Kids with Taste!

By Carmen Schmidt |

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Do you eat the same now as you did as a kid? If you’re like most people the answer is an absolute no. I remember loving things like pizza and mom’s roast beef, and not being open in the least to anything new, especially vegetables. My family didn’t go out to eat much when I was a kid and when we did is was usually a pizzeria or a family diner, where I ordered the same thing every time. I think that’s why I am very intrigued by this week’s returning young All-Star guest review, Jihan Dubose.

Jihan, aside from being very well spoken and self-assured, has a very sophisticated palette. We first met her a little over five years ago when she appeared on our kids’ episode and told us all about her favorite seafood restaurant at the age of 10. Even then, Jihan appeared wise-beyond-her-years. Our calamari-loving reviewer told us all about her favorite restaurant and was very eloquent in her description of her experience with both the food and service at the other restaurants. It is apparent that she goes out to eat quite a bit with her family and has a wonderful frame of reference to call upon for it. Now as a teenager, she is open to trying new cuisine and different flavors I have only just started to try in my adulthood!

The kids’ episode, five years ago, was one of my favorites. We asked children to tell us about their favorite restaurants and then asked them to come in and talk to us about them on-camera. After talking with nearly 100 kids, we had to narrow our choice down to the three that would appear on the show. Of course there were some kids who told us about their favorite pizza, hotdogs, and ice cream shops, but there were so many adventurous young foodies, like Jihan, who told us about their favorite sushi restaurants! Kudos to those parents who supported their budding young foodie creativity!

So, just what makes our palettes grow-up? And, why are there some adults whose palette never grows-up? My theory is that you must have a positive experience with the adventure of eating. Parents who encourage experimentation with food, friends who are excited to introduce you to something new, or maybe for some it is the magic of discovering something new to enjoy. What do you think? Were you picky as a child and will you eat just about anything now? Write us and tell us about it. Or, tell us about a child you know who has a wildly developed sense of taste and how you think they got it. We can’t wait to read about it.

Happy Eating!

Carmen M. Schmidt
Associate Producer, Check, Please!WTTW