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22 Parents From Around The World Discuss Food And Their Kids

When it comes to picky eating kids, we're all the same at heart.

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BuzzFeed asked parents from around the world the same question:

"What frustrates you the most when it comes to food and your kid?"

1. Argentina

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

"What frustrates me the most when trying to feed my kids is having to compete with advertising. If it's green they don't want it, so they avoid vegetables. But if they saw on TV there was a new green hot dog, they would try it for sure.

One thing I have managed to do is — instead of making them eat a burger — I make sure they eat a good piece of steak."

—Pascual Calicchio

2. India

"I moved with my 2-year-old and 5-year-old kids from New York City to Delhi in the last five years, and the most frustrating part was trying to find reliable organic, GMO-free, antibiotic-free options. I had not anticipated how difficult it would be find organic food that I took for granted when I was in NYC — things like milk for my kids that was not adulterated or antibiotic-free chicken and eggs!

We ended up buying non-organic blueberries and strawberries that were imported from the United States at 10 times the cost because we couldn't trust the quality of the local fruits and vegetables. There is a complete absence of regulation of fresh produce, dairy, and meats available in the local markets in urban India."

—Shreyasi Jha, Facebook

3. Belgium

"As a mother of a 2-year-old girl my frustrations are:

A) The limited options when I take her out to eat in a restaurant. It's either chicken and fries or applesauce, a hamburger and fries, or spaghetti.

B) How expensive it is to eat healthy. My daughter eats healthy but I eat a lot of absolute garbage and fast food because it costs way less.

C) Having to freeze a month's worth of food because it's WAY too difficult to make my daughter dinner every day and still have money for me and my husband."

—Femke Van Havermaet, Facebook


4. India

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

"It's frustrating when we as parents don't get out of our kids' way. We are the ones who put sugar and Bournvita (chocolate mix) into their milk when they're 4 months old, and then when they're 4 we complain about how much sugar they're into. We make faces when we feed them karela (a gourd) and say, 'You're not gonna like this but you have to eat it.' Leave them alone! Don't make those faces and impose your own food choices on them — their instincts guide them just fine."

—Gayatri Jayaraman

5. Canada

"It frustrates me that produce is more expensive than junky, processed food. You can always find the sugary treats on sale, but the organic and healthy choices rarely are. And fast food is everywhere now, with very few healthy options."

—Shannon Daly, Facebook

6. South Korea

"Our daughter is EBF (exclusively breastfed), and I have no complaints so far! I've breastfed in public with zero negative comments, and a very large amount of shopping centers and restaurants have nursing rooms complete with a sofa or bench to nurse on (and often a nursing pillow), a changing station, and even water for making formula. The nicer places even have little private rooms for naps, a small play area, and stroller parking!"

—Jayleen Yu, Facebook

7. Canada

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

"I can't handle the amount of food my daughter wastes. I told her she wasn't allowed to throw her food in the garbage without asking me first, so she started hiding it under my couch. Also, healthy food is so much more expensive than the junk. My cupboards and fridge constantly seem bare even though we spend $400+ a month on food as a family."

—Kasha Milton, Facebook


8. Australia

"What's frustrating? When you spend the entire day preparing a week's worth of meals and after one bite it gets thrown on the floor in disgust!"

—Renee Melbourne, Facebook

9. Netherlands

"We have the same problem that many in wealthy countries have, which is that our junky/unhealthy food is always on sale while the healthy foods are expensive — especially when you're on a budget. My girl and boy both love fruits of any kind, but veggies are a fight (although it's getting better).

Also, when we're eating out, the options to order are mostly unhealthy — no healthy stuff, sadly! Plus eating out is EXPENSIVE!"

—Amanda Iris Peixoto-van Luit, Facebook

10. Canada

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

"What frustrates me is how much candy/treats total strangers feel compelled to offer to my kids for no reason, usually without asking me first. Or how often candy and sweets are available 'as a treat' at haircut places, the bank, sports games, school, etc. When it gets offered at so many places it stops being a 'treat'! And if you're the mean parent who says no, the person offering it will try to guilt you into it by saying, 'Oh, it's just a little treat, mom.'"

—Audrey Scales Smith Onciul, Facebook

11. India

"Though my daughter is not even 3, she is very particular about what she likes and does not like. We have to be mindful of having a gap before we repeat a dish in the same week or she'll say, 'I'm not eating 'cause I ate that two days back!' There are days when she wants to have a particular dish and won't settle for any other dish. I've had to order takeout for chicken soup because she won't eat anything else. These challenges keep me frustrated at times and entertained as well."

—Priya Panjikar


12. Guam

"I would definitely say the produce is the most frustrating thing (along with the very small selection of food). Nothing is grown on Guam except coconuts and a handful of fruits. Everything else is imported and crazy expensive. And, by the time we get it, it goes bad within a few days.

I hate that my kid has mostly frozen fruit and vegetables, and I'm sure he hates it too. We are super limited on what's available. It's not like we can go to Walmart or a farmers market — if it's not at two of the major retailers, then it's not on island. My son is already a picky eater and since we are very limited, it's hard for me to help him branch out."

—Kellie Morgan, Facebook

13. Australia

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

"It frustrates me how restaurants have no idea what their food is made of. My son is allergic to eggs and once we ended up in hospital because we were served an 'egg-free' ham and cheese toast that was full of mayonnaise!"

—Thayz Simpson, Facebook

14. Australia

"We are very lucky our almost-3-year-old wee man is a really curious little eater who is willing to give most things a good Aussie go. Without blowing Sydney's trumpet too much, we're blessed with a very healthy foodie scene (Aussies love smoothies, green juices, and clean living) and abundant locally produced produce. My wife makes most of our son's food from scratch, often inspired by her friend Aimee, whose baby Pip was born on the same day as Arty. What frustrates us? Grandparents who think it's OK to sneak in chocolates and lollies."

—Simon Crerar, BuzzFeed

15. Thailand

"In Thailand it's becoming more and more common for kids to order food without vegetables. There's also a problem with 7-Elevens being on every other street corner."

—Magalee Marin Çırpılı, Facebook


16. South Africa

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

"What frustrated me the most was the phase my daughter went through between the ages of 1 and 2 when she would not want to eat a proper meal — at all. She wouldn't eat what was prepared for the family or meals that were bought. Instead, she would sometimes prefer to eat plain rice, dry bread, or dry cereal. I was like, 'Really? I can cook you a three-course meal and you'd still prefer to eat that?'"

—Bronwyn Bernadette Josephine Naidoo, Facebook

17. England

"The thing that frustrates me the most is that most food aimed at kids is loaded with sugar, and I don't want my 20-month-old daughter to grow up addicted to it. That, and the fact her tastes change so frequently. She'll be obsessed with, say, mango for a few weeks, and then completely lose interest in it. So you find yourself stocking up on things that then go to waste."

—Luke Lewis, BuzzFeed

18. England

"Trying to keep up with my son's likes and dislikes. He loves green beans and cabbage and is absolutely obsessed with broccoli, but if you ask him to try even a sprout — even one that's been made with bacon — you hit a complete brick wall. His 'trying it' is touching the tip of his tongue to it for a millisecond."

—Amii Mitchell, Facebook

19. Belgium

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

"My 2½-year-old son is very picky and would live off Oreo filling exclusively if I gave up on trying every day — over and over — to put some healthy food in his mouth.

Also, in Belgium we have a load of choices for carnivores but finding veggie meals proves to be an absolute hassle!"

—Rihab Hafidi, Facebook


20. Japan

"We have a10-year-old boy who dislikes vegetables. He doesn't eat raw ones, but we finally realized he will eat boiled vegetables. It's not easy to figure out how to cook food he likes — often we have to eat the dish for him."

—Daisuke Furuta, BuzzFeed Japan

21. Sweden

"It frustrates me how my kid's favorite food can become their most hated in mere seconds depending on their mood."

—Miku Akbar, Facebook

22. New Zealand

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

"Taking my kids out to eat and finding our options consist of 'chicken nuggets and chips (fries),' 'burgers and chips,' 'hot dogs and chips,' and several other unhealthy treats.

The majority of places don't even offer the option of fruit and veggies with their meals! This makes it incredibly difficult to take kids out for a meal and not fill them with junk food."

—Ellen May, Facebook