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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!

Kudzugirl Sat 22-Mar-14 13:10:15

There is a great recipe for Cinnamon buns by Rebecca Rather Kazza here. The potato in them actually lightens them and adds moistness but not wetness.

Nigella also has a recipe here. Any recipe for Schnecken will do too.

kazzawazzawoo Sat 22-Mar-14 11:31:24

Reading this thread is making me crave all sorts of things I can't get out here in the sticks! hmm Especially cinnamon buns ... Need recipes!

Kudzugirl Sat 22-Mar-14 08:20:59

Yes, Dulce Di Leche could only have been invented by a Central or South American!

We make Alfajores sometimes with it as well as spooning it out of the jar grin

What do you have for Colacion? Sorry I don't have Spanish keyboard settings hence the lack of accent.

AdoraBell Sat 22-Mar-14 02:32:11

My DDs love Sopapillas Kudzugirl, Sprinkled with a dusting of azúcar florgrin. I think Chileans rival Mexicans in the sweet tooth Dept. Here that snack is called once, 11 for a mid afternoon snack confused. And elevenseis is colación.

Kudzugirl Fri 21-Mar-14 22:10:04

I always loved my Merenda- the after school late afternoon snack given to children in Latin countries. We used to have the previously mentioned Tortilla with a smear of refried beans inside or a cup of hot chocolate with ragged pieces of flour torilla dipped in honey and fried. The Mexicans have such a sweet tooth. If our housekeeper was feeling especially generous we'd have Sopapillas.

In France it is called a Gouter and may consist of a Ficelle or Baguette end;, eaten as it comes on the way home from class. Sometimes dipped in hot chocolate or a cup of pretend coffee- hot milk with a stain of coffee. I don't drink milk so the latter was out but we'd often have a tartine spread wit conserve although having a tartine for anything other than breakfast was seen as a serious lapse of judgement and an even worse lapse in taste.

Turquoisetamborine Fri 21-Mar-14 14:07:59

We had a Sri Lankan nanny who would cook whatever we asked her to. Mostly chipped potatoes as she called them but also gorgeous veg curries. Loved her.

holmessweetholmes Fri 21-Mar-14 13:54:29

Great thread! I'm afraid I don't really have anything new to add but am loving reading about the dishes.
My dc are not dreadfully fussy but would definitely refuse to try some of the things mentioned. I guess you just have to keep offering them new things anyway. Must get out of my culinary rut!

AmericasTorturedBrow Fri 21-Mar-14 13:46:52

on the same sort of theme - both DC have always been really into lentils and chicken liver, in the UK I made it into a casserole but here they gobble up Down'n'Dirty Cajun Rice

Kudzugirl Fri 21-Mar-14 13:23:31

Wow Americas That is some snack! My Mother used to drink vinegar shock.

I am doing a dance of triumphance because i have just been sent a parcel of dried chiles from New Mexico- I have friends there. So pleased.

I do think Mexican and Tex mex is very kid friendly- lots of little bits and pieces, good flavour mix and it feels snacky. Black beans and Pinto beans are VERY kid friendly. I was weaned on them, my own children were too. Like you said, s squeeze of lime on rice (or beans) and they are off!

AmericasTorturedBrow Fri 21-Mar-14 12:26:00

I'd buy this book too!

Talking of weird childhood tastes - from toddlerhood I would happily much my way through a whole lemon, skin and all

Round the corner from our house (we live in LA) there's a shopping plaza with a Chipotle (Mexican) and Blaze (pizza) both cheap and quick bistro sylte "fast food" but pretty healthy - DS always has pepperoni pizza but DD (2yo) is obsessed with the cilantro and lime rice with black beans and guacamole. She's normally a fussy little thing but could eat mexican food all day long...she was weaned on fish tacos mainly!

Kudzugirl Thu 20-Mar-14 20:24:14

We get some decent Norwegian cheeses where we are. One has a totally unpronounceable name and is from the Arctic Circle. I love it as it has a sharp rhimey taste and big holes. It looks like a cartoon cheese from Tom N Jerry.

I have cheese envy Blu.

Blu Thu 20-Mar-14 20:10:23

I worked on a farm in Norway - brown cheese every morning - ekte Gjetost, mysost, flotost, flotemysost, and some particularly hardcore stuff; gammelost (old cheese).

Cinnamon buns at 11 am.

And rhubarb (or plum) soup for a starter for lunch, followed by cornflakes for desert.

This is what the kids ate, too.

DracuLaura Thu 20-Mar-14 19:51:30

I luffs this thread.

Kudzugirl Thu 20-Mar-14 19:21:55

I agree- thank you Agoodbook and there is a book to be written about it too. I love food culture. Such a fascinating subject.

The Guardian occasionally do good photo essays on this type of subject but a big meaty book with interviews, pics and recipes would be something I'd buy in a New York minute.

stuckindamiddle Thu 20-Mar-14 19:09:00

Great thread suggestion!
Am bookmarking to read at my leisure!

Kudzugirl Thu 20-Mar-14 13:45:39

I will join you in the strange child club Squiz grin. Your childhood propensity for eating hot foods chimes with me.

squizita Thu 20-Mar-14 12:16:57

Kudz Many of the snacks my GPs made me as a child (Anglo-Indian-Portugese) are terrifyingly spicy to my adult DH! grin

I loved everything slathered in piri piri, sliced chillis on everything, sour lime pickle...

Maybe I was a strange child!

Kudzugirl Thu 20-Mar-14 11:22:39

I used to have an Asbestos lined tongue as a child and regularly ate chiles on sticks! I am now more delicate and have had to retrain my palate to cope with heat Adora so I do sympathise.

AdoraBell Thu 20-Mar-14 11:21:26

Thank you very much Kudugirl, and Thanks To DC and the hosts in Perú.

Will buy some when I next shopgrin. I'm a little nervous of using chiles, mine and DH's upbringings were not what your'd call open minded.

Kudzugirl Thu 20-Mar-14 10:20:22

Frank I have been known to accidentally make Congee wink when I stove top rice instead of using other (better for me) methods.

It is very comforting isn't it and meets the need for the traditional white foods that I believe are given to the sick, the young or post natally as you say.

I have a family dish- Mexican Chicken that is very similar, bizarrely. It is basically rice, shredded chicken, soft potato pieces, carrots, onions and a little chile. The chile disqualifies it in Chinese eyes from being suitable for convalescence as it 'excites the senses' too vividly. I am starting to think that most cultures have some variation of the chicken and rice soup that has nourished many a Jewish soul and indeed it research has shown it has health benefits.

FrankSpenser Thu 20-Mar-14 10:14:29

Has anyone mentioned Congee, or rice porridge?

Its a savoury rice dish were white rice (usually but not always white rice) is boiled in chicken stock, some garlic, ginger and other basic ingredients and cooked until the rice grains become soft, mushy and almost deteriorate. This makes the porridge consistency. once cooked, tiny pieces of chicken is added, along with perhaps a few chopped mushrooms, maybe sweetcorn if needed, finished off with some soy sauce and sesame oil too and sprinkled with spring onions and parsley.

Its a Chinese poor-mans dish, and is also given to young children, toddlers etc as the consistency makes for easy eating. Its also eaten when a person is unwell, similar to chicken soup for colds, and traditionally for breakfast too, though not exclusively so. My DP loves it as he used to eat it when living in the Far East as a child.

Plenty of tutorials on YouTube.

lovesmycake Thu 20-Mar-14 10:03:40

ahh food porn ...........

Kudzugirl Thu 20-Mar-14 09:44:03

Thanks Loves we'll get over to IKEA forthwith. And I have made swede,carrot mash but not with bacon so am going to do that.

The marzipan covered cake is called a Princess Cake I believe and very popular in Denmark. They are very pretty too. And buns with Cardamom in are the best- such an unexpected spice to find in a northern hemisphere cuisine IMO.

lovesmycake Thu 20-Mar-14 09:39:12

kudz you can get cloudberry jam in ikea and yes its that or lingonberries, delicious.

I don't know the name of the mash but I just do equal amounts carrots and swede with a massive knob of butter and pepper and some of the cooking liquid to make a nice texture it is a cracking combination especially with the bacon bits.

Those cream cakes are also amazing is it the one which has a very thin layer of marzipan over the top? Oh and I almost forgot the boller which are yeast buns made with cardamon and cinnamon and raisins kids love them .....and me! though i like mine with the custard filling and icing smile

Kudzugirl Thu 20-Mar-14 09:22:11

Loves I am a major Cloudberry addict and understandably don't get my fix very often which makes it even more special. Is that the berry sauce of which you write? I have the cookbook 'Falling Cloudberries' by Tessa Kiros which is complete Scandi porn and contains the prettiest cake I have seen- a simple sponge filled with fruit and cream.

I am intrigued by the turnip and bacon mash- do you have a name for this? We love mashed up root vegetable combinations and of course an amazing way of getting a variety of vegetables into children (and fussy adults).

Every year we have an Easter ritual that has little to do with our roots other than my Husband once did an MA in Acting & Theatre Skills and as part of his immersive Chekhov research he cooked an Easter meal for the rest of his class. We had Paschka and Kulich.

Kulich is a sweet, yeast-risen bread with raisins, almonds and is made in a tall chimney pot shape. The Paschka is a sweet cheese spread, a bit like a super enriched uncooked cheesecake topping. It usually has raisins, nuts and candied citrus rind in it but each family has their own variation- we add Rum to ours! It is also reminiscent of the Sicilian Cassatta flavour without the grated or chunked dark chocolate.

So each year we sit down for this. In Russia Kulich is traditionally eaten after the Midnight Easter service although we don't attend this. Tradition dictates Kulich is on the table for each of the three main holy days so I guess that means making three as they don't last long in our house.

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