Millions Of Children Are Trying More Exotic Food, Research Has Found

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When I think back to my childhood, I have fond memories of eating chicken dippers, turkey twizzlers and potato smiley faces.

But it appears youngsters these days are trying out more exotic food, as research has found millions of children have tried quinoa, oysters and even lobster.

A study of 1,500 parents of children aged 2-16 found one in five have tasted kangaroo at least once, while 23 per cent have tried an oyster.

Nearly a quarter had tried curried goat, while 28 per cent were familiar with crayfish and a massive 30 per cent had tried octopus.

Now, I’m 24 and still haven’t tried any of those things so I’m not sure what it says about me.

Although they may not have necessarily enjoyed the food, the adventurous children have also tried kale, edamame beans and lobster – with crab and mussels also among the foods they’ve sampled.

Come on guys, you’re really putting me to shame here!

It also emerged 53 per cent of parents reckon their children are more likely to try a new food than they were at the same age, with 68 per cent putting this down to youngsters being more likely to travel abroad.

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In fact, half of mums and dads believe their children try foods on holiday, they wouldn’t dream of touching at home.

The study, commissioned by Hilton to mark its ‘Kids Stay and Eat for Free’ package, also found more than two thirds of children have tucked into Indian dishes while three quarters enjoy Chinese food.

Three in 10 youngsters have tried Thai cuisine and almost a third have sampled a French meal – while Vietnamese, Moroccan and Japanese are also among the foreign cuisines children have sampled.

The fact these types of cuisine are so popular among youngsters could be explained by the type of holidays they’re going on, as half of parents admitted to choosing holidays based on the food they’re likely to find there, in order to broaden their family’s horizons.

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And it appears to work, with 63 per cent of parents saying their children tried something they hadn’t eaten before on their last holiday.

Two thirds of parents deem their children as ‘brave’ when it comes to trying new food abroad.

Patricia Page-Champion, Senior Vice President and Commercial Director at Hilton, said:

With our ‘Kids Stay and Eat for Free’ package, parents can enjoy a hassle-free holiday at hundreds of properties across Europe, Middle East and Africa so that the everyday heroes of the family can have a break too.

But even without the holiday factor, it appears children today simply might just be more adventurous than they were in the glory days of chicken dippers.

Reinforcing this, the study also found almost one in four parents would describe their children as adventurous eaters, saying their offspring will try pretty much anything put in front of them.

Thirty-seven per cent of parents even went as far as to say they’d describe at least one of their children as a ‘foodie’.

Hilton has partnered with Disney to celebrate The Incredibles 2, and guests will receive a £10 Disney Store voucher when booking Hilton’s ‘Kids Stay and Eat for Free’ package.

Check it out below:

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Lucy Connolly

Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).