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Taste is of little importance to a 7-year-old

Friday, November 30, 2012

Declan's taste buds must be experiencing some sort of expansion. It began with him enjoying his Thanksgiving turkey and pumpkin pie, then was followed up by a surprising decision on his part to join Uncle Casey and I as we snacked on a bowl of sliced cucumbers.

As I mentioned in a previous column, cucumbers are his most disliked food, Declan's arch nemesis at the dining table. So when he asked to try some, it was unexpected and I crossed my fingers hoping that his previous reaction to the food was not repeated.

He dipped his first slice in a bowl of blue cheese dressing, which is a food he declared his love for many months ago, but was also a bit of a surprise.

"Mmmmm, pretty good," he chirped as he chewed his first cucumber bite, Casey and I staring at him blankly in surprise.

"Except for that white stuff in the middle," he added as he began nibbling at the cucumber peel. Casey and I chuckled and renewed our own snacking, neither of us saying it but both thinking, "there's the Declan I know."

Last night was a similar experience. I finally made Declan the tacos he had been craving and a few bites in he decided to be adventurous, something he never is at the dining table.

"Can I have some cabbage on my taco?" he asked, much to my surprise. I have been substituting cabbage for lettuce in many meals for the added nutritional value.

"Of course," I replied, as I handed Declan the cabbage bowl. He sprinkled some on and then complimented how good it tasted, after taking a couple of bites.

"Can I have some ketchup on my taco?" he asked next.

"No, yuck. That wouldn't be good buddy," I responded. Declan was not convinced though and following failed efforts on both mine and Uncle Casey's part to convince him it was a bad idea, I conceded that if he ate all of his taco he could put whatever he wanted on a second taco.

Declan cleaned his plate enthusiastically and rattled his hands excitedly in anticipation of his next taco. I was preparing it for him as Uncle Casey continued to express his disapproval of the idea, ketchup simply would not be good on a black bean and turkey taco according to him.

Declan would not be denied though and insisted the taco have all the same toppings as his original, cabbage, sour cream, shredded cheese and even a dash of hot sauce. Declan then topped the taco with a hefty amount of ketchup before biting into the corn shell.

"Mmmmm, not bad," he said, as he chewed his first mouthful with a wide-eyed expression of approval on his face. "It just doesn't taste very good," he quickly added as he swallowed his first bite.

I suppose, if taste is of minor importance to him, it should be easier to get him to try new foods in the future.

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Bruce Baker
Dinner with Declan