It’s that time of the year again – the time when kids across the world are sent out to beg for sweets and then come home on a sugar high that will see them through until Santa delivers the selection boxes.
What’s not to love about a bit of trick or treating – and of course parents can maybe get away with ‘sharing’ a few of their offspring’s sweet treats (there’s got to be some perks to spending hours with the face paints creating the world’s cutest werewolf.
And, of course, the shops (ourselves included) are jam-packed full of chocolate and lollipops and jelly sweets in the shape of pumpkins, spiders and bats!
But, according to some research we spotted, maybe we’re underestimating exactly what constitutes a treat for youngsters nowadays...?
Restaurant chain Giraffe undertook some research into children’s eating habits which revealed some surprising results. A third of parents said their children are culinary adventurous and half said ‘they will try most things’. They obviously didn’t question me or my offspring.
As a result, most British kids have tried curry, crayfish and olives by 5; mussels and quinoa by 6; and sushi by 7 – along with tacos, oysters, squid and Japanese katsu - all at a much younger age than their parents would ever have done. I still know plenty of grown-ups who wouldn’t try an oyster!
The survey found that around one in five kids had tried paella and tapas when holidaying in Spain. One in 20 had apparently given frogs’ legs a go. Just over a quarter were competent with chopsticks (something I’m still not consistently able to do!)
How much of this is down to pushy parents is a matter of debate – one in five parents said there was competition with friends over whose kids were most adventurous with food. And, of course, many - 40 per cent - said they loved posting pictures of the exotic food their children had tried on social media. How Instagram-able is a Happy Meal? And it’s fair to say exotic ideas for your child’s lunchbox abound on Pinterest.
So, this Halloween, maybe put away the Haribo and fun size chocolate bars, and start handing out the mini tubs of Hummus, and snack packs of edamame beans or sushi. Sounds like they’d go down a treat!