At the age of five, Poet realized that eating healthy was a choice and decided to exercise that choice whenever possible. At first, I was a bit concerned and even shared my concerns with his kindergarten teacher. Poet had gone six months without eating a single cupcake or piece of cake at a birthday party. Our teacher told us not to worry – that it was completely normal for kids of his age to test their boundaries, in Poet's case his boundaries of self-control. Poet declared that he would avoid refined sugars and limit his intake of processed foods. So out went our occasional family trip to McDonalds for that delicious hot fudge sundae, our visits to See's candies for those sweet surprise tasters, and any sort of treat that had food coloring or processed sugars. When I realized that this was not a passing phase, we started reading all sorts of books about nutrition and the benefits of
certain foods. Poet and I also started watching YouTube videos of easy, healthy recipes to jump start our new passion for using
more wholesome ingredients. Poet began experimenting with avocado, cocoa powder and less processed sweeteners like honey, agave, maple syrup and dates. He also decided to choose bananas and berries over sugary sweets for dessert and snack
time. Ultimately, what started off as a protest against cakes and baked goods turned into a lifestyle choice. As his passion for cooking blossomed, we decided to write a book to share how it can be hip to be healthy and dispel the assumption that all healthy food is tasteless or yucky. Poet still won't touch certain things like salad dressing, tomatoes or mushrooms, but for the most part he is a conscientious eater who chooses to try healthy options like veggie burgers, spinach and Brussels sprouts. We are proud of our healthy eater and want to share his love of the outdoors, fishing, gardening, cooking and wholesome eating with our family and friends. What we have learned through this process is that leading by example is very powerful and you never know who you might inspire. Although it is hard to be the kid who says "no, thank you" to the spam musubi, Gatorade, candy lei and boba drinks, it is also fun to create new recipes and share what we make with friends and family. Writing this book reminds me that, no matter how young or old, novice or expert, we can all learn from one another.