There’s a YouTube series called “Rino which eats world various dishes,” and you’re gonna want to watch a few of them immediately. Rino is a little Japanese girl whose mom cooks intricate dishes from all over the world then watches her daughter try them for the first time.
Each video goes like this: a few shots of food prep — pad thai in one video, a Spanish tortilla in another — then many many shots of Rino shoveling the food in her mouth, usually with total delight.
The video descriptions are also delightful: “Rino eats a British cake called a ‘scone’ which Mama made for the first time. She attached jam to the scone and ate deliciously.” And, “Rino eats a famous dish of Vietnam called a ‘pho’ which Mama made for the first time. Anyway, Rino loves noodles.”
Sometimes her little brother makes an appearance and her parents trick her into thinking he wants some. She is never pleased.
What’s happening here is more than just a cute little girl making funny noises and faces about food. It is, as Michele Humes points out in her post about the series, also about how picky eating is a cultural construct.
So many American parents struggle to get their kids to eat anything but chicken finger and mac and cheese. Vegetables and seafood are out of the question. Here is a little Japanese girl devouring tail-on shrimp without blinking an eye.
We don’t all have time to launch a cooking channel on YouTube. (Rino’s mom’s cooking channel is even more impressive.) But there’s something to be said for celebrating diverse food with your child early on, especially when it gets you to spend time together in a relaxed, fun way.
h/t Michele Humes