The Avocado Sundae

When you sit down to write a new blog and you end up just gnawing at your fingernails for an hour in the hope that your fingertips will become too bruised and tender to actually type anything, you realise you may be trying to suppress certain childhood memories. This blog post is a good example, since it has taken me a full hour to write this single paragraph.

By now you are probably thinking that something truly horrific happened to me, something so mentally scarring that I need to share it with the world in order to gain proper closure. Well, I’m afraid that after building it up so much, the story itself (which happened when I was seven-years-old) is going to feel a little anticlimactic … but since I’ve wasted so much time already, I’d like to persist.

I was sitting at the kitchen table one night, putting forward a carefully constructed argument (basically just whining, with a lot of mumbling mixed in) about why I didn’t want to eat my avocado, when my father suddenly stood up and removed the offending fruit from my plate.

It was uncharacteristic of my dad to concede defeat so early into the night and I was further shocked when he then turned to my brothers and I and cheerfully asked if we all wanted dessert. Did he just have a memory lapse or something?

Either way, I was very pleased with myself - that was until he handed me my dessert bowl.

Me: “Hey, what’s this?”

Dad (very causally): “That’s ice cream.”

Me: “No, it’s got green stuff in it.”

Dad: “Oh that, well, you don’t like avocado but you do like ice cream, and so I thought that if I mixed the two together you might start liking avocado.”

Me (a bit whiny again): “But I don’t want to eat the avocado bit.”

Dad: “Well it is mixed through, so if you want your ice cream, you have to eat the avocado bit.”

By this point, Dad and the boys were already halfway through their snow white uncontaminated desserts, whilst mine was slowly melting into a green lumpy river.

Now, rather than go into the gory details, I’d just like to say that there is a reason that ‘the avocado sundae’ has never been invented, or if it has, it’s never been a mainstream hit, and that’s because it’s seriously disgusting!

But I have to thank my father too, because he actually did me a favour that night. And it wasn’t just cleaning up my sick. My dad planted a seed in my head (maybe it was an avocado one) that slowly grew and evolved in my mind.

It’s very simple really: if you want to encourage children to embrace their fruit and vegetables, it’s important to be creative.

So I guess being traumatised by the avocado sundae was a good thing, because it pushed me to find other ways to make fruit and vegetables fun for children.

Now, after years of testing my own recipes with preschool children, I am releasing a story-based cookbook with edible food characters called Kindy Kitchen.

And I can almost hear my seven-year-old self sigh with relief.


Text © Jessica Rosman




The Chemist Con

Believe it or not, there used to be a time when young children were allowed to walk to school by themselves. Thank goodness all the parents of the world came to their senses and stopped this highly dangerous activity.

When I say ‘highly dangerous’, I’m not talking about the risk that a child might be snatched while dawdling through the local park. I’m not even talking about the fact the poor kid might be flattened by a semi-trailer. No, there is something far more sinister that lurks in the local community: it’s called the ice cream shop.

It’s not just any ice cream shop either. Just like a kidnapper pretends to be your friend before they club you over the head, this ice cream shop tricks you into thinking that it is good for you, that it is healthier than all the other ice cream sellers. It pretends to be a chemist.

When I was little, a chemist was the place I went to get well. It was the place where things were made better. Whether it was scratches, punches or a brother’s bite to the neck, the chemist was the wonderful giant medicine cabinet that made all those ouchies go away. So it was only natural that when feeling sad, I would stop there on my way to school and scoff a triple choc sundae.

The problem is that whilst vitamins, medicines and Band-Aids do help you feel better, daily ice creams make your teeth rot. But when you are seven-years-old and losing a tooth is a daily occurrence, the last thing you're worried about are cavities.

My poor mum probably thought she was doing me a favour by encouraging me to walk to school. “Go out into the sunshine, get some fresh air,” she’d say. Little did she know that once outside, I’d make a beeline straight for the cavernous chemist, which had poor ventilation and smelt of old hand cream.

I’m sure that if the health experts tracked the obesity epidemic on a chart, they would find a sharp increase in numbers around the time doctors were encouraging families to walk more for their hearts.

Luckily, society has gone into overprotective mode since then, so that children don’t stand a chance at making themselves ill, the way I did. But still, it’s important to know that just because a chemist sells ice cream, doesn’t mean it’s good for you.


Text © Jessica Rosman 2015