The Seven Year Switch

Monday, October 4, 2010

Last week, my wise, little sister told me something I found utterly fascinating. She said that human beings’ taste buds change every seven years.

Interesting, right?

I later read that when the new buds erupt, this is prime time to try plenty of new foods and flavors. You might just discover that you like spinach or salmon after all.

Also, try different version of things. For example, carrots might stay on your yuck-list, but somehow you’ve fallen for carrot cake. Or pumpkin pie is suddenly cloying, but slice up some pumpkin bread, and you’re on it.

It made think about the wee ones and the wild roller coaster ride of newness their taste buds go on in the first year alone. Babies go from milk to milky rice cereal to puréed everything to mushy to lumpy to cut-up and more.

And then when they start to develop tastes and food preferences of their own, even more enthralling.

Will my son still like PB & J sandwiches on whole wheat when he’s 9? Or would he have moved on to more advanced sandies with things like green olive tapenade and fontina on grilled artisan bread?

Will he get up in the mornings to whip up his own special pancakes with secret ingredients sprinkled into the thick, smooth batter? Or maybe he’s joined the Bacon Makes It Better Club with his father (and I still won’t touch the stuff).

By the time QB is in grade school, though, so much about his personal tastes and general preferences—from the way he holds a pen to how he likes his toast—will be developed and different. I’m sure even he will speak of things that he used to like back when he was “little.” And I’m sure I’ll smile that nostalgic mom-smile when he does.

But, even as we move so swiftly along towards Two-Year-Old World, I’m going to stay focused on the present moments. The PB & J-loving, messy yogurt-slurping, Mama’s salad-nibbling, dry toast-chomping, animal crackers-craving, salmon and rice-devouring moments happening now.

And we’ll deal with all the other delicious parts farther down the path when we get there.

  • 1
    Saada says:

    Ha! When I turned 40, it was yogurt. For the first time ever. Looking forward.

    • 1.1
      Ms. Mack says:

      I don’t think I can mess around with yogurt, even if I wanted to. My stomach ain’t trying to hear ’bout no dairy products. Except, of course, hard cheeses. The tummy has made THAT concession. Thank goodness. :-)

      Good of you to comment, dear Saada. Enjoy the yogurt.

  • 2
    Nailah says:

    It’s so incredible to think that everything is so new for little QB. Every sight and sound and taste is a brand spankin’ new adventure! It will be fun to see what he decides he likes as he gets older.

    • 2.1
      Ms. Mack says:

      Agreed! Of all the things in the human body that regenerate every seven years or so, the taste buds thing seems the most fascinating to me. I’m going to re-eval those things I wrote off years ago. Trying them with QB seems like a good way to go about, too.