“There are four types of food in the whole world. Healthy, less healthy, not-that-healthy, not-at-all healthy. And the level of healthiness is inversely correlated with the taste.” This argument belongs to my 6 year old ‘gourmet’ son. Alnar has been suffering from asthma since he was 13 months old. Even though no particular allergen was detected in his blood, his doctors (Paediatric-allergist, pediatric-pulmonologist and his regular paediatrician) recommended that he should diversify his diet. For us this meant something like ‘instead of eating one whole banana, eat one-third, then supplement with pear and carrot.’ After that point, we have embarked on a journey looking for different types of healthy food.


Having Turkish roots pointed us towards dried fruits; figs, apricots, raisins, dates, blueberries, mulberries, goji berries, prunes, peaches, apples, mangos, papayas, bananas, cranberries, black currants and melons; (oh delicious dried melon stripes, believed to be Marco Polo’s favorite!). Lets not forget to mention noris; delicious crispy seaweed!

Then comes nuts and seeds; peanuts, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashew nuts, Brazilian nuts, pecans, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, watermelon seeds, pine nuts and sunflower seeds. The latter was a big success at home, until he started losing his infant teeth.

We started to look for alternative fresh fruits and vegetables as well. We visited some international food shops & restaurants in Brussels. For fresh food, our favorite is the Garde du Midi market on Sunday mornings. A wide variety with reasonable prices. Moreover, we can recommend ‘immigrant shops’ spread all over the city. Our discovery included dragon fruit (pitaya), Chinese sucker, carambola, passion fruit, quince, persimmon, lycee, mangosteen, pomelo, physalis, pomegranate, cherimoya, papaya, kumquat,
pawpaw, daikon (Japanese turnip, excellent with miso soup, big success filling after-school hungry stomachs.)

Our journey was enlivened by “Culinaria”events, one of the most interesting annual culinary events in Belgium. Last year it coincided with our birthdays, so tickets were our birthday presents! We got to dine at ‘the most starred restaurant in the world.’ My son was so happy to taste super ‘extra terrestrial’ food from star chefs. This helped him to develop a more sophisticated palette for a typical 6 year old and resist bags of candies he receives at many different occasions. Hurray!!

Last week he invented a special sauce; which I want to share with you;

Super Sauce -No: 1

20 caparis

10 cornichon pickels

10 green olives (pits removed)

10 black olives (pits removed)

1 clove of garlic

1 small spoon of mustard and/or mayonnaise

All need to be finely chopped, mixed!

Bonne appétit!

One Response to Food journey of a 6 year-old

  1. Sandra says:

    Now you are making us all look bad! :) My kids don’t know half of these things. My 6 yo does love dried mango, though. He can’t get enough of that. And both of them love nuts and pine nuts. But all the fruits you mention? They are missing the Turkish heritage: for us it is apples and pears.