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#1 of 23 Old 02-11-2008, 01:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I would like to hear what other mamas do in regards to foods that are very different from what you were raised on or eat. For example, DH is Jamaican and eats some things that I don't eat, like tripe. I have tried it even though it took me a few years, lol but I really don't like the taste, on top of knowing what it is! I myself rarely eat meat and don't want our kids to eat a lot of meat, especially/including tripe. Am i just being closed minded? Is it even safe to give a toddler stomach lining? I know many cultures eat tripe in various dishes (andouille, haggis etc), but I just can't get over it! SO, how do you deal with the cultural differences when it comes to food?
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#2 of 23 Old 02-11-2008, 02:31 AM
 
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I let my kids try everything. But, this is coming from a Black American who won't eat chitterlings so wouldn't give them to my kid anyway. Most of our really "ethnic" foods are more special occassion things, not actually what we have every day so I don't worry too much about it. Like we have a lot of fried foods but it is something we have less than once a month so I don't worry about the kids getting too much of it or anything. And dh let's the kids try everything when we go for Korean food (his heritage) and it is only a few times a year so, again, I don't worry about it. There are things that I don't eat but then there are so many that I do, so it kind of balances out.

Honestly, my older son is probably going to be vegetarian as he just naturally doesn't eat a lot of meat. I think you can control it some by what you actually serve on a regular basis but mostly I think it is teaching your kids about nutrition and not worrying too much on the special ethnic meals.

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#3 of 23 Old 02-11-2008, 02:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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You're right. I probably shouldn't worry too much about this one. Soon DD will be old enough to know what she is eating and make her own decisions. I asked DH and DD HAS tried his tripe! I was worried too about ability to digest etc. I should ask my MIL if DH ate it as a toddler! But I am still curious if others have any food "issues"!
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#4 of 23 Old 02-11-2008, 04:22 AM
 
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Specifically on tripe: my mum just gave me my baby book in which she has recorded feeding me tripe at 8 months. 8 months! Jeez.

I have some food issues here in that it's very common for people to give food to kids without checking with a parent. In a market, on the street, in the playground etc. It's not a huge big deal as he's 3 and has no allergies and so on but most of the food is stuff I wouldn't want to eat myself and it just seems wrong to know he's eating/eaten it. A lot of times now he says 'no thanks', so it's getting easier. If I see and decline they all say stuff to him like 'oh, your mama is so strict!'. Eh.
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#5 of 23 Old 02-11-2008, 08:37 AM
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I love Thai food, much better than European, US, Australian, South African food and healthy, it's one big reason why I like to live here.

There are some things I don't eat that my boyfriend eats, like the feet of chicken, or some weird beetles / bugs whatever they are, and pieces of tiny little birds that are full of bones, I guess I wouldn't mind if my child would end up eating stuff like that, as long as nobody expects me to eat it, too.
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#6 of 23 Old 02-11-2008, 08:55 AM
 
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Would tripe be any harder to digest than any other meat? My recollection of tripe is of something rather soft.

Japanese food has some stuff that is pretty darn different from what I ate as a kid. Most notably, slimy foods. I myself am sick of having people ask me what I can and can't eat, and having to have the slimy foods discussion, so I have no intention of passing my inhibitions along to our kids. But that is just me, and is coming from someone who is expecting her kids to have to prove their Japanese-ness to others. It may not be an issue for you and your family.

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#7 of 23 Old 02-11-2008, 10:14 AM
 
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Isn't it funny what folk think is in haggis, but basic ingredients include a mixture of the minced heart, lungs and liver of a sheep, pig or cow (nowadays it's really just sheep) mixed with suet, onions, oatmeal, spices and seasoning boiled in the stomach of the slaughtered animal (or more contemporary synthetic equivalent), but we actually don't EAT the stomach - not that that answers you question but I just wanted to clarify!!

I try not to put my dislikes on to my kids - easier said than done especially as dd is quite a picky eater - especially with something like tripe - just the smell haunts me to this day - so I guess I'm abit in your boat!! DS will try anything but he's only 2.5 so I'm sure he'll go through a picky moment or two!! I remember when dh sat down with a Chinese friend of ours to eat a calf's head myself and our friend's Italian wife tried to look the other way!! Just passing the butchers here is a bit of a difficult one with pigs ears and trotters widely on display that I find particularly difficult to look at. I try to vary the diet of my kids but invaribly turn to 'Feeding the Whole Family' as a bit of a guide to healthy food, however, if my dh or the kids want to try something I wouldn't like I try to support them in their choice but it's certainly not something that's particularly easy to accomplish!

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#8 of 23 Old 02-11-2008, 10:19 AM
 
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The thought of tripe for me is pretty icky, however it's also important for me to get my kids to try different foods. Where we live, there is just about every type of restaurant conceivable, so I don't want to limit them with my personal palatte. Food is such a big part of culture, restricting some things, would probably do more harm than good, so I wouldn't should my DH have something I didn't really like and wanted to offer it to our kids.

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#9 of 23 Old 02-11-2008, 05:00 PM
 
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My dh eats a lot of things that I won't touch (he's Greek, I'm Greek-American but growing up here is a lot different than growing up there!) I let the kids choose for themselves, and often cook more than one meal (one for him, one for me). I also eat many things that he won't touch (chili comes to mind instantly). The only problem we have is that he seems to like to tell the kids that what I'm eating is "Gross" which makes them (of course) not want to eat it. I vow not to do the same with his (gross) food lol.
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#10 of 23 Old 02-11-2008, 07:49 PM
 
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I'm Filipino and DH is white American.
There are things that I've cooked that DH doesn't care for (not for lack of trying so I really appreciate that about him) but DS and I eat. So it's not so much of an issue.
I just make sure that whatever ethnic foods I give to DS are age appropriate and clean (like if it's organ meat, I make sure I clean and cook it really well). Of course I have the same standards for the food I eat myself so again, not an issue.
DH and I like the fact that DS seems to be showing a wide variety of tastes.
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#11 of 23 Old 02-12-2008, 01:26 PM
 
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I eat everything that tastes good to me, and DH does the same. Neither of us feels any pressure to eat things we aren't accustomed to. It's not like we are rejecting the food. I don't like beets but that doesn't make me closed-minded. I just don't like them. Same goes for mutton ass fat.

Our daughter eats whatever she wants, and we give her everything.

Haggis is really tasty. It's the only way I'll eat organs.

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#12 of 23 Old 02-16-2008, 08:26 PM
 
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We love all foods here in our house and I see that your dh is Jamaican, as is mine. We eat the curry goat, oxtail, chicken foot soup, and jerk chicken of course - all of which are served on special occasions such as birthday gatherings, and holidays, yk? Maybe once a month or sometimes more and sometimes less, depending. Also the side of my family that is very Italian - we eat traditional Italian dishes when with them. And, most of that I try to cook every once in a while. I am going to try hard not to get into habits of cooking different meals for everyone in our family, yk? I have seen how tough that can be once started (for the kids I nanny for - meals are a nightmare)

We eat things like ackee, flitters, plantains, saltfish, fried dumplings all on Christmas for brunch, in particular. Tatum eats all of it and usually likes the meats in particular because of how they are seasoned. He hasn't had them all too often yet because he's only 19 mos, but I hope that he continues to like everything. On a normal basis, we usually just eat over dh's grandmom's house to get a taste of Jamaica - but its normally regular foods like beef, chicken, turkey, rice and peas (beans) and greens or broccolli - but all seasoned the SAME WAY ALL THE TIME. Neither dh or I cook like that here in our house, but we can get it whenever we want, so hopefully ds will be exposed enough to enjoy all flavors and varieties of foods.

I agree with Paddington, though. It really matters to expose them to healthy foods for the purpose of teaching them nutrition. Just include variety and be positive about all cultures, not just yours and dh's either. Well roundedness is important, I think. And fun!

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#13 of 23 Old 02-18-2008, 04:12 PM
 
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Although there are some Ethiopian dishes I can't quite stomach, I encourage my children to try everything. I can't cook Ethiopian food at all , so unfortunately we don't get it as often as I would like.
There is one particular dish we all avoid, as it involves raw beef. It is a speciality there, but dh is a nurse thus is leary of it himself.

I really would like my children to develop a taste for Ethiopian food because it is soooooo much healthier than most American fare, with a whole grain bread used as a base and lots of veggies and red pepper. American food (even the semi-healthy stuff I make), I feel ready to eat again almost right away. Ethiopian food fills me up for a long time.
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#14 of 23 Old 02-18-2008, 06:24 PM
 
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As others have said, I cook, eat, and serve things that I like, and that includes everything from my momma's recipes to traditional Venezuelan dishes to Indian food, etc. LO has not been exposed to some of the more "unique" dishes, mostly because the ingredients are harder to come by and I don't know how to make them. (I have recipes, but I wouldn't want to make a new recipe for a dish I had never tried without someone else to show me how it's done, otherwise, how would I know if it even tasted right?)

That said, whenever we get the opportunity to try new things, I go for it and encourage LO to do the same. Toddlers in other countries don't seem to have the same relationship to food that we do, so I don't worry too much about whether or not LO is old enough to try x, y, z. She's free to refrain from trying it or to try it and dislike it; I just want to expose her to variety so that she can make her own choices.

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#15 of 23 Old 02-21-2008, 09:15 AM
 
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i'm australian, husband is japanese, we live in japan.
we eat a lot of japanese food but i'm vegetarian so nothing is truly authentic and i suppose a lot of the 'strange' or freaky foods are off the list for us seeing as there are no animals on our table!
but yeah, i try hard to encourage our daughter to eat and LIKE traditional japanese food mostly because i don't want to give people reason to pick her out as not being japanese (if that makes sense). slimy foods included!
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#16 of 23 Old 02-21-2008, 10:39 PM
 
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I'm white Canadian of european descent and DH is Jamaican. We're lucky to live in a really multicultural area (Toronto) and are exposed to lots of different foods. I'm not especially fond of all Jamaican food (esp. ackee and saltfish...not right for breakfast in my opinion ) but I make sure that DD gets an opportunity to try whatever she wants to without any bias from me. She also loves Thai, Greek, Chinese....the list goes on.

I cook the West indian dishes I know and we rely on Grandma and Aunty to provide the rest
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#17 of 23 Old 02-22-2008, 02:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by GSMama View Post
I'm not especially fond of all Jamaican food (esp. ackee and saltfish...not right for breakfast in my opinion )

I cook the West indian dishes I know and we rely on Grandma and Aunty to provide the rest
I love ackee and saltfish....mmmm and dumplings! But it's a rare treat. We also rely on Grandma (when she's in the states) and Auntie! Every Sunday we go to SIL's for dinner and DD knows what day it is and always says "auntie cook"....a couple weekends ago she said "spicy hot"! LOL
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#18 of 23 Old 02-22-2008, 11:08 AM
 
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I guess I should give some context around why I'm not crazy about ackee and saltfish...I ate it on Christmas morning at MIL and it turned out I had the flu. I ended up throwing it up later on that day and now I can't eat it any more

I do like dumplings though...and I've never been so happy as I was when we got married in Jamaica and I ate fried plaintain every morning for breakfast

My DD likes "picy" food too!
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#19 of 23 Old 02-22-2008, 07:22 PM
 
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I encourage my children to eat everything, with the exception of pork. Even if I had married someone of my race I think that I would be the same way, it's how I was raised. Try it at least once. It's funny, my aunt and I were talking about tripe yesterday. I like how it tastes, but I can't think think too hard about where it comes from.

BTW, my children like to eat different things. I'm just in awe of them when the pick up a whole squid and chomp down

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#20 of 23 Old 02-22-2008, 08:45 PM
 
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MIL's family is Slovenian and I am NA, I cook some traditional dishes as well as a lot of Southern dishes and a lot of Tex-Mex.

I make *much* different dishes than MIL but dh usually loves my cooking, he doesn't tend to like many squash dishes and that annoys me sometimes.

At potlucks with MIL's family we do have moments of "what are you feeding me?" but so far no mishaps.

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#21 of 23 Old 02-25-2008, 04:15 AM
 
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my dd's dad is arabic/sicilian but grew up in south africa. so he grew up with curry. it took me 4 years to finally open up to it. i didnt try to introduce it to dd until a year ago but she's tried many different foods as i love ethnic food having grown up on meat and potatoes. dd loves pad thai, fried rice, quesadillas, meatloaf, tofu, chicken masala/naan, etc! dd even asked me to make chicken curry tonight!

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#22 of 23 Old 02-25-2008, 05:50 AM
 
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My kids are Indian, and we are all vegetarians. I prepare mostly Authentic Indian foods, and some Americanized versions of Italian foods. Then I make some authentic type Mexican foods too.

My kids are big spicy eaters too, as am I. Since we don't eat meat, we eat at home most of the time, and there is always something in the oven or on stop top. I feel like my kids are very versitale and willing to try any vegetarian food. I try to change the recipes up, but when tired I always fall back to dal, rice and veggie recipes.

I'd love some Ethiopian recipes as i love vegetable wats and the injera. I'd love to make some of that. I bet I could make the wats. Some of the spices are the same as Indian spices.

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#23 of 23 Old 03-05-2008, 01:04 PM
 
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I didn't realize there were so many gals with Japanese husbands at MDC

We eat a lot of Japanese food. We love sushi! I'm trying to make it myself but I need a few more tools and lots of practice.

DS eats nori in strips like crackers and both kids eat tofu right out of the package. We make Japanese style curry a lot. As for things that I have a hard time with, it's more related to his growing up on Guam. DH LOVES spam. He fries it up and puts it over rice. When I was preggo I made his grill it outside because I can not stand the smell of it. He also eats Natto. I can't eat it. I've tried. Other than that I've really become more adventurous eater in the last 11 years we've been together.
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