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.
what do you think?
Oh good, another reason for British people to feel bad about ourselves.
Parents are too soft. When I was a kid you ate what was put in front of you and didn't leave the table until finished. It's a simple battle of wills.
Some parents will take the easy option and give in to their children's demands! If parents make a fuss over them, pandering to their every whim! (bribes)The child will make a fuss too.
perhaps if people sat down to the table to eat food and use this eating time as quality time then children just might enjoy adult food more
Allergies,intolerances,fussiness , complete absence of table manners,no appreciation of healthy eating and unbelievable wastage . . . . . . and that's just the 4 years olds in reception class . . . . . don't get me started on the teachers !
Was this a joke? It is a big responsibility to become a nutritionist - and start to give advice on National TV. Even more so when we talk about "child nutrition". Annabel Karmel may not be the name to recommend in these matters unfortunately. All her "expert advice" was superficial, irrelevant, even ridiculous.. I hope Sky News will call in a serious Child Nutritionist next times. It would be good to hear and see on Sky real and intelligent advice, especially at this level, from people with a real expertise, not nonsense. OPR