3 Signs Your Child May Be a Supertaster

by Elizabeth Peters December 05, 2016

3 Signs Your Child May Be a Supertaster

I know what you’re thinking… what in the world is a supertaster? Supertasters are people with an enhanced sense of taste. This is due to the fact that supertasters have a larger amount of taste buds than the average person. Due to this fact, people with this condition experience flavors with a greater intensity than most people. According to statistics, 25 percent of Americans are supertasters, with more women being affected than men. So is it possible that your child may have this unusual ability? Here are some signs to look for:

Picky Eater

Many children who are supertasters are perceived as being picky eaters. This is because, of course, of their intense sense of taste. Some of our taste likes and dislikes are genetically preprogrammed, so while your child may turn her nose up at brussel sprouts, this doesn’t necessarily mean she is a supertaster. If you yourself do not like brussel sprouts, then it may just be a part of her genetic make-up not to like brussel sprouts. With supertasters the pickiness usually goes beyond the normal refusal of children to eat their vegetables. A child who is a supertaster will often exhibit a strong reaction when she takes a bite of a new food, whether that reaction be good or bad. And the child may dislike more foods than she likes, refusing to eat foods that most of us find tasty. If your child has taken being a picky eater to the extreme, then this could be a sign that she may be a supertaster.

Avoids Bitter

One sign of a supertaster is the avoidance of eating anything that tastes even remotely bitter. Brussel sprouts are one vegetable that supertasters find too bitter for their tastes, but let’s face it, not many of us normal tasters find brussel sprouts to be all that edible either. But what about broccoli, grapefruit, or even chocolate? Foods like these that have an underlying layer of bitterness to them are tasty to us normal tasters but can seem overwhelmingly bitter to supertasters. Of course, many children refuse to eat their vegetables on principle, so that in and of itself isn’t necessarily a sign of a supertaster, but if your child finds an overwhelmingly large amount of foods to be bitter tasting then you just might have a supertaster on your hands.

Doesn’t Like Fatty Foods

For most moms, a hot dog or corn dog can be an easy go-to for a quick lunch in a pinch, but for supertasters these foods just won’t do. Foods that we consider to be heavy, such as hamburgers, pasta, and bread are enormously heavier to supertasters, so they are more likely to actively avoid them. As a beneficial side effect of this, supertasters tend to weigh less than average tasters and also have less risk of heart disease due to their low consumption of fatty foods.

So now that you know the signs, what should you do if you suspect your child is indeed a supertaster? The good news is that being a supertaster isn’t a condition that requires any medical treatment. The biggest obstacle you will face is making sure that your child is receiving all of the nutrition he needs in order to grow strong and healthy.  Because of their intense dislike of many vegetable and fruits that they perceive to be bitter, supertasters are at an increased risk of malnutrition. To help counteract this, make sure to give you’re a child a daily vitamin supplement, such as the ever popular Flintstone vitamins.  There are also some things you can do to try and encourage your child to consume some of the vegetables that he doesn’t like:

  • Add spices, honey, soy sauce, or cheese to cooked vegetables to help disguise the bitterness
  • Serve vegetables with a dipping sauce that your child finds tasty, such as honey, peanut butter, or a light salad dressing
  • Add the vegetables to a casserole to help fend off the bitterness
  • Try roasting the vegetables to accentuate their sweeter side

Being a supertaster isn’t a bad thing, in fact it can be considered a real super power! Just concentrate on making sure your child gets enough nutrients and your little super hero will learn how to hone his super power in no time.

Elizabeth Peters
Elizabeth Peters


Elizabeth Peters is a mother of two and freelance writer who specializes in the parenting/family niche. When she is not writing for clients she can be found blogging about parenting on her own blog at TheMommyVortex.com. She currently resides in Alabama with her husband and two young children. Connect with her on Twitter: @themommyvortex

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