Did you ever wonder why you choose the foods you eat? Are you aware of your choices? Which ones are your favorites? Which foods do you dislike? Your food attitude is an important factor in how you eat and what you choose to eat. There are many reasons we choose certain foods such as texture, appearance, taste, smell and in your earlier years what your mother told you to eat! Some of our choices include cultural influences and traditions.

While you ponder over your food choices, let me share why I eat the way I do.

The reason for this topic is two fold. One, it is important to realize why you make certain food choices especially if you need to make changes in your diet. Perhaps you eat while under stress or when you’re tired. This is when many of us make poor food choices and eat chocolate or chips. This awareness can help you make a change in your eating habits and choices.

The second reason is to honor my Irish mothers food attitude since March celebrates St. Patrick’s Day. My mother had a great “ food attitude”, she grew up on a farm in Ireland and was truly eating “farm to table” which is a current cultural trend. She encouraged me to love food that was fresh, tasty and home made. Irish cuisine is not as highly regarded as some other cuisines but it has a comforting affect.

My mother cooked for nine people every night. No dinner was complete with out potatoes! I can remember my mother carrying in 50 pound bags in from the car when I was little. Potatoes were not only a cultural food, but they were inexpensive as well as having great nutritional value. Vegetables and some type of protein were always on the plate. Soda Bread was a main staple in our house, but soda and sugary drinks were never allowed. As a child I thought I was deprived with out soda and by college I was thanking my mother for not allowing us to drink soda.

There was no pressure to be part of the clean plate club and we were encouraged to try new things. My mother had me involved in cooking at a young age. She would ask me to stir the gravy, peel potatoes or help make soup. As I got older she gave me more complicated tasks to do. Part of this was out of necessity to have help in the kitchen and partly to teach me survival skills. Either way I was okay with participating. Lucky for me I inherited her love of trying new recipes and foods.

It wasn’t until I was in college that I realized I should thank my mother for many things including my food habits and cooking skills. She imparted great values around food including the importance of eating as a family to my self and my siblings. Today I carry on many food traditions and I thank my mother for my healthy relationship with food.