Katja Rowell over at Family Feeding Dynamics has a good post on how a little sugar helps kids learn to like new foods.
I will definitely say that sugar was instrumental in helping me learn to like coffee. I’m not sure if that’s a *good* thing, exactly, but when I was in college, I sometimes really needed coffee to stay up late working on papers. So I either drank super-sugary lattes or put a ton of milk and sugar into regular coffee. But, gradually, I started to appreciate the flavor of coffee itself and used less and less sugar. I still think my husband’s habit of drinking black coffee is weird, but I have a much stronger sensitivity to bitterness than he does. And, with really good coffee, I might drink a sip or two black.
Also, if sugar is forbidden, a kid is going to want it all the more. Part of appreciating things without sugar is actually satisfying that natural desire for sweetness somewhere else.