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Old 08-02-2013, 11:47 PM   #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, 07:53 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, 08:17 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, 08:20 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, 10:05 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, 10:08 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, 01:12 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, 01:23 PM   #8
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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.
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, 01:26 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, 09:18 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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Old 08-06-2013, 10:44 AM   #11
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Kids do the darned things for fun. Pound of chicken wings is barely enough for any person. There is nothing there to eat but bones.
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Old 08-06-2013, 01:42 PM   #12
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When my friends and I were in high school, we tried to see how many of the (very) sour hamburger pickles we could fit into our mouths and not succumb to the sourness. 23 years later, we still laugh about it. The boys also dared each other to eat the hot sauce at Taco Bell/Taco Johns straight from the packet. It sounds like the same silly stuff to me. Kids are kids and like many have already said, are competitive little creatures we do really strange things at times. If it were me, I'd probably find a way to join in ...

As for the chicken wings ... I'll second what others have said. Not much but bone on a wing. We have about 25 people each year for our Super Bowl party and I'll cook off about 40 pounds of wings with no left overs. This is in addition to chili dogs and lots of other finger foods. Just saying ...
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysteryMunchies View Post
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?
Have they been watching a ghastly programme called "Man v Food Nation" (no,the title doesn't make sense to me, either). It originally popped up on the UK version of Food Network but now it's all over Freeview in the UK. If you catch it by accident when you're channel hopping it really makes you feel sick.

Really, if they aren't your children it's not your problem unless it's beginning to rub off on yours. Greed and bad table manners don't go down well in my family and at your table (whether at home or in a restaurant) you don't have to pander to it (unless, of course, the parents are paying).

Mind you, I tend to agree with the others that there isn't a lot of meat on chicken wings unless they come with a chunk of the breast attached.
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Old 08-07-2013, 02:36 PM   #14
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Just remember. When I was 16 I would take public transportation to get around. i would seat down pull the lemmon out of my bag and start eating it like as if it was an apple. Making happy faces. People would cringe.
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Old 08-07-2013, 03:09 PM   #15
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When Poo was 14 he got on a Kraft Mac and Cheese kick. Other than cereal for breakfast, it was all he would eat. I got so sick of him telling me that was what he wanted. So for a solid month that is all I made for him. Including his breakfast. I had enough. I told him I wasn't going to buy anymore and if he wanted it, he would have to go out and make his own money to buy it. He got a paper route. That interfered with playing with his friends. And he had to get up too early in the morning for a morning route. So that didn't last too long. He decided to eat other foods. Haven't made KM&C since.
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