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People Are Sharing What A Common “Picky Eater Meal” Is In Their Country, And It’s Fascinating

Excuse me while I hide my Costco-sized box of mac 'n' cheese.

Picky eaters! Maybe you were one. Or maybe you ARE one.

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No judgment either way. 😎

Recently, Reddit user u/Buugybuug asked: "What recipes do picky eaters all over the world use? In the U.S., children's food is typically macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, and pizza. What do kids in other countries eat?"

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Here are some of the answers — plus links to recipes if you want to try any for yourself:

1. Japan: Omurice

"It's fried rice wrapped in an egg omelet with ketchup. A classic Japanese kids meal item." —u/greenkoalapoop

Recipe: Omurice

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2. El Salvador: Fried Plantains and Refried Beans

@reinfall12 / Via instagram.com

"Fried plantains and refried beans. Fast, simple, and so tasty! It was my favorite growing up too!" —u/hakunamynalga

Recipe: Fried Plantains

3. The Philippines: Tocino

kawalingpinoy.com

"It's a type of cured meat with a sweet and savory flavor. It's often served with eggs and rice as a breakfast staple in The Philippines. You can substitute the pork for hot dogs, beef tapa (another type of cured meat), or boneless bangus (a delicious fish). Any type of fried protein, really." —u/time_significance

Recipe: Pork Tocino

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4. France: Croque Monsieur

tasty.co

"It's two slices of bread with hot ham and cheese in it. Also popular: gratin dauphinois (oven-baked sliced potatoes with lots of cream), quiche lorraine, quenelles (don’t really know how to explain this one but look it up, it’s delicious), hachis parmentier (Shepherd's pie but without vegetables), crepes, duck confit, and ratatouille." —u/flyingtwig

Recipe: Croque Monsieur

5. South Africa: Mieliepap

@hgeez / Via instagram.com

"In South Africa, mostly mieliepap — which is corn porridge. With milk, meat or just by itself. Any time of the day." —u/hicrhodusmustfall

Recipe: Mieliepap

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6. Finland: Meatballs with Gravy and Mashed Potatoes

reddit.com

"You can think Ikea meatballs but homemade from better ingredients." —u/kermapyllyy99

Recipe: Finnish Meatballs

7. Korea: Gimbap

"I highly recommend gimbap! It looks similar to a Japanese sushi roll but there's no raw fish. Typically what goes in is rice, seasoned and sautéed veggies, fried egg, and meat of your choice. Lately, there has been a lot of American influence so I’ve also seen fusion gimbap like “hamburger gimbap” or ham and cheese.

This may not be an everyday meal since it is work prepping all the ingredients you want to include, but it’s way easier than it looks! You don’t even need the sushi rolling mat. It’s also fun to get the kids involved asking them what foods they want to include and help constructing and rolling them up. Kind of like pizza night — just with gimbap. It’s also a fun, easy, and delicious way to add more veggies into their diet." —u/samanthamirae

Recipe: Gimbap

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8. Mexico: Migas

"Take a few tortillas, slice them into strips, fry them, and pour two to three beaten eggs on top. Let that cook for a minute or two, just enough for the egg to slightly set, and then stir it around a bit so it's not one giant mass. Serve and top with sour cream and salsa Valentina." —u/1moreflickeringlight

Recipe: Migas with Green Chiles

9. Norway: Bread with Liver Paté

@wholefedbabies / Via instagram.com

"Basically all kids here like liver paté. Another surprising thing kids tend to like here is smoked cod roe." —u/antonskarp

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10. Ecuador: Salchipapas

mycolombianrecipes.com

"When I lived in Ecuador as a kid, pretty much all I ate was salchipapas. It’s French fries with cut up hot dogs in it. Also popular in Colombia and Peru. Soooo good." —u/jebidiah95

Recipe: Salchipapas

11. Vietnam: Congee

lovintheoven.com

"Congee is a popular food for Vietnamese kids but adults eat congee too, so there's really no concept of 'kids food' — except for liquid baby food. I grew up in Vietnam and as soon as I could chew properly, I just ate all the same food as the adults in my family." —u/lefrench75


Recipe: Chicken Congee

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12. Egypt: Chicken Pané

sugarandgarlic.com

"It's a filet of chicken breast breaded and fried. To trick your kids into eating veggies alongside, you'd make them zucchini béchamel: imagine a lasagna but substitute the lasagna sheets for grilled long slices of zucchini. Tastes delicious actually, I loved it as a kid." —u/holyammo

Recipe: Chicken Pané

13. Sri Lanka: Dal with Rice

thecuriouschickpea.com

"Rice and masoor (red) lentils, onions, salt, pepper, turmeric powder, asafetida, all cooked in water until it makes a thick homogenous paste —u/[deleted]

Recipe: Masoor Lentil Dal with Rice

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14. Australia: Spaghetti Bolognese

thecozycook.com

"Australian here. When I made spaghetti bolognese for my stepkids, who didn't like vegetables, I would finely chop broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower and whatever vegetable I had in the fridge. They had no idea." —u/sunsetsoiree

"Besides spaghetti bolognese, my picky eater also likes Jamie Oliver's hidden veggie sauce. I use it for pizza (obvs) but also pasta or anything that needs a tomato based sauce to boost the veg. I’m all about hiding the veg!" —u/cmac6470

Recipe: Spaghetti Bolognese

15. South Africa: Chickpea Curry

africanbites.com

"Like chickpea, butterbean or cauliflower curries with coconut milk." —u/mrsgrayjohn

Recipe: Chickpea Curry

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16. Korea: Kimchi Fried Rice

rasamalaysia.com

"In Korea, kids usually eat kimchi fried rice, kimchi soup with rice, and spicy stir-fried Korean rice cake (tteokbokki)." —u/bassguy69420

Recipe: Kimchi Fried Rice

17. India: Rajma Chawal

reddit.com

"It's basically black kidney beans and rice. You can adjust the seasoning. It's so good." —u/metallicafan06

Recipe: Rajma Chawal

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18. Canada: Shepherd's Pie

@mtlcook / Via instagram.com

"A layer of ground beef, under a layer of corn, under a layer of mashed potatoes. You can hide other veggies in the potatoes if you want it healthier." —u/aydyl

Recipe: Shepherd's Pie

19. Ireland: Potato Pancakes (Boxty)

myemeraldkitchen.com

"Often made of leftover mashed potatoes and some flour. We’d have them with eggs and bacon. Not the healthiest but I used to really love it!" —u/fionnnnnnnn

Recipe: Irish Potato Pancakes (Boxty)

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20. Cuba: Arroz Con Huevo Frito

recetasgratis.net

"White rice, fried egg on top, good squirt of ketchup on all of it. It's what I make when I don't really feel like cooking, though I'm willing to wait 20 minutes for rice." —2muchcaffeine4u

"The pinnacle of Cuban comfort food." —u/revolutionaryyam942


Recipe: Arroz La Cubana / Arroz Con Huevo Frito

21. Netherlands: Hutspot

@burgersandpunselies / Via instagram.com

"It's a mashed potato dish with vegetables like carrots and onions in it, served with smoked sausage. In the Netherlands, kids just eat what their parents eat, in smaller portions. This is made possible by the fact that strong seasonings are virtually non-existent in our cuisine." —u/aalphyn

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22. Jamaica: Beef Patties

bonappetit.com

"Meat patties or meat-filled pastries. Also, mackerel in tomato sauce with rice, and canned corned beef cooked in a pan with tomato sauce on rice, or mixed with mayo on hard dough bread." —u/saltporksuit

Recipe: Jamaican Beef Patties

23. Hungary: Főzelék

@dorchef / Via instagram.com

"A főzelék is a vegetable soup thickened with flour and tejföl (somewhere between sour cream and creme fraiche). Usually made with legumes or starchy vegetables. Can be eaten without toppings but it's more frequently topped with fried eggs, hot dogs, or some meat stew." —u/gerusz

Recipe: Főzelék

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24. Israel: Ptitim (Israeli Couscous)

guides.brit.co / Via guides.brit.co

"Israeli couscous is usually seen as a classic kids food. It's said kids are grown up when they start to prefer tahina over ketchup with their food." —u/rbrduk

Recipe: Ptitim (Israeli Couscous)

25. United Kingdom: Sunday Roast

@joshwhiten / Via instagram.com

"U.K. kids food is pretty similar to U.S. kids food, but one thing I was, and am still obsessed with, is gravy on everything. I was a super picky eater as a child, but always loved a Sunday Roast dinner (a British classic!) smothered in gravy.

One more favorite from a former picky eater: baked potatoes, a.k.a. jacket potatoes. I recently revived this dish as an adult and made them topped with roasted broccoli and cheese, yum!" —u/phillipsfreed

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26. Belgium: Stoofvlees

globaltableadventure.com

"It's essentially a meat and beer stew. It's eaten with french fries and apple sauce." —u/kuu_delka
Recipe: Stoofvlees

27. Spain: Croquetas

@albertbuilg / Via instagram.com

"It's breaded and fried and can contain almost everything — like beef, chicken, spinach, or cheese. Last time I made croquetas, the béchamel had brie and Majorcan sausage." —u/llum-foc-destruccio

"Croquetas are a leftover wonder: take any leftover meat and mix it with a béchamel until it gets thick, make a "football" shape, batter it and leave it in the fridge or freezer. When you want to eat them, fry them in very hot oil for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the oil when it's golden brown all around. They are great and I've never met a kid that didn't love them. Vegetable options are fine, but meat ones are a must." —u/atwantstoknow

Recipe: Chicken Croquetas

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28. China: Egg Drop Soup

thewoksoflife.com

"My 2-year-old niece usually eats noodles with egg drop soup. Another common thing on family tables in China is “fried meals”, “fried in Chinese way”, a.k.a. “炒”. So kids eat 炒 food with rice or Mantou (Chinese bread)." —u/qian_yang

Recipe: Egg Drop Soup

29. Lebanon: Maqloube

@baladnaae / Via instagram.com

"Think of a casserole, with lamb or beef and plenty of vegetables (but notably cauliflower and/or eggplant) with rice, served upside-down." —u/cyanideisfun

Recipe: Maqloube (or Maqluba)

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30. Argentina: Milanesas

196flavors.com

"It's breaded thin meat (with beef or chicken) and you either shallow fry it or bake it. I think most kids love milanesas, and if you bake them it can be a healthy meal. We serve it with mashed potatoes." —u/art3mic

Recipe: Milanesas

31. Italy: Risotto

bonappetit.com

"I'm from Northern Italy so I make a lot of risotto; my daughter loves it. She'll eat any veg if it's in a risotto. She loves it with fennel, or zucchini, or celery root, or peas. I occasionally also make it with pear and blue cheese — so good.

And all things pasta. Pesto is her favourite, which I always find amusing as it's green and quite complex flavour IMO. I always add extra veg to it, either zucchini, or green beans, or peas. Always a winner." —u/charliebobo82

Recipe: Classic Risotto

Note: Some answers have been lightly edited for length and/or clarity.

What was your favorite picky eater meal when you were a kid — or even now? Share in the comments!

Need easy dinner ideas?

These meals will make your weeknights way simpler. (And tastier!)

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Need easy dinner ideas?

These meals will make your weeknights way simpler. (And tastier!)

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