Children don’t develop sophisticated pallets for a good few years – which probably accounts for kids meals in restaurants consisting of chicken nuggets, hotdogs & fish! Something that does take a while to develop a taste for is coffee. Its bitter taste is hard on taste buds that naturally prefer sweet flavours. Daniel – as you will probably know – is not like other children in many ways. He stands out due to him having Aspergers, but he’s not just another little boy. Oh no. Not our Daniel.
A few months ago, Jane bought a Nescafe Dulco Gusto coffee machine (https://www.dolce-gusto.co.uk/EN/machines/piccolo-genio/Pages/manual.aspx). I uses small pods to make a whole range of coffees from espresso through to sweet mocha to hot chocolate. Its a brilliant thing, and I’m now addicted to mocha! Daniel saw the machine of course, and his natural curiosity got the better of him, and as usual he was full of questions about it. He took one look at one of the coffees Jane had – caramel latte machiatto (lovely!) and announced he wanted to give it a try!
Now, this sparked a bit of a debate between Jane & myself. Should we really be letting a six-year old have a mug of coffee, with all that caffeine? Daniel is highly strung as it is, and adding caffeine to the mix was a real consideration. He’s always agitated, and never stops. He can get really animated and overly excited from time to time. After consideration though, we decided to go for it, and let him have a mocha. We thought that the sweet flavour, and creamy texture would appeal to him. We did wonder if like many things, he would like the thought and look of it, but once he tried it, he’d think again.
We needn’t have worried about that! He loved it! Instantly he wanted another! We explained to him about the caffeine (he knows he’s not allowed to drink full caffeine cola) and that two much would really make him hyper. I think he took that on board, as when he does have a coffee (still relatively rare) he won’t have another that day. We did suggest to him he not go into school and tell his teacher that he had coffee with his breakfast!
Still, its good for Daniel to try new things when it comes to food. As far as I’m concerned, eating is quite possibly life’s greatest pleasure, and there are so many flavours out there to experience. Daniel loves the sweet/bitter taste of mocha, and I think he also feels quite grown up drinking coffee. Water remains his drink of choice – or fizzy orange – but I suspect he is the only coffee drinker amongst his peers. Like most things, drinking coffee in moderation shouldn’t cause him any real problems. Like anything, its when you take too much then that’s when the problems arise.
Daniel is enjoying his new flavour. No doubt it’ll pass and he’ll move on to something different. But for now, make it another mocha!