Blog of Sara Jakša

The Culture Differences in Children Nutrition

As I am taking the international children nutrition course, I, along with other participants, noticed the cultural differences, in what is supposed to be child nutrition. And makes the course much more interesting, than if it would be geared strictly towards American audience (the normal way).

There are three different group, as regarding their fears and worries about their children.

I am going to call the first group ‘the American group', because it consist mostly of people living in US. There are also other people, like some of the parents in UK (but some not) and other countries, that were considered developed countries for decades.

These people are worried, that their children are eating too much, eating too much fast food and not enough vegetables. They are the ones, worried about the size of the portions, and how much food should we consume. They are afraid of obesity and illnesses related to it. Most people who never cook before are also in this group.

I had named the second group ‘The Eastern Group', because the first time I noticed that, it was from the participant from Turkey. The members there are numerous. The countries, that were created when the Soviet Union collapsed. People from Balkan, and also some people from UK.

These people are worried about the social pressure. Other people in their countries, especially the older people think, that children should have a lot to eat. So they like giving the food to them. In some of the mentioned countries (like Turkey and Romania), I had read about parents, that are judged, because their child is not chubby enough.

The third group I called ‘The Asia Group', because it was a person from one of the Asian countries, that first brought that problem into attention (that I had noticed). People in this group mostly consist of people from non developed and developing countries.

These people are worried, how the child is going to get enough nutrition. Like for example, where can a child get the needed protein.

To me it seems, like the society's reaction to food changes, as the country becomes more developed. They start as an Asian group, but when the country get more and more developed, the start changing into Eastern group, when there is more food available, but the people did not make a transition yet. And if people do not change their minds, or simply not think about food, then they end as American group.

What I would like to see, it the further evolution, where child having the right amount of food and the right kind of food is something that just happens. Something completely normal.