Introducing very hot peppers to a very young child

Submitted by John on Sat, 09/07/2019 - 08:34

I introduced my daughter to Thai chili peppers last night. She's one and a half.

Let me explain.

Couple of days ago I made the Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water. Yesterday I used the remaining Thai and cayenne chili peppers from the garden to start a basic fermented pepper mash. I seeded the peppers and chopped them up, and this is where our story begins.

Although maybe this story should begin two weeks ago, with the sriracha. I have some amazing Vermont Maple Sriracha sauce that I got as a gift from my sister. One of the boys has taken a liking to tasting a tiny amount of it at a time (the rest of the family won't touch it). I have the sriracha out and I am giving it to the child. In comes baby sister.

"want some."
"No honey it's very spicy. It's hot OW!"
"hot ow!"
"Yes. Hot ow!"
"want some! some! hot ow! SOME!"

Eventually I gave in and gave her a teeny amount. She wound up loving it, going from a drop to pea sized to nearly a quarter teaspoon at a time with no problem. Never cried. I had to cut her off, because I was worried about any potential digestive effects if she kept it up.

Back to the present day. Now she knows what the word "spicy" means. She sees the pretty red pepper mash. It's the same color as the sriracha.

"picy. picy. want some picy!"
"Honey. This is very very hot ow spicy."
"picy. PICY!! want some!"

Eventually I gave in and got a piece of pepper about the size of a grain of sand and put that on her tongue.

[a pause]

Massive amounts of crying and tears. It was way hotter than she was anticipating. We are all out of milk because mommy is at the store buying milk. So I gave her cold water in a kids cup. 

She drinks down most of the water. Takes a couple deep breaths with red eyes, and looks up, looks me right in the eye.

"picy. want picy!"

She has another little piece of picy. I have a piece of picy. Four to five rounds of picy and three cups of water later, I ask her if she wants more. She thinks about it a moment and replies

"all done picy."

And that's the story of how my 1 and a half year old daughter and I ate some very hot chili peppers together.