Are Our Children Becoming Food Snobs?

12/03/2013 16:52 | Updated 22 May 2015

When Flea was a toddler, we had what might be called a 'scene' in the supermarket.

It's a common enough story, perhaps, but what makes it extra embarrassing is that my child wasn't screaming for a packet of sweets or a bag of crisps. No, my two year old was kicking off because I wouldn't buy her a box of ... grissini (Ed: that's breadsticks!)

My friend Emily shares my shame. "I once had to deal with a tantrum in Waitrose because I wouldn't put his favourite food in the trolley," she confesses. "He threw himself to the floor shouting GIVE ME THE FALAFEL, I NEED SOME FALAFEL! I was mortified, not because he was behaving badly but because he was a snob."

I'm not sure how it happened but Flea is a fully-fledged food snob.

She refuses to touch fish fingers or chicken nuggets and has been known to utter the words, "Does tuna really come in cans?" to my mother, who clucked with disapproval.

Once Flea woke me up in the morning, distraught, to tell me that we'd run out of croissants. "I suppose I'll have to have brioche," she said, dolefully. Brioche? In my day it was Marmite on toast and a pot of Ski yoghurt, if you were lucky!

While Flea has been enjoying French pastries and freshly seared tuna steaks, she's remained completely unaware of the things that were staples of my own childhood diet. Last week, I collected Flea from school and she was breathless with excitement because, apparently, it had been a "very special" day.

"We had something at school today that was soooo delicious," she told me. "It was called pastry."

She pronounced pastry like it was some incredibly rare, exotic ingredient sourced from some foreign land over the seas.

I admit it, my daughter has never eaten a pie or pudding. She's also never eaten sponge cake, never had a sausage, a burger or even baked beans on toast. She thinks ketchup is disgusting, but will happily tip a bowlful of guacamole or houmous over her lunch.

It's not just me. My friend Carly's 18-month-old loves stuffed vine leaves and olives. And not just any olives either – Baby Belle has a clear preference for lemon and chilli-stuffed green olives, if you please. Another friend admits to having her two-year-old's favourite snack delivered – from America.

Are we raising a generation of food snobs who can differentiate between brioche and pain au chocolate at 50 paces?

And are our children missing out on the foods that we ourselves grew up on?

Now, I must dash – I need to pick up some fresh asparagus to go with this evenings stuffed vine tomatoes.

What do you think?

Extreme or does this ring bells with you?

Healthy Children's Eating Habits


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