The Kid, The Apple and The Imaginary Superhero

four galla applesEveryone in my family knows that apples are my second favorite fruit, right after wild blueberries. I often say that apples are somewhat like wine – there are many varieties and kinds (tart, sweet, fragrant, fresh, ripe) suited for different tastes as well as occasions (baking, salad, eating out of hand). As with wine, you may immediately fall in love with a certain variety while other varieties you will learn to appreciate.

As a child I thought I didn’t like apples mostly because I didn’t fancy red and golden delicious which were common in my house. I had no idea there was such a vast variety of flavors out there. And then I discovered Fuji and Gala, two of my favorite kinds, which made me cherish apples.

The girl and the apple

Just like me, Zoe is quite picky about her apples. To my disappointment, she refused to eat apples during her early age, and she was four when she first willingly reached for this healthy and tasty fruit.

I remember my frustration, trying to offer her all kinds of apples just to intrigue her taste buds. She always loved applesauce, but who (with good teeth) would want to settle for it? I also didn’t want to strip the apples from their vitamin goodness by peeling off the skin. I wanted her to bite into the juicy and healthy organic apples along with the shiny pink and yellow skin.

Even tough my offers were constantly met with the rejection, I kept offering. Also, I always had apples around in a basket because apples are just as pretty to look at as they are to eat. I am sure both Van Gogh and Monet would have the same opinion.

It is not what my mommy says, it is what my imaginary superhero does

Like all parents know, you teach your kid good habits and things eventually happen. But when your kid’s peers or idols exercise a habit, things instantly happen. Anyway, my key ally and the decisive influence on my four-year old, came in a form of a fictional TV character known as Sportakus from a renowned TV show Lazy Town.

When my husband first told me about a kid’s TV show whose main characters are Sportakus, a man that lives in a spaceship, and Stephanie, a little girl with pink hair, I was a bit reserved. But after I’ve watched a few episodes, I realized why the show got many awards. Lazy Town teaches kids (and adults) many positive habits, among others, how important it is to exercise and eat healthy food.

My tiny daughter,  who was at a time allowed to watch one episode per day, was mesmerized. She wanted to dance like Stephanie and be as strong as Sportakus. There was also a mean character, Robbie Rotten, whose every evil intention went awry thanks to the mighty Sportakus.

My husband (who watched practically every episode of the show) was the biggest fan. He loved both Sportakus and Robbie that much that he couldn’t decide if he wanted to act out a superhuman jump from a spaceship or laugh deeply and viciously after hiding Zoe’s toy.

But what helped Sportakus stay so strong? Well, he ate plenty of fruits and vegetables including fresh, juicy apples. And he ate them every day with pleasure.

The miracle…and its luggage

One day, while watching an episode of Lazy Town, Zoe jumped from the couch and grabbed an apple from a basket. “Oh, this is so juicy and yummy”, she exclaimed as she bit into it with confidence. “One day I will have pink hair just like Stephanie.”

Oh well. I guess one should not expect more than one victory at a time.

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