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How Do Your Kids Compare? The Adventurous Eating Habits of Children Revealed

With the summer holidays in full swing, Emirates Holidays has launched research revealing that whilst almost two thirds (63%) of parents in Ireland worry about what their children will eat when they’re away, in reality almost half (45%) of adventurous youngsters will try at least one or two local dishes on holiday.

Two thirds (66%) of parents will even go so far as to stash failsafe food in their suitcase, with the most popular items to pack including biscuits (44%), crisps (39%), teabags (32%) and even bread (19%).

However, the findings show that on arrival at their destination, parents are often pleasantly surprised as more than one in three (37%) say they enjoy a family ‘culinary adventure’ when on holiday.

Kids are open to sampling different dishes like flatbread (45%), curries (40%) and chicken satay (34%) and many have also experimented with more unusual foods like olives (24%), sushi (16%) and octopus (13%).

Parents are so keen to encourage their kids to try new things that they bribe (11%) them with a familiar dessert, while a third (30%) try to set a good example by being more adventurous themselves when on holiday, which is particularly effective for the 17% of children who like to eat what the adults eat.

Older children aged 13 – 15 tend to be the most adventurous with new flavours when on holiday, with a quarter of parents (26%) saying they think this is the age most will try different dishes.

When families get home, a third of parents (34%) are pleased to find their children are more comfortable trying out more unusual dishes, however 38% confess that they revert straight back to their old eating habits as soon as the plane touches down.

Eating Habits Emirates Holidays

To help families start as they mean to go on, Emirates Holidays has partnered with a selection of chefs from their top family hotels to create a series of exclusive ‘Little Foodies’ recipes so families can cook together, expand their taste buds and prepare for – or remind themselves of – their holiday through local flavours.

Niel Alobaidi, Managing Director of Emirates Holidays UK & Ireland said: “Travelling is a great way for families to spend quality time experiencing new things together and what better place than during mealtimes? Holidays give a chance to experiment with different flavours in a setting outside of the norm and taking your family on a gastronomic adventure provides a whole new way to experience a country.”

He added: “It’s great to see that many parents are finding that their children are trying out more flavours after their holidays too, and we want to encourage families to have fun by trying out new dishes at home with our Little Foodies recipe cards.”

To find out more about Emirates Holidays’ Little Foodies project and to download the recipes, please visit the Emirates Holidays Blog Page.

Top 10 food home comforts Irish parents take abroad with their family:

1. Biscuits (44%)
2. Crisps (39%)
3. Sweets (35%)
4. Teabags (32%)
5. Cadburys Chocolate (26%)
6. Bread (19%)
7. Popcorn (17%)
8. Instant noodles (17%)
9. Dried fruits (17%)
10. Ready meals (16%)

Top 10 foods Irish children have tried on holiday:

1. Flatbread (45%)
2. Curry (40%)
3. Chicken satay (34%)
4. Chorizo (33%)
5. Risotto (32%)
6. Muffin bread (29%)
7. Tapas (28%)
8. Prawns (28%)
9. Paella (27%)
10. Olives (24%)

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