Having fussy children is never a good thing, it basically limits what they can and can’t eat. With the growing commercial ready meals and processed foods on the market.
It is more important now than ever to encourage real food. This means not only eating clean and cooking meals yourself from scratch using fresh ingredients. But to also offer a variety to your children. It simply amazes me when I hear that some people have never tasted things such as prawns, halloumi, sweet potato, enoki mushrooms, miso, schnitzel, etc.
As a child I was fussy, and at the time I thought that I had been given a huge variety. But it was limited. The main problem was that I was given too much meat in my diet. Which is not good due to the amounts of fat, salt, and cholesterol.
I was well looked after, with fruits and vegetables always being available, and I am grateful. However, I found that as soon as I moved out and in with my girlfriend and her mum. Everything started to change. My step mum introduced me to things that I never really liked before such as chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, mushrooms, etc.
After I and my partner had our first daughter and got our own flat is when we really started to experiment with the likes of herbs, spices, marinades, sauces, soups, and desserts. I have travelled quite a lot, to countries such as Spain, Egypt, Turkey, Holland, France, Belgium, Italy and in April 2020 I was supposed to be going to Japan for 10 days with my best mate who is obsessed with Japanese culinary street food.
Nowadays, I enjoy going out for meals a lot as my main reward for working hard. I consider my diet completely balanced in the sense that I can happily enjoy Mexican, Japanese, Indian, Italian, German, traditional English and many more cultured foods. You’re responsible for giving your child an open mind. I feel that it is important for your child to explore taste.
It is a sad world when you see fast food chains selling the likes of burgers, chips and chicken nuggets which offer no real health benefit. In fact, this type of food actually causes harm.
When you ask a child what they want for dinner and they say ‘chicken nuggets. At that point, it can make you feel like you have failed as a parent. Don’t worry, you haven’t. I took my two children out recently to a Japanese street food restaurant. My son was complaining just before we went in that he wanted pizza and chips. As someone who eats out at a lot of different cultured restaurants. I was somewhat insulted by what my two-year-old had said to me. I felt like I had failed as a parent, but this feeling was silly.
In his perspective, he wanted something that he knew he had liked and would enjoy again. From my perspective, I had been limiting his choice. As we went into the restaurant, I was unsure of what to order for my kids. As I thought they may be fussy.
I went ahead and ordered all different dishes. My son was crying because he wanted pizza before we went in, and all the way up until the food came out and touched his lips. Then he realized, wow, this ramen is good. Japanese food and Chinese alike is amazing, it has this umami flavour that comes from fermentation. Japanese especially is very light, is delicious and tastes healthy. In ramen, you could expect to find a heap of flavour as well as minimal slow-cooked meat, with vegetables, and noodles.
Benefits of introducing cultural foods
Introducing new cultural foods to your child will open their minds, allow them to enjoy new things, will help develop their personalities. After all, how do they know what their favourite thing is if they haven’t tried it yet? In this busy world, don’t blend in, stand out. Try something new, and think about the health of your family before eating at these fast-food chains. We have continued this journey trying cultural foods and now make YouTube videos to create awareness of the many dishes from around the world. You can explore the playlist below.