UK & World News
British Toddlers 'Europe's Fussiest Eaters'
A survey into European toddlers' eating habits has found those from the UK are the most likely to refuse food - with British parents most likely to give in to what their child wants.
The European Toddler Nutrition Index research suggested children under five years old from the UK are the fussiest eaters, with 26% refusing meals at least once a day - compared to 15% in both France and Germany.
Nikki Carlisle, from south London, has a 15-month-old daughter, Ella, and admits meal-times can be a struggle.
"It can be stressful because you want the best for them, and you know the best is home-cooked food, and if they're refusing to eat it then, yeah, naturally stressful," she said.
The survey found 43% of mothers from the UK let their toddler get away with not eating certain foods in order to save time and effort, compared to 33% in France and 41% in Germany.
French mother Astrid Guler lives in London with her 17-month-old son Mathis and said she was surprised by some of the eating habits here.
"When I take the tube or the bus I'm always quite amazed when I see kids going to school eating a bag of crisps in the morning, which is quite shocking," she said.
"And also, when I go shopping and I see the baskets of certain women and what they're buying for their children, it doesn't seem very balanced."
Children's food expert Annabel Karmel believes UK mums have a hard time though.
"We work longer hours than anyone else in Europe and, as a consequence, parents feel quite guilty about not spending enough time with their children, and so often just give children whatever they want to eat just so they're happy," she said.
According to the survey, 69% of UK toddlers regularly refuse food, compared to 54% of French under-fives and 58% of those in Germany.
A total of 1,005 British mothers and 1,531 across Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, and Italy were surveyed for Growingupmilkinfo.