Toddler-Specific Food Silliness

Oh, we're done with all that vegetable-steaming and mess, our children are cutlery-wielding, spaghetti-chomping angels... at least some of the time.

Toddler-Specific Food Silliness

Postby StJuniper » 01 Sep 2012, 22:53

I don't know how things are for those of you in GB but I have a little story that I found interesting as a North American. We have a French exchange student staying with us and were eating out. He noticed on the kids' menu that you can get chocolate pudding with gummy worms meant to be worms in dirt. He laughed and laughed that we give this to our children--"They are not the chicken or the mouse or the rabbit!"-- and also seemed kind of appalled about the pink pasta option ("But this is colouring; it is not natural.") I loved being able to give Paul bits of the pizza we were having, and hope I can keep him away from dyed pasta and cheap desserts when he's older. I know those of you with toddlers say BLW doesn't keep them from being fussy but surely there's some hope that he won't need pink pasta?
Last edited by StJuniper on 02 Sep 2012, 14:06, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Toddler-Specific Food Silliness

Postby cloudcuckoo » 01 Sep 2012, 23:11

Pink coloured pasta? WTF? I think that crystallises quite a lot that is wrong with western society's approach to food.

There has to be hope for Paul and others though, if we consider these things inappropriate. Kids menus in Britain can be grim - sausages/ burger/ chicken nuggets plus chips and overcooked peas is standard - but my own personal criteria is transmitted to the kids. I don't care if they only eat beans for a few days when we are away and reliant on caterers, but chicken nuggets are not. This is not difficult to achieve though, as my kids will almost always go for the veggie option. Also, it helps that they can't read yet, or not as fast as us, and we just tell them what we want them to know about the menu.

Thing is, there are times when there's no avoiding the pink pasta or whatever, and you are stuck with that or an adult meal three times the cost. What I *really* object to, and may yet attempt to start a Mumsnet campaign on, is the disrespect of 'kids lunchboxes' where the child is expected to be eat yesterdays sandwiches off the table, and be excited about it because it comes in a cartoon-y box. What is wrong with plates, exactly? Even a paper one would be an improvement.

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Re: Toddler-Specific Food Silliness

Postby KateGladTidings » 02 Sep 2012, 03:22

Î have never heard of pink pasta!! Kids meals here do vary, but tend t be either something+chips or a mini pasta portion (not pink!!)
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Re: Toddler-Specific Food Silliness

Postby robyn » 02 Sep 2012, 07:23

you do get tri-color pasta, which is 'real' food, I used to have it as a kid.
this - http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4122/487 ... 85126b.jpg
Martha wouldn't touch the gummy worm chocolate thing, but she'd revel in pink pasta I'm sure!
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Re: Toddler-Specific Food Silliness

Postby cloudcuckoo » 02 Sep 2012, 07:25

I've been mulling this over since my over-tired tirade last night, and conclude that I would prefer restaurants to offer food that is fun than the endless over cooked barn chicken nuggets with fries. And so, assuming that pink pasta is freshly cooked with a nice sauce, I vote for that. Obviously, it would be nicer if there were kid size portions of real food...

On which note, ask your French teenager about how kids are catered for in France by comparison. I am a total Francophile, but find that kids aren't really welcome in most restaurants.
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Re: Toddler-Specific Food Silliness

Postby KateGladTidings » 02 Sep 2012, 07:52

robyn wrote:you do get tri-color pasta, which is 'real' food, I used to have it as a kid.
this - http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4122/487 ... 85126b.jpg
Martha wouldn't touch the gummy worm chocolate thing, but she'd revel in pink pasta I'm sure!


Yeah, I'm fine with tricolor pasta...just never heard of pink pasta!
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Re: Toddler-Specific Food Silliness

Postby meerkatsmum » 02 Sep 2012, 10:01

CC, what do you mean about a lunch box? Here, kids take a lunch box that their parent has packed for them. I guess it's up to the parent whether it's the night before or the morning of. Generally it contains a sandwich nd fruit or other snacks. Is this what you're referring to?
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Re: Toddler-Specific Food Silliness

Postby LucyL » 02 Sep 2012, 10:14

We actually did have pink pasta one day this week! I had boiled up some beetroot and then was going to make pasta for lunch so thought it might be fun - strained the water to get little beetroot skin bits out and then did the pasta. Was excellent fun, and very pink, and I figure we surely got a few of the beetroot vitamins? :D
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Re: Toddler-Specific Food Silliness

Postby KateGladTidings » 02 Sep 2012, 10:31

Meerkatsmum wrote:CC, what do you mean about a lunch box? Here, kids take a lunch box that their parent has packed for them. I guess it's up to the parent whether it's the night before or the morning of. Generally it contains a sandwich nd fruit or other snacks. Is this what you're referring to?


I think she means the "snack pack" things you get at zoos and museums - sandwich+fruit shoot+something snacky. In a cardboard box...
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Re: Toddler-Specific Food Silliness

Postby StJuniper » 02 Sep 2012, 11:02

I'm not against coloured pasta per se, just artificially-coloured pasta :)
I'll have to ask Emmanuel what kind of food French kids eat. Maybe they do eat at restaurants less.
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Re: Toddler-Specific Food Silliness

Postby meerkatsmum » 02 Sep 2012, 13:28

Kate wrote:
Meerkatsmum wrote:CC, what do you mean about a lunch box? Here, kids take a lunch box that their parent has packed for them. I guess it's up to the parent whether it's the night before or the morning of. Generally it contains a sandwich nd fruit or other snacks. Is this what you're referring to?


I think she means the "snack pack" things you get at zoos and museums - sandwich+fruit shoot+something snacky. In a cardboard box...


Thanks Kate! That makes sense. I was scratchingy head thinking, what's wrong with a lunch box? I agree, those kind of snack boxes are a bit gross.
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Re: Toddler-Specific Food Silliness

Postby KateGladTidings » 02 Sep 2012, 13:37

cloudcuckoo wrote:I've been mulling this over since my over-tired tirade last night, and conclude that I would prefer restaurants to offer food that is fun than the endless over cooked barn chicken nuggets with fries. And so, assuming that pink pasta is freshly cooked with a nice sauce, I vote for that. Obviously, it would be nicer if there were kid size portions of real food...

On which note, ask your French teenager about how kids are catered for in France by comparison. I am a total Francophile, but find that kids aren't really welcome in most restaurants.


That was a tirade?! It was an awfully polite one (or maybe i've been on AIBU too much....)
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Re: Toddler-Specific Food Silliness

Postby StJuniper » 02 Sep 2012, 14:15

Thing is, there are times when there's no avoiding the pink pasta or whatever, and you are stuck with that or an adult meal three times the cost.


I was thinking about this and I might be wrong because I don't have a toddler, but can't you just give them some of what you order? Restaurant portions here are much bigger than what we serve in our home, so I feel like I could just keep picking out an appropriate portion of what I'm having for Paul. Leaves me room for dessert, because DH never wants to split with me :)
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Re: Toddler-Specific Food Silliness

Postby LucyL » 02 Sep 2012, 14:21

SkytownJane wrote:I'm not against coloured pasta per se, just artificially-coloured pasta :)


Heehee, I know. Sorry, my reply was rather off-topic really, wasn't it? But yes, I don't think I'd serve my kids pasta just because it was coloured either, especially artificially.
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Re: Toddler-Specific Food Silliness

Postby FestiveTidings » 02 Sep 2012, 18:31

We ask for a side plate when ordering and roo will eat some of whatever we are having.
If its an artificial pink then the pasta terrifies me! I would prefer to steer clear of childrens menus as a whole but in places like pizza express they are actually pretty good. Fresh food, child sized portions.

I love going to Italian restaurants - half portions are polished off instantly!
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