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Oct 2, 2012 01:08 PM

Things you're surprised that kids eat

My oldest child is 2 1/2 and I work very hard to make sure he is exposed to a wide variety of foods so that he'll grow up appreciating food. While we fight the normal vegetable battles (and top them all with cheese to get them in him), I have also been pleasantly surprised at some of the meals he likes. Who would think a kid that young would like curry? So as I endevour to cook new and interesting foods for him that get him eating more than chicken nuggets, I'd love to know what you were surprised to find kids will eat in your experiences cooking for younger ones. Here's my list:
- Curry
- Anything with coconut milk
- Seared scallops and grilled shrimp
- Edamame

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  1. I'm not there, but what I have noticed is that what children will and won't eat will depend on where they're growing up. North American kids seem to be the least adventuresome while kids I've seen in France and Taiwan could go so far as being cannibals if they could do it.

    For the North American side, I have successfully fed children (toddler-size) the following "adult" items:

    rabbit liver and kidney
    foie gras
    uni (I was crying - it was my portion they were eating)
    duck magret and confit
    white asparagus
    bittermelon (surprised me too)

    1. Our next door neighbors (where we lived until a year ago :o[) were a young-ish couple with two young daughters .....12 and 10 at the time. The wife is one of the best cooks I've ever known and these girls were growing on on truly amazing and diverse foods.

      The younger daughter was celebrating a birthday and her mother (as she often did) said she'd make anything the young girl wanted for dinner. I was amazed to find out that her request was for 15 Boy Curry. WOW!

      1. Truly, I think it's about what they are exposed to. Children in New Delhi are not eating chicken nuggets, so eating curry is not odd. That's an over-simplification, but really the crux of the matter. You say "who would think"??? Most of the world wouldn't think.

        Dh is not American and we haven't raised dd in the US for her entire childhood so I may be coming from a different perspective...

        I will answer your question, though. I was truly surprised when dd loved duck tongue. Not because it was odd, but because it was such a damned salty dish!!

        1. When my younger brother was a toddler, he loved lemons (and would eat the peel if you didn't take it away from him) and hot salsa. He always got his own bowl for the salsa because he loved it so much he would dip the chip in, suck the salsa off, and repeat.

          1. Which nationality of curry? My kids LOVE japanese curry.
            Saag Paneer - any kid who likes cheese can usually be convinced to eat this to get the big cheese nuggets!
            Unagi, California Roll (admittedly they're spoiled and get the ones with real snow crab and not surimi), and Futomaki (our local sushi joint makes a great rendition of this)

            1 Reply
            1. re: FattyDumplin

              Also, anything with strong salty or sour flavors. My kids love to suck on lemons, use vinegar with XLB, etc. And anything that is fairly salty is easy to eat, I think because they used to get largely unseasoned food as babies / young toddlers.