Today we ran out of the mini-waffles my son likes, so I gave him the last four, plus one normal size banana waffle. My wife reported that he “doesn’t like the big waffles,” and sure enough it was remaining on the plate. I figured the issue was size or cuteness or something, and that the boy was being far too picky. We came to a compromise and, not wanting to waste the waffle, I popped a piece in my mouth.

It was awful.

So bad I made Shoshanah try it. She immediately returned her bite to the plate, ordered me to throw it away and went inside to find something to wash that horrid taste out of her mouth. While she did that I formally apologized to Greyson for trying to make him eat that thing.

This recalled an incident when my daughter was very young, two or three, and she refused to eat her macaroni and cheese. After much cajoling we negotiated a few more bites, and again not wanting to waste it I took a bite.

It was awful.

Apparently I had played a little fast and loose with the recipe, unaware that it was possible to mess up Mac and Cheese.

At one party many years later, Shoshanah made a creative salad with many unusual ingredients. When my daughter Bronte reported that it was “gross”, we presumed she was having trouble with the out-of-the-ordinary salad fixin’s. Then we, and everyone at the party, sat down to dig in.

It was awful.

One of the weird lettuces had gone off or something and the salad was universally panned. Apologies were made all around, and especially to Bronte, who had gotten browbeaten about being picky.

So: Before you give the kid a hard time for saying some food is horrible — taste it.