Killing Taste Buds

A theory that I have been testing was proven last night by my eight-year-old son when he said, “Mom, it’s just that the food is too tasty,” as an explanation as to why he was unable to eat his dinner.

Here is my theory: one of the purposes of parenthood is to successfully kill as many taste buds as possible.

This task should be completed before the child reaches the age that he or she can completely embarrass the parents in the presence of guests or hosts with a rude squishing up of the nose, the disgusted shudder, the eyes widened by terror and the phrase of doom, “Ew! What is that? I don’t like it!” Followed by a reddened face, a nervous giggle and the strained smile on the part of the parent as he or she says to the child with a flash of a death threat and then back to the clenched, forced grin, “How do you know you don’t like it if you haven’t even tried it?” The sing-songy fakey tone that the parent has employed confuses the child at first and then they quickly realize that no command has been given and the game has begun. This is nothing more than a fun test of wits like in checkers or battleship. A retort is given; unchecked. Child 2, parent 0. The counterattack is a sharp squeeze to the thigh of the child from the parent under the table as a plea for silence. Usually the issue is dropped at this point and another person at the table excuses the child and changes the subject. The parent tries to regain composure and wonders where they went wrong.

All disciplinary discussions aside the problem lies in the fact that these parents did not kill enough of their child’s taste buds when they had the chance. It is a scientific fact that a newborn baby has taste buds covering the whole inside of their mouth: the tongue, the roof, and the sides; everywhere. As the child grows little by little the buds slough off. It is also a fact that our taste buds can die and lose the ability to sense a taste. Once that bud dies there is no regeneration. That is why when you burn your mouth on a cup of hot drink it takes the whole day, if not two days to get complete feeling back to your tongue. They are sensitive little buds. (These facts also lead me to believe the reason Starbucks is so successful is that they are strategically killing their client’s taste buds so there is no diminishing return factor to deal with, but that is another post.)

So as parents we must bombard our children’s tongues with as many different flavors and varieties of foods as we possibly can. Don’t be so fanatical in this venture that you damage the child’s mouth. But do put forth the energy to make your children eat their food. Do not settle for a graham cracker and cheerio diet. No! You have some taste buds to kill!

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11 thoughts on “Killing Taste Buds

  1. hee hee…

    i think i’m most intrigued by your son’s theory. what’s his thought behind “it’s just that the food is too tasty”???

  2. Alece – he doesn’t know what “tasty” really means. (We don’t use it as part of our regular vocabulary around here.) The way he pronounced it was: taste (pause) ee. As in accentuating the fact that the food has a strong taste. Isn’t it amazing that kids automatically apply rules of the way we speak with out even knowing them? Like, “We rided in the car.” It is phenomenal to watch when children are learning a language and they mix the rules up. Ok – super tired I am = super chatty I am. :-)

  3. HI over here in your blogworld! :)

    my theory – and i’m being serious – is that kids tastebuds work differently than adults taste buds.
    for real.
    i mean, when i was a kid i despised chunks of cooked tomatoes. but i LOOOOOOOOOVE ’em now.

    so.
    i’m the same person. but i think my taste buds have changed.

    consider:
    asparagus
    brussel sprouts
    spinach
    beer (still gross!!!)
    etc….

    kids want chicken fingers & french fries, but nothing else.
    they have under-developed tastebuds.

  4. Mandy – Welcome! How nice of you to stop by. :-) It is amazing that as adults we really enjoy things that were not fun when we were kids.

    Come back soon now, ya hear?

    (I am not making fun of you – they say that in Nebraska where I grew up)

  5. You should google and read up on stuff. Seems to me that what you wrote is inaccurate. Taste buds only last about 10days…..

  6. @Cameron – Welcome to my blog! I am glad that you stopped by to make a comment. You are welcome back any time.

    I actually did very little research (except for personal observation in my own home) to write this satirical and sarcastic piece. But, if I were to research it I would definitely go straight to google because we all know that everything you read on-line is completely reliable and 100% verifiable.

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