Tropical fruits are expensive here, so we hardly buy them. But for a change, I thought I’d let Z (3 years old) have a taste of and explore one of my all-time favorite tropical fruits in Malaysia — the dragonfruit.
I love the beautiful contrasting colors of the skin and the fruit within — a striking pink and green leathery skin on the outside, but pale white with small black seeds on the inside. The shape of the fruit is already a provocation in and of itself, but the contrast of the fruit color inside really peaks Z’s curiosity.
He was cautious in tasting it at first, but when he saw how much M (8 years old) liked it, he decided to give it a try. It is only mildly sweet albeit juicy fruit. Once again, a big contrast between the rather bland taste against the vibrant colors of the skin. I think most of the time he had a little frown on his face to show just how perplexing this fruit is.
It was a splurge to enjoy the dragonfruit, but it turned into a wonderful sensorial experience for Z. The many contrasts in color, feel and taste are so thought-provoking. It’s a reminder that we can find an abundance of precious lessons in nature — just letting our children explore them at their own pace and in quietness is much more effective at the preschool age, in my opinion.
I’m thinking of pineapple next, it’s in season right now and seem to be reasonably priced. If you’ve found any exotic fruits that are yummy as well as offer an interesting study, please do share!