Amaya is a bit of a candy hound. It's something that popped up this past year and it's not something that makes us particularly happy. On the bright side, she is choosy about her candy and when she gets some of her favorite stuff, she eats it with all of her senses. She'll admire the colors or coating, and comment on how delicious (or not) the candy appears. She'll sink her teeth into the surface of a candy to crack the coating and then sniff at it to check out the aroma. As she eats the candy, she often pulls it out of her mouth so she can see the changes that she is experiencing on her tongue. Every time the texture changes, she'll take another peek. Admittedly this is another habit that does not always please me, but at least it's evidence that we are raising a thoughtful eater. She loves how the slightly sandy texture of the Mike and Ike coating slowly rubs smooth and then she sinks her teeth into the chewy center and enjoys the sticky texture and they way the flavor coats her tongue. Amaya likes to discuss what's happening in her mouth, why the confections are so enjoyable, and which flavors are better and why.
While she does eat more candy than I would like, at least she eats it with passion and emotion. She knows that she can't have it all the time so she savors her opportunities to indulge. It's fun to witness her pleasure and it reminds me to take the time to slow down and enjoy my own meals. Years of working in kitchens and scarfing down meals at odd moments has left me with the bad habit of inhaling my food. A slowly savored meal is always a conscious indulgence and I'm thankful that Amaya's eating habits have slowed down my own. I'd rather learn from her habit of eating at her own pace, rather than teach her to fast forward through a meal.