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Kiddie Foodies, a Growing Trend, Face Backlash

Growing Trend of Child Foodies Faces Backlash

Last week, Rocco DiSpirito declared he was sick of foie gras. Then we made a list of things we're over. Here's another tired food trend to add to the queue: kid foodies. Lately, the little ones have been making a lot of noise in the kitchen. First, there was Greg Grossman, a 13-year-old who was the hottest rising caterer on the Hamptons circuit. Then the New York Times told the world about David Fishman, a 12-year-old aspiring food critic, and Paramount promptly purchased the rights to turn his story into a movie. Last, but certainly not least, was Julian Kreusser, a 5-year-old from Portland with a recurring cooking show.

What to make of this growing trend? While those with a fondness for a child's precociousness may be bowled over, the rest of us are left feeling slightly perturbed. In response, at least one journalist has voiced her issue with it.

In a Slate article, food writer Regina Schrambling argues that letting children into the kitchen at such a young age is both dangerous and premature. Childrens' taste buds differ from adult palates and they have a smaller frame of reference for food, making it hard to tell the difference between a good burger and a bad burger. Schrambling writes:

On a larger scale, the trend emphasizes the worst of the food frenzy today: The celebration of celebrity and novelty over authenticity and seriousness.

Maybe it's because I didn't hone my culinary skills until I was an adult, but I have to side with Schrambling. Kids should be kids — childhood, in all its joys, is short enough. Do you agree — are you equally sick of hearing about tots flipping omelets in the kitchen?


Join The Conversation
Rancher'sGirl Rancher'sGirl 8 years
If a child has an interest in cooking, encourage it, within reason.
keiren63 keiren63 8 years
I thought the first two stories were cute, and the caterer was inspiring. And Rachel Ray did a show where she had a contest for young chefs (the prize was to cook for her charity dinner with a top chef) and I was stunned that there are apparently lots and lots of young teens who love to cook. But, when it's a five year old one starts to wonder what the parents are up to...five year olds don't maintain an interest in anything for longer than two days. And I wouldn't let a five year old loose in a kitchen--not safe.
Manoukia Manoukia 8 years
I was apprenticed to the kitchen from the day I could stand on my own two legs and handle a spoon, because that was what I wanted. I was so proud that I could help my parents prepare meals and I annoyed our guests by making sure they tried everything I had touched.
amelioratelj amelioratelj 8 years
Let them cook if they like to cook, whether they are a child or not shouldn't be a deciding factor in whether they should be allowed to be in the kitchen.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I'm with party.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
What's wrong with a kid having a mature palate? I hate it when people think that kids "won't eat" things like pickled herring or lots of spice and garlic. My parents always let us eat any food we wanted and they always encouraged us to try things in the kitchen. Granted, it was always under supervision, but I don't really see a problem with introducing kids to cooking at a young age. Kids that grow up learning how to cook usually make better food choices as adults and they aren't as picky. I get very annoyed at parents who feed their children a strict diet of chicken nuggets, french fries, and Kool Aid and wonder why they won't eat broccoli when they're 12.
i think some people are way too serious! they are kids! theyre havin fun.. no kid should be exploited for any reason. other than that.. who cares! (:
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i think that it's 'cute' that there are kids that have this ability, but i think that to say that they can guide us in what we should like and the sort - i think that it's far-fetched and i would be ok if it would all just stop.
CoconutPie CoconutPie 8 years
I totally agree with syako.
HappyKate HappyKate 8 years
Its not that kids shouldn't be encouraged to cook it's that novel kid foodies are horribly annoying!
partysugar partysugar 8 years
I don't think kids should be foodies, but I'm reading Alice Waters "Edible Schoolyard" and she makes some good points. Kids should be introduced to food and develop an interest in it, but not to the extreme.
syako syako 8 years
Kids should be kids but they should also learn how to cook if it interests them. I think it would be a waste for a parent to say, "nope sorry you're a kid, you can't cook." Kids have wide ranges of interests and hobbies so stamping out one completely is never a good idea. That being said, children should not be turned into professional or celebrity chefs. Children should also be supervised at all times in the kitchen and given age-appropriate tasks. (rachael ray has a thing in her magazine each month with kid-friendly recipes). Teaching a kid to cook is a great way to combat obesity too. It shows the child that they can create yummy and healthful things on their own and they don't need to go out or get fast food when they're hungry.
sandy82 sandy82 8 years
I agree to an extent, but if it's something they enjoy, why not let them do it? There are always young prodigies out there. I do think it's a little much for a 5 yr old to have his own cooking show.
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