It’s a small world after all

When it comes to food, my husband and I had very different upbringings.

I grew up in an ethnic family in the city; he grew up in a small town eating mostly meat and potatoes.

As far back as I can remember I’ve been snacking on foods like squid and sticky rice. My family had easy access to a wide variety of ethnically diverse restaurants and food, while my husband’s childhood experiences were limited to his mom’s kitchen experiments with curry.

With our household of young children, world travel is not a possibility anytime soon. In the meantime, my husband and I are keen for our kids to get a head start on enjoying worldly culinary delights. And we’ve done our best to make that happen from their earliest interactions with food.

Here are my family’s top three kid-friendly foods from around the world.

1) Dim sum: pint-sized portions of dumplings, sweet buns and sticky rice. It’s a help-yourself-style of eating. Put the stuff you like on your plate and leave the rest for your tablemates. Perfect for even the youngest in the group.

2) Sushi: not the raw-fish kind (or at least not when they’re really young) but the delightful and colourful rolls of cucumber, avocado and julienned vegetables. You might even be able to sneak some highly nutritious seaweed into them! If you don’t want to catch your wee one’s taste buds off guard, you might consider asking for the wasabi on the side.

3) Vietnamese noodle soup: when we’re looking for an affordable and quick family dinner on-the-go, our favourite pit stop is our local Vietnamese noodle house. Each of us orders a bowl of noodle soup and we customize by adding meat/tofu, or in my son’s case, keep it plain. My kids love to pile on the sprouts and fresh basil that comes to the table.

We take great joy in watching our children enjoy a variety of foods. And we are proud that by embracing foods from different cultures we might be helping them to experience those cultures firsthand down the road. We hope we’ve started a lifelong curiosity about foods from around the world and the people and traditions that create them.

It’s a small world, after all.

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Louise Gleeson is a freelance journalist and mother of four. Her professional portfolio can be viewed at www.louisegleeson.com and you can follow along as she shares stories from everyday life on her blog at www.latenightplays.com.  You can also find her on twitter @louisegleeson

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4 Comments »

  1. […] It’s a small world after all (babyyums.wordpress.com) […]

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