What mums in other countries feed their kids

(118 Posts)
agoodbookandsomefizz Sun 02-Mar-14 19:18:47

I started a thread in a totally different bit of MN and got no response so I'm hoping the food section is going to be more successful!

I am fascinated by what mums in other countries feed their kids as I get so bored with all my English style recipes I would love to introduce my kids to new dishes and new flavours. I also can't help thinking that some countries have a much healthier way of eating (Mediterranean diet etc) and I'd like to know more!

I've even gone so far as wondering whether a compendium of classic dishes from different countries - which would include breakfast ideas and snacks could work as a recipe book? So this is my initial research. Ideally I'd like to come away with a bunch of new ideas for my own daily cooking sanity and if there are enough interesting dishes, who knows, I may try to put a book together (I've been dying to use my brain since having kids and this seems like a good way to do it)!!

So, my question is. Does anyone out there know of any classic dishes from different countries? For example I know that grated carrot salad (made with orange juice) is a favourite vegetable dish amongst French children....and after a few failed attempts my kids love it too as I also grate apple into it. Any more?!

Thank you!

Cuxibamba Sun 02-Mar-14 19:42:18

I live in Ecuador- fried green plantain (called chifles) is a snacky food, also patacones, which are flattened unripe thick pieces of plantain, fried twice, kind of like crisps or chifles, but thicker.

You can eat ceviche with it, it usually has squares of white fish, then a LOT of limes, pepper, shallots in the UK (here we use something which you probably couldn't get), garlic, olive oil, coriander. You do have to like limes but it's a very common main meal. Some people don't use fish or use different seafood too.

LadyInDisguise Sun 02-Mar-14 19:45:18

Hot chocolate with bread at breakfast
Slice of ham with mashed potatoes
Bread with a couple of squares of plain chocolate for snack
All from France

LordPalmerston Sun 02-Mar-14 19:46:29

In Guatemala they serve a kind of custard as a mid morning snack.
They have these kind of tiny nipple shaped bowls to serve it in.

mrsbug Sun 02-Mar-14 19:51:27

I am British but on holiday dd ( then 11 months) fell in love with Spanish tortilla.

She also loves houmous on pitta bread.

I have friends in Germany and their kids always a kind of pancake made with grated potato, onions, and with apple sauce on top. If any German mnetters can provide a recipe I'd be v grateful.

cuxibamba I love ceviche but have never dared make it myself. Do you need to use sushi type fish ( the kind which you can eat raw) or can you use any kind?

Cuxibamba Sun 02-Mar-14 19:52:56

Also, empanadas, kind of like pasties (I think?) or samosas. You can eat them with pretty much anything depending on filling, breakfast, snack, dessert, main meal. They can either be baked or deep fried. There's so many fillings and (although I know loads of people here buy the empanada circles ready made) the dough can be spiced and changed. For savoury, I use corn flour, but people use sweet potato, wheat, cassava etc; too.

OhOneOhTwoOhThree Sun 02-Mar-14 19:54:21

We lived in Asia when DS2 was born. He was weaned on a mush of rice, lentils and chicken stock. He still loves lentil soup and all kinds of risottos now (pre-teen) smile

pommedeterre Sun 02-Mar-14 19:55:11

Italy - lots of pasta, plain tomato based sauce normally.

Then meat or fish and veg. Not big on puddings.

Dd2 went to a nursery and did lunch there everyday from 10 months for a year. She ate like a queen!!

Bread roll obligatory too.

LordPalmerston Sun 02-Mar-14 19:55:35

Yes the Germans have very niche kids food. However the Austrians' liking for whipped cream sandwiches really surprised me.

magimedi Sun 02-Mar-14 19:58:05

Back in the early 1980's (when DS was but a babe) I read about different foods for weaning in different countries & in Israel avocado was a popular choice,

I remember giving it to him - he had to feed himself - and ended up with the green monster child - but he really enjoyed it.

LordPalmerston Sun 02-Mar-14 20:00:15

the like giving kids liver in Israel too don't they?
Chicken liver

CalamitouslyWrong Sun 02-Mar-14 20:00:54

I'm not abroad or foreign, but my children really like some very simple Japanese (style) dishes.

Tonight we had yakitori chicken (chicken thigh skewers with a sweet sauce that's similar to teryaki sauce) with a mound of rice, steamed broccoli, and strips of carrot, cucumber and yellow pepper. Probably not how anyone would serve it in japan, but my family like rice, broccoli and some raw veg, so that's what I make.

The sauce is very simple: 6tbsp soy sauce, 3 tbsp sugar, 3tbsp mirin and 3 tbsp sake. Bring it all to the boil and then simmer for about 5 minutes, then let it cool. You can substitute dry sherry for the sake, and you can buy mirin in lots of supermarkets. It's much cheaper in a Chinese supermarket if you have one nearby or online. Or you can probably just buy the sauce ready made. grin Grill some skewers of chicken and spring onion, basting them in the sauce as you go. And there you have it.

I'm pretty sure that would go down well with lots of children in this country and it's pretty simple to make.

pommedeterre Sun 02-Mar-14 20:15:27

Lots of minestrone with pastina too. We were in the veneto so lots of polenta too.

stitchedupbelow Sun 02-Mar-14 20:21:29

Quasadilia was popular in America (and no doubt Mexico), soft tortilla bread with melted cheese inside. Can add peppers or chicken etc. Done in the microwave for lunch.

LordPalmerston Sun 02-Mar-14 20:26:37

In the Alsace there is a certain kind of curd based cheese that can be frozen into finger sized cheesy ice lollies for teething babies. Its actually nicer than it sounds.

suze28 Sun 02-Mar-14 20:30:34

LordPalmerston You're a veritable oracle of knowledge on such matters! Doesn't the curd cheese split?? boak

LordPalmerston Sun 02-Mar-14 20:32:21

Seemingly not - that is its unique property. Its a regional thing.

suze28 Sun 02-Mar-14 20:36:22

I'm very pleased our children are older and we stick to Brittany where we eat spag bol on the first night of our holiday having travelled since ridiculous o'clock in the morning. I do believe that might be a whole other thread though. wink

Cuxibamba Sun 02-Mar-14 20:54:52

Also these griddled potato pattie like things, which you stuff with cheese and green onion, you can eat it with peanut sauce (which I like) or fried egg and a salad, called llapingachos.

nickymanchester Sun 02-Mar-14 21:38:26

In the Alsace there is a certain kind of curd based cheese that can be frozen into finger sized cheesy ice lollies for teething babies. Its actually nicer than it sounds.

I haven't come across that frozen, but I have seen the finger sized cheesy bits in the chilled cabinet when we lived in Russia and I can imagine it working really well from frozen.

There is also something that is actually very similar to a Yorkshire curd tart and very tasty called vatrushka. I have some friends from Yorkshire and they were surprised that something that is very traditionally Yorkshire is also very traditionally Russian as well.

I would also suggest pelmeni as well. These are similar to Chinese dim sum or Italian ravioli.

Cies Sun 02-Mar-14 22:25:53

I live in Spain, where plain rich tea type biscuits and sponge cake are classed as totally healthy breakfast items for dc. grin

Lots of fish and meat, very little plain veg, lots of salad and frut.

Every single child seems to eat a chorizo or ham baguette sandwich at 6pm as their afternoon snack, followed btmy an Actimel yogurt drink and some fruit

vrtra Sun 02-Mar-14 22:52:31

jollof rice

an Iranian stew, idk the name but basically chicken drumsticks in a very dark, thin savoury herby sauce with loads of rice

and tadik (crispy rice from the bottom of the pan)

Mmmm smile

agoodbookandsomefizz Mon 03-Mar-14 10:16:02

Wow this is all so interesting and it's great to get feedback about so many different countries. I'm inspired by trying ceviche (although also a bit scared about using raw fish!) and also by yakitori chicken.

Saracarbonera Mon 03-Mar-14 15:31:53

Like Cies I'm also in Spain. For breakfast my DC have toast with grated tomato and a little oil or just toast and oil. On Sundays they have churro sand chocolate. Sometimes they have a magdalena which is a little sponge cake with a glass of milk.

They eat lunch at school and that is usually lentil, bean or chickpea stew, paella, grilled fish...

In the afternoon it's true that they like a ham or chorizo baguette, or a piece of fruit.

HoneyandRum Mon 03-Mar-14 16:08:09

In Germany breakfast is usually fresh bread rolls and slices of cheese, meats, cucumber and tomato.

A favorite lunch item is sweet rice pudding (milchrice) which my kids love but they still find it weird to have no savory item as the rice pudding can still be followed by a dessert!

Yep potato pancakes and apple sauce is popular.

And of course fresh bretzel (pretzel) at any time of day.

At the primary school every week a crate of vegetables and fruit is delivered to each classroom for the class to munch through as snacks.

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