I grew up thinking I hated most fruits and vegetables. We either never had them, or my mom would only buy canned. I have no idea why this was. Perhaps this was how my mother was raised. Perhaps because we lived in a small, rural town fresh fruits and vegetables weren't readily available. Or perhaps she just didn't like them and therefore never bought them. My guess is it was probably a combination of all these reasons.
Watermelon: my mom had an incident as a child where her throat swelled up after eating watermelon and therefore decided she was allergic to any kind of melon. I guess it never occurred to her that we weren't, and would perhaps enjoy some watermelon every now and then. I find the seeds a little annoying, and that is probably the reason why I don't eat much watermelon today, but I still like it and don't have any allergy problems with it.
Canteloupe: perhaps my mom thought her watermelon allergy carried over to others in the melon family? Thus, I never tried canteloupe until I was in college. I remember the first time my roommate brought one home. I watched, completely fascinated, as she cut it open and cut it away from it's hard shell. I tried my first piece and it was so good! She even showed me the trick that salting the melon really brings out the flavor.
Pineapple: I can't remember the first time I tried pineapple. This may have been another fruit my college roommate introduced me to. What I do know is once I had fresh pineapple, I could never go back to eating canned. I can't even begin to explain how bad I think canned pineapple tastes. It's hard and unflavorful. The only time I'll buy canned pineapple is to have on hand for homemade canadian bacon & pineapple pizza. Once it's cooked I don't notice the texture as much.
Peaches & Pears: I feel the same way about these canned fruits as I do pineapple. Hard. That's the only word I can come up with that describes them. As an adult, I love a fresh pear. Pears have to be at the perfect ripeness in order for me to enjoy, but once it's there I can't get enough.
Spinach: my only memory of spinach as a child was from school lunches. They always served the nasty-looking, and nasty-tasting, cooked spinach with lunches. I don't think one child ever ate it, so why they continued to serve it is beyond me. However, as an adult I've found I actually like fresh spinach. It makes for a great salad. Spinach and artichoke dip also makes for a very tasty treat :)
Sweet potatoes: the first time I was introduced to sweet potatoes was just a couple years ago. Some co-workers and I had gone out after work for a drink at a local bar, and one of my coworkers ordered sweet potato fries. Um, can I say delicious? I was hooked. I was on a mission to look for sweet potato fries on every menu at every restaurant I went to after that. I even got brave a few months later to try a plain old baked sweet potato. Add a little butter and ranch dressing and you've got yourself a yummy and healthy alternative to a regular baked potato.
Asparagus: this is another vegetable I didn't try until a couple years ago. I love to watch shows on the Food Network, and it always seemed like they were cooking with asparagus. I decided to get brave and try it for myself. I found an easy recipe for roasting asparagus. I brush it with olive oil, sprinkle some salt and pepper on it, and bake at 400 degress for about 10-15 minutes. Even my husband loves it, and it's become a staple side dish in the summertime at our house.
There are still plenty of fruits and vegetables that I need to try. The older I get the more experiemental I get, and I hope to continue to broaden my horizon of these healthy foods. I am determined to always have fresh fruits & veggies in the house once we have kids. I want our children to grow up with these foods as a part of their regular diet. I hope in doing that they will choose healthy foods over unhealthy junk foods as they make their way through life. And in turn, will live long, healthy lives.