Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ethiopian Eating Gene? Moms, can you weigh in here?

Here is my question for those of you who have Ethiopian kids: Do they eat absolutely everything?

I ask because Charlie, at 14 months, has eaten (and seems to like) the following foods (which I never imagined a child would like):

- broccoli
- Brussels sprouts
- salmon, tilapia and shrimp
- Indian food
- Thai food
- Ethiopian food
- green beans
- cucumbers
- lettuce
- zucchini

Basically, anything I put in front of her. She has only ever rejected one food: pecan pie.

It's great because whenever we go to restaurants, I just order what I want, knowing she will eat half of it. I have never bought her a seperate "kid's meal" or menu item.

She will eat many items that are bitter, sour, etc. Not kiddie type tastes. Some things I don't like yet and she already does. Sometimes I will cook her something I don't like, because it' s healthy for her and I know she will eat it. She also likes the regular kiddie food like Cheerios, oatmeal, bananas, squash, etc.

The question is do your Ethiopian kids eat like this???

My dad has a theory that eating might be in the Ethiopian gene pool as a "strength". Meaning that due to years of starvation and droughts, the Ethiopian people who have survived (survival of the fittest) are the ones who are the least picky. If there is food around, it got eaten.

Or are we extrapolating a country encompassing theory based on the eating habits of one child?


That's why I'm asking other mothers of Ethiopian kids what are your childrens' eating habits like? Do they like a wide variety of "adult" tastes?

PS. There is one other food I had forgotten about that she rejected: Sweet Tarts. Watch this, I think it's hilarious. Little kids tasting lemons and whatnot totally crack me up. Am I a terrible mother for that? Don't call DSS on me! (In my defense, she's not forced to keep eating it....)

Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!

PPSS Charlie said "Bye!" very clearly to the car this morning, and said "ouch" when she got her finger stuck in the wipes box. I have a feeling talking is going to be coming fast and furious now.


Kiki said...

I have no idea about the Ethiopian connection to food, but I will say that my two kids, the pickiest eaters in the world as you are well aware, ate tons of stuff that I wouldn't even think of eating before they were two and then suddenly, almost overnight it stopped. I don't think their tastebuds are fully developed or something. Anyway, just wanted to say I loved that video. My little Charlie girl is so cute and you gotta laugh when they try sour stuff. It cracks me up! Will miss you on Thanksgiving. Look for Matthew & Olivia with my parents on TV at the Macy's parade. They'll be there.

Cathy said...

Kiya eats just about everything as well. She eats broccoli, beets, spinach,sloppy joes, fish, tacos, tater tots, pancakes, waffles, cheese, pasta, rice, turkey, chicken, lasagna.

She has really only rejected chicken nuggets. She will eat the chicken part but not the breading part.

Of course she loves yogurt and green beans and oatmeal banana cereal :)

Shannon- said...

From about 10 mo- about 18 mo- my nephews (not of the ET gene pool) would eat EVERYTHING. Salads with red onions, olives, mushrooms, peppers by the handfuls. Of course that quickly was followed by the 'two's of mac, cheese and chicken fingers.

D.K. said...

my child does not eat like that. In fact, she is very picky and there are some days that I don't think she eats at all.

Sam's mom said...

Sam too is 14 mos. Sam too is a gastrinomical adventurer. He will eat almost anything (provided he isn't teething, then he doesn't want to eat ANYTHING but ice cold carrots, apples, pears.) He isn't a huge fan of sweet, and will make the face Charlie does.
He likes whole-grain better than white flour, which I'm thankful for. He likes injera, but only the real sour kind (not the fake made with molasses for color.) He likes spicy and will eat raw onion.
When he was little he would down ANY type of formula or pediasure or pedialyte. He had no trouble transitioning to milk, and will drink juice (100%) but only if it has raspberry or cranberry in it for tartness. He needs his food seasoned, and NEVER ate "baby food" when younger.

I too think it's an ETH thing. Its my understanding that Guat and Korean kids are the same...must be a "spicy" gene in the body. Also it could be an orphanage thing; ie: you eat what's in front of you.

I AM thankful he's not a picky/fussy eater.

PS: could Charlie BE any more adorable? I think not. I am especially lovin' her 'fro in that video!

Adopting1Soon said...

Someone on the ET families forum wrote that kids' sense of smell develops more at 2 years.

A good experiment then would be to feed a variety of foods from birth to a sample of kids from the US and from ET and see what happened in that 2nd to 3rd year.