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Old 08-03-2013, 12:47 AM   #1
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Strange food behaviours in children?

I throw birthday parties for all the nieces and nephews in my extended family. They are aged from 10 to 14 years old. But, I am starting to get somewhat concerned about their food eating habits. I was quite shocked when I found out from my home-helper today, that when she makes fried chicken wings for them, that she has to plan for 0.5 kg (1.1 lbs) portion size of chicken wings for each and every child, and there are never any leftovers! Surely this is not normal! I cannot imagine eating 0.5 kg of chicken wings by myself.

Furthermore, when we go out to our favourite Sichuan Chinese restaurant, they have taken to ordering Gong Bao Chicken everytime, but each time they have to tell the restaurant owner that the dish was not hot enough last time and they want more dried red chillies in the dish this time. This has happened for the last 6 or so times now, that I can remember. The Gong Bao Chicken now comes out with more dried red chillies than chicken. Then, they compete to see who can fit more dried red chillies into their mouths, and then chew the chillies well and swallow everything in one go. The record is apparently 23 dried red chillies in one mouthful so far. Surely this is not normal?!?

Also, when I buy them takeaway, they always want me to bring home a large sushi platter, but they want me to order extra large balls of wasabi on the platter, so they can see who will swallow the largest ball of wasabi whole in one go.

I just don't know whether I should encourage this kind of nonsense when I am with them any longer. Do any of you know children with similar food eating habits? Do you think that these behaviours can be normal? What would be the proper term to describe their strange food behaviours?

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Old 08-03-2013, 08:53 AM   #2
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Regarding the quantity of wings, it depends on how large they are. One lb of wings could be anywhere between 8 and 16 wings.

Based on the ages you are talking about, that really is not all that much meat when you take out the bones.

As for the hot spices - personally I would not encourage that but to each their own.

My Dad's family was huge on hot spicy things - the hotter the better. Not my cup of tea for sure.

The kids are old enough to make their own choices in that area. If they were younger I would surely be concerned.

If you are uncomfortable participating then my suggestion would be to provide other food choices and be done with it.
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Old 08-03-2013, 09:17 AM   #3
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They need to have more veggies and fruits on their plate, not just a stack of hot wings to dig in to.
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Old 08-03-2013, 09:20 AM   #4
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Tweens and teens can be pretty competitive, and "gross out" often factors in. Also, many kids do love really spicy food. A favorite kid's snack here is the Extra Hot Cheetos (don't know the exact name). Salsa and sushi are more common now than in years past. I think kids' palates have changed as their parents have exposed them to more foods we used to consider exotic, but are now mainstream.
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Old 08-03-2013, 11:05 AM   #5
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Sounds like normal sibling rivalry to me. My brother and I used to do similar things when we were kids. As long as they aren't becoming physically ill or anything, I don't see the harm.

I would definitely try to encourage them to eat healthier, though. Life isn't all about stuffing oneself with mass quantities of meat. They need fruits and veggies as well.
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Old 08-03-2013, 11:08 AM   #6
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I agree. It'll get old soon enough and they'll move on to something else. As much as I dislike the idea of eating competitions, it's most likely preferred over the use of other, more harmful substances.
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Old 08-03-2013, 02:12 PM   #7
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Those ar not strange behaviours at all. I think that's pretty much the norm and average.

I'm sure those kids eat a variety of things at other moments, the OP was just mentioning the bits he/she found odd.
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Old 08-03-2013, 02:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alix View Post
Those ar not strange behaviours at all. I think that's pretty much the norm and average.

I'm sure those kids eat a variety of things at other moments, the OP was just mentioning the bits he/she found odd.
I agree, Alix.

DH, who is my perpetual child, and a buddy used to have hot pepper eating contests.
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Old 08-03-2013, 02:26 PM   #9
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If they don't belong to you it's not your problem. Let the parents decide.

Kids like to compete. One of mine dared his brother to eat a 5 year old fruit roll up.. Disgusting I know. But he lived to tell the tale & got $5.00.

If you don't like the food requests when you pick the take out order up. Tell them they ran out. Maybe next time.Or the restaurant is closed. Pick something else. Suggest another new place to try hype it up. It's just a phase, nothing to worry about. Mine call it adventure eating.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:18 AM   #10
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Maybe it would be better less fried chicken wings, but these things have to be decided by parents. I see a lot of children who eat junk food and no fish, no vegetables, but a excessively hard opposition with children's parents' decisions could be seen like a calling into question their authority.
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