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Is there an age for spicy foods?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

My toddler can't stand spicy food. I can use black pepper (reasonably), but if something has chilis in it, he can't eat it. He tastes it and within 10-15 seconds he starts screaming and won't eat any of the dish anymore. 

 

So far my solution has been to stop cooking with chili. Or just put very very little, to the point where you can't taste it. 

 

I'm wondering if all youngsters are like that? At what age do kids start to enjoy spicy foods? 

 

 

I wonder how they deal with it in Asian countries like Thailand which seem pretty fond of chilis.... ?

 

post #2 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by French Fries View Post

I wonder how they deal with it in Asian countries like Thailand which seem pretty fond of chilis.... ?

 

 

I think I may have found the answer to that question: 

 

You may have raised your child's tolerance for the hot stuff if you ate a lot of curries, chili, and other five-alarm dishes while breastfeeding because you pass trace flavors and substances through your breast milk. (http://www.babycenter.com/408_when-can-my-baby-eat-spicy-foods_1368539.bc)

post #3 of 17

I'm thinking maybe the milk tames the capsicum?  My kid doesn't like spicy foods either.  That's not a surprise though since I also don't like too much spice.

post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 

True that about milk taming capsaicin. I feel like I need to keep trying to feed him spicy foods because every time we have something spicy (that's not meant for him) he absolutely wants to try it even though we tell him "it's spicy! it's going to hurt your tongue a little!" and still he wants to try it - but after about 10 seconds he screams in pain. However the scream never lasts very long at all, so I think it may be just because he's scared that the pain is going to linger or worsen? That's just my interpretation though. 

 

 

post #5 of 17

Young children's  tastebuds are much  more sensitive to flavours than those of adults, teens and school aged children so it could be that your toddler is just feeling the heat more than you do.   What I did when my kids were that age and we were having something that would end up spicy for us, I would take out their portions and set them aside before I put in the spice so that all of us were eating the same meal.  I was (and still am) very against making separate meals for the kids and the only time I have done it was when our son was undergoing radiation therapy for his (benign) brain tumor as it changed his taste and tolerance levels for certiain foods. 

 

I think your little one cries out in surprise when he heats the spicy food.. to him it looks pretty ok and then as soon as he takes a bite, he thinks.. what the heck and that might be where that comes from.  Our daughter LOVED spicy salsa as a toddler.. she would take a bit of it and immetiately suck in air on her tongue.  We have no idea why she did that, but well.. she is the child who ate tempra paint (I have pictures to prove it) and dirt too...

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post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeniek View Post

I think your little one cries out in surprise when he heats the spicy food.. to him it looks pretty ok and then as soon as he takes a bite, he thinks.. what the heck 


I think that's exactly what's going on. About 2 to 3 times a month we eat spicy sausage and absolutely every single time he just HAS to have a taste of mine, I give him, then he screams. I know him, and I know he knows very well that it's going to be spicy, in fact I tell him before I give it to him, but he still wants it. 

 

Today was one of those days we had spicy sausage, he asked for a bit, I gave it to him, he didn't cry or scream, just went "IT TINGLES!", and a few seconds later "I need my water to rinse off the taste". lol.gif

 

AFAIK all kids eat dirt. Mine eats dirt, sand, he eats my herbs when in the backyard (rosemary, thyme, parsley, mint...) etc... at least he stopped picking up cigarette butts on the beach to eat them. 

 

 

post #7 of 17

 

AFAIK all kids eat dirt. Mine eats dirt, sand, he eats my herbs when in the backyard (rosemary, thyme, parsley, mint...) etc... at least he stopped picking up cigarette butts on the beach to eat them. 

 

 


 

I guess I am mom to the only paint eater ...LOL!  When they were little I would take them to Moms and Tots and the local school and she discovered the paint  easel and the first thing she did was suck on the brush.  My husband was super alarmed so he had me call the doctor and when the doctor was done laughing (I could hear him) he said all it would do was turn what we found in her diaper some interesting colours and well that it did. I have a picture of her sucking paint... when I get a chance I'll send it in.. it's quite funny!  She did figure out what paint was for though and then she just went to town on making pictures.

 

Eww on the ciggy butts.. glad he has stopped that. 

 

My son didn't eat anything besides food... he has been mr OCD since toddlerhood and when I would take them to the public wading pools I'd have to pack three towels for him.. two for when he got a drop  of water on his face and would barrel out of the pool yelling "TOWELLLLLL" and the other for when it was time to dry off, change and go home!  Kids...

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post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeniek View Post

My son didn't eat anything besides food... he has been mr OCD since toddlerhood and when I would take them to the public wading pools I'd have to pack three towels for him.. two for when he got a drop  of water on his face and would barrel out of the pool yelling "TOWELLLLLL" and the other for when it was time to dry off, change and go home!  Kids...


You just made my day!! That sounds exactly like my son. Don't know where that came from. He can't stand being dirty or wet etc.. (he'll scream for a towel or for help washing his hands..) but he loves to play with dirt and water of course. Go figure. lol.gif

 

post #9 of 17

Don't stress on the anti chilli or anti pepper moments. Your child will grow out of it.  Mine didn't like it for a long time, but suddenly they started to ask for it.  Just go with the flow.  Tastes change, palate changes and developes as they grow.

 

Can't say mine ever ate paint or crayons though,,,licklips.gif

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
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post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DC Sunshine View Post

Don't stress on the anti chilli or anti pepper moments. Your child will grow out of it.  Mine didn't like it for a long time, but suddenly they started to ask for it.  Just go with the flow. 


Thanks DC. Though it's not so much that I'm stressing over it, more that I was wondering when and how to start exposing him to spicier food. Yesterday I offered him a drop of Tabasco with his taco, but he said no, fine. But you're right, I'll just keep offering it to him and if he's curious about it he can try it whenever he wants. 

 

post #11 of 17

I couldn't take anything hot when I was a kid.  Now I don't feel like I've eaten without some kind of heat.

 

I think kids just have sensitive palates.  They'll probably grow out of it.

post #12 of 17

The kid is probably looking for a cold beer to go with the spicy food............Soon he will be knocking down jello shots at daycare........

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

Tonight I had a jar of sambal olek (pureed chilis) on the table, and he asked to taste it. I told him it was chili, but he still wanted to taste it, so I put a little bit on his meat, and he ate it, said it was good. I asked him if he wanted more but he said no. I think he's slowly getting accustomed to it, at his own rhythm.

post #14 of 17

I would think that as palates grow taste buds lessen in sensitivity. In a biological sense, chili heat is designed to keep you from eating it. It would seem there is some primal response to this. Same as with fermentation, most kids don't like the taste of anything "funky." I know that I, personally, took some time to grow into a real appreciation of mustard and vinegar, it just took some time for my palate to get there. Just give them some time. Though I do appreciate kids experiencing a broad palate early on!

post #15 of 17

My daughter has been eating Hot Cheetos since she was 18 mos. old.  I stumbled upon this site in my pursuit of finding an answer to the question "when do kids start tasting spicy foods?"  I guess my answer is: it depends on the child in question.  Ever child is different, and so the answer is dependant on your child personally.  My daughter loves hot cheetos, but she does not like all spicy foods.  It is strange and unexplainable, but that is how we all are.  Some of us have a taste for one thing but not the other, even though they are categorized under the "same" flavor. 

 

My daughter is 2 and 1/2 and she still loves hot cheetos.  I have noticed her change, though.  Before, she could eat ten of them without needing anything to drink, but now she has to have a drink close by.  I honestly think that childrens tastebuds develop at different times, and no one child is the same.  It is very interesting to see them grow into different tastes.  And it doesn't stop here!

 

At home cook,

Heather Reese

post #16 of 17

culture has a lot to do with it.

 

If the kid is exposed to adults eating hot foods, he'll want to try it. And they'll learn to work up to the heat level they like.

 

This extends to to dogs. In countries with hotter foods and larger muslim populations (for which the dog is unclean in some practices of the faith) the dogs don't eat hot food of their own volition. But in Mexico or other parts of Latin America where the dog is treated as a family member, the dog will eat hot food that the family eats.

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post #17 of 17

Some years back, I made a green curry. I used 2 tablespoons of Taste of Thai brand green curry paste to a goodly amount of ingredients. My youngest son took a bite and burst into tears. It had some kick, but I didn't think it was that hot.

 

Today, that same son at age 11 enjoys hot sauce, sriracha in his pho, jalapenos and otherwise just generally spicy food, though not extreme.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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