Tastes of Childhood


Hannah is my seven-year-old host sister. She is energetic and joyful; her favorite color is “rainbow,” and what makes her extremely happy is eating macaroni and cheese. Having mac and cheese for lunch, dinner, or even breakfast is able to turn her day from “average” to “extraordinarily good.” 

When, occasionally, her mom and dad are not home, she comes to me and asks if I can make her favorite food, and I usually say yes, remembering how nice it was to find my favorite dish on the table.

I personally have lots of different memories about what I used to eat. To this day, when my family surprises me with my favorite childhood foods, I still feel that little kid’s excitement in me.

Lakeland senior Brea Reed even remembers exactly the brand of her favorite food: hot dogs wrapped in the Pillsbury Crescent Rolls to create the perfect pigs in a blanket. If she closes her eyes, she is still in the kitchen, racing with her brother to try to sneak a roll from her mom’s pan.

Loving something so much as a child can lead to a consistent streak of obsession. This can lead to eventually becoming bored of repetition.

LHS senior Isadora Goad now only eats her childhood favorite of mac and cheese if she absolutely has no choice. She rarely has her beloved combination of dinosaur chicken nuggets and chocolate milk at her house these days. If little Isadora found out, she would think of herself as a terrible person.

LHS math teacher Denise Novak’s favorite childhood food was probably either mac and cheese or McDonald’s because, at that time, she did not often get either of those. “I still eat this food, but it is still a rare occurrence,” Novak added. Keeping dishes for special occasions is likely the key to not getting bored of a food. 

“McDonald’s reminds me of my aunt because she would always take me there, and we would order a two cheeseburger meal with a Coke. The Coke at McDonald’s tastes different than Coke out of a can.” Novak said.

In some scenarios, however, it is a good thing to leave childhood foods in the past. LHS junior Mia Marquez had a questionable habit of eating rice with ketchup and cottage cheese with balsamic vinegar. 

In Marquez’s defense, she can say that she was a very picky child when it came to food. 

Mac and cheese, along with chicken nuggets, were her absolute favorite dishes and probably two of the few things she was able to eat.

The weirdest combination LHS senior Jacob Varner had was his favorite childhood food, mac and cheese with chili. All that mattered to him was that the meal brought his family together to the dinner table. 

I did not use to eat my favorite foods very often, but it was amazing whenever I would get the privilege. If among American children, mac and cheese are at the top of the ranking, in my culture, children love eating pasta with homemade ragu sauce. I remember craving my grandma’s ragu all week till the weekend when we usually had a family lunch at her house. 

At the top of my childhood food list, however, I would put smiley potatoes, which today look a little creepy but at that time were the coolest thing ever, and mussels, always strictly cooked by my grandmother because I was a child with singular tastes. 

Eventually, everybody grows up, and consequently, tastes change over the course of time. The food we used to love nowadays appears to be not that special, if not even awful, but what we surely all should take inspiration from is the way the inner child in us used to see food and eating without worries.