My mom tried to be controlling with her sit there until your plate is clean and children in Africa are starving tactics, but we always had a willing dog or my sister liked my unwanted vegetables when mom wasn’t looking.

We later learned that I was allergic to all kinds of things and my body was trying to tell me what to eat and what not to eat.  I am allergic to grass and all kinds of trees. Whatever makes them green makes eating green vegetables a trial for me.  My body just doesn’t like them very much.  Oh, don’t get me started on lettuce!  Everybody likes lettuce right?  I have tried to eat it once or twice and the havoc it creates is unbelievable.  

The year that strawberries became a problem was no laughing matter.  We had about a quarter acre berry patch that needed to be picked so that we could enjoy strawberry jam all winter long. When I got old enough to pick responsibly that became one of my chores.  The summer of sensitivity I did my usual picking of one for me and two for the basket or maybe it was one for me and one for the basket, whatever it was, I developed hives under my skin and welts on my skin.  The good news is that with sensitivities you don’t quit breathing! I could be as sensitive as all get out, the berries needed to be picked.  The next day I wore long sleeves and long pants and gloves in the ninety degree heat, but at least I didn’t scratch myself to death! No berries passed my lips the rest of the year.

I have a love hate relationship with eggs, tomatoes, and watermelon. We won’t go into migraine triggers but fake sugar and citrus fruit are at the top of the food list.  So here is the take away:  if your child or grandchild tells you he/she doesn’t like a food listen.  Your baby may be telling you something important.