Expensive Tastes! Babies Now Eat Avocado, Pak Choy And Quinoa Before The Age Of FIVE

New study reveals children under the age of five are eating more exotic foods than their parents – trading in rusks and porridge for curry and cous cous.

baby eating broccoli

Sometimes we struggle to get our children to eat a stalk of broccoli, let alone pak choy or an olive.

However, a new study has found that children under the age of five have far more adventurous diets than the diets of previous generations, with many having had their first taste of curry, aubergine and even pak choy before they even start primary school.

Read more: It's Official! The Nation Is OBSESSED With Supermarket Own-Brand Food  

The Exotic Foods Eaten By Under-Fives: 

  • Sweet potato

  • Curry

  • Mango

  • Baby sweetcorn

  • Butternut squash

  • Garlic 

  • Courgettes

  • Spinach

  • Avocado

  • Cous cous

  • Hummus

  • Nuts

  • Aubergine

  • Mangetout

  • Olives

  • Asparagus 

  • Kale

  • Gherkins

  • Brie

  • Guacamole 

Gherkin
Gherkins. Picture | iStock

One in twenty under-fives have tucked into mussels and almost six in ten parents believe that their under-five-year-old has a more varied diet than they do.  

A large portion of the parents surveyed - 72% - believe that a child who likes more exotic foods when they're younger will inspire them to be more adventurous in adult life. 

Nutritionist Charlotte Stirling-Reed from Kiddylicious.com , which commissioned the research, said: "Parents today have more choice than ever when it comes to foods they can feed their babies, meaning youngsters are eating far more exotic and adventurous foods from an early age.

"Olives, quinoa and cous cous are foods which weren't readily available in previous generations but are now staple items in a lot of households, with this reflected in the diets of young children.

"Moving babies onto solid food is an important milestone and is all about experimenting with different tastes and textures.

Pak choy

Pak choy. Picture | iStock

"The foods offered at this stage set the tone for future food preferences and patterns of eating so it's great to see so many children are eating such a varied diet at such a young age.

"But it's not just about nurturing adventurous eaters all finger foods, whether it's an exotic avocado, an asparagus spear or wafers, are important to help children develop their pincer grip, learn how to self-feed and also develop the jaw muscles they need for speech and language.

The study of 2,000 parents – half of whom have a child under-five and half who have children aged 20 and over – found one in ten of todays under-fives have already tried olives. 

That's twice as many as the older generation.

Other foods growing in popularity with young children include sweet potatoes, couscous, hummus and asparagus.

Olives

Olives. Picture | iStock

The study also found eight in ten parents believe the diets of babies and toddlers have changed over the years with today’s youngsters being weaned onto rice cakes, mango and even avocado instead of the more traditional toast, porridge and rusks.

Charlotte Stirling-Reed added: “The vast choice now offered to weaning babies has led to our most successful launch, Wafers, of which three million are now eaten every month.

“Made with rice flour and subtle hints of real fruit and vegetable, they contain significantly less sugar than a standard rusk, giving parents peace of mind.

“They are also light and dissolve easily in the mouth, so make the ideal first finger food, and also encourage taste bud development, develop jaw muscles for speech and hand-eye coordination for self-feeding.”

Kiddylicious.com is running a #WaferMoment campaign, supported by their weaning trends survey.