Kate Williams, R.D.
A few years back I left my comfort zone. I embarked on a two-year adventure in Seoul, Korea, as well as trips to nearby countries. The biggest culture shock was undoubtedly the food. I decided to take full advantage and try everything – even if I didn’t know what it was. So jellyfish wasn’t my favorite, but I can honestly say I gained a new appreciation for diverse flavors, spices and textures. I consumed fermented foods, native fruits and veggies, local delicacies and more! Now that I am stateside with little kids at home, I still search for simple ways to bring an element of taste adventure to the foods I eat and those I feed my family. And you can too!
Whether you plan to go far or stay close to home, just a weekend away or a longer trip, why not embark on an eating adventure this summer? For those of you who hesitate to try the new and different, don’t miss the boat.
Trying new foods can be good for your health! From a nutritional perspective, eating a wide variety of foods and choosing different preparation styles may improve total diet quality and provide a broader range of nutrients your body needs. Maybe most intriguing, local fare and international cuisine will take your taste buds on a delightful journey. Begin your adventure with these simple tips.
Switch It up at the Supermarket
- In the produce aisle choose one new or unfamiliar fruit each week like Asian pears or boysenberries instead of the traditional pears or blueberries. Add them to the fruit bowl for the kids to try.
- In the grain aisle reach for quinoa or bulgur and substitute for pasta, in a salad or side dish, to add a unique taste and texture at your next cookout.
- At the seafood counter choose a seasonal or local fresh fish for grilling.
- In the dairy aisle pick a new Greek yogurt variety or different wedge of cheese for sandwiches.
Each aisle presents an opportunity to try something fresh and new. Take full advantage!
Buffet Taste Test & Restaurant Roulette
Most dietitians rarely recommend buffets, as people tend to overeat and make poor food choices. However, buffets can provide you an opportunity to try a wide array of new foods. Try just one scallop or a single piece of sushi or sample an unfamiliar veggie side dish. Make note of those you like best and try them at home. This can help bring new interest and excitement to mealtime.
Try a new ethnic restaurant – even if you have to point at a picture to order! Ask a family member or friend to take you to their favorite Greek, Indian, Moroccan or Thai restaurant. They can help you navigate the menu and recommend delicious dishes.
I remember international night back in high school. Foreign language students would prepare and sample dishes from around the world. Here are some tips so you can experience international night right at home!
Looking for a ready to serve option? Try a soup with a new and unique flavor profile like Campbell’s® Well Yes!® Cajun Red Bean and Vegetable Soup. Have a little more time? Select a new or unused spice from your spice rack and search online for an interesting recipe that uses it as an ingredient.
Maybe your child is learning about a certain country in geography. Have them help you find a recipe for a dish local to that region. You never know what new favorites will arise. In our house, bulgogi (a Korean dish of thinly sliced meat, marinated in a unique mixture of ingredients, then grilled) is now part of our regular rotation!
Check out these nutritious and delicious chef-inspired recipes. They may lead you down a road less traveled but just as tasty!
Enjoy your tasty adventure!
Kate Williams, R.D.
Kate received her bachelor degree in dietetics from the University of Delaware and then completed a dietetic internship at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. She has over nine years of experience in a variety of nutrition-related practice areas including clinical nutrition, weight management counseling, health and wellness and nutrition education. Kate has worked as a nutrition consultant to the Campbell Soup Company since 2005.