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Food Is a Matter of Taste
When It Comes to My Kids

Posted Oct 03 2009 10:02pm

One night, while making dinner, Lael pulls a jar of lemon concentrate out of the fridge and says, “I want lemonade.” I pour some juice and honey into a glass and start mixing.

Before I can dilute the stuff with water, Lael picks up the glass and drinks the whole thing while saying, “Mmmm.”

I ask my little girl, “Isn’t that a little strong?”

“No, it’s good.”

The next day, Lael’s teacher points me to the fridge with pictures of each kid under four columns. The top text reads, “I like …” and then underneath the headline, the four columns are titled: “Bitter,” “Sweet,” “Sour” and “Salty.”

Most of the pictures are under sweet, of course. My daughter’s picture is by itself, under bitter.

“Lael loved the unsweetened, dark chocolate,” she informs me. “She wanted more.”

Have you ever tasted baking chocolate? It’s the most foul stuff on the planet, the antithesis of delicious, sugar-laden dark chocolate.

I laugh with the teacher a bit, but underneath a bit confused.

You see, my son Seth, can taste even the slightest variation in food. If I make chicken soup and add just one new herb, he complains that it tastes “wrong” or “bad.” Once I cooked his favorite hot dogs a little bit longer than usual. I took them off the heat just as the water ran out. Seth, who had no idea of what happened on the stove, says, “I can’t eat this. It tastes funny.”

He won’t eat grilled hot dogs at all. Only boiled. Toasting a marshmallow means Lael and I get to eat it.

Seth loves tofu, probably because it’s so bland.

Lael hates tofu, probably because it’s so bland.

Seth avoids sauces like the plague.

Lael won’t eat cucumbers without sauce.

Check out how their tastes differ:

Both like

  • Eggs
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Potato fries
  • Turkey meatballs (no sauce for Seth)
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly
  • Quinoa
  • Jello
  • Marshmallows
  • Bagel and cream cheese

Seth Loves:

  • Apples
  • Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Grapes
  • Chicken nuggets
  • Mild chocolates
  • Potato and Sweet Potato Fries
  • Goat milk
  • White starches (though we don’t usually give them to him.)

Seth Hates:

  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Pickles
  • Olives
  • Cookies with nuts
  • Green beans
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Avocado
  • Anything with sauce or seasonings
  • Most cheeses
  • Raw onions

Lael Loves:

  • Everything except what’s in the hate list

Lael Hates:

  • Raw onions
  • Tofu
  • Sweet potato fries
  • Brown rice

It’s hard to believe two kids from the same parents can be so different, but it’s clear they do not taste food the same way. Seth is the discerning sommelier and Lael is the happy mouse, willing to try anything and everything.

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