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Does Saying "Yuck" Make Your Kid a Racist?

Does Saying "Yuck" Make Your Kid a Racist?

Britain's National Children's Bureau recently issued a 366–page guide to play leaders and nursery teachers with guidelines to help them identify and expel racism in their learning environments. Clearly some behavior can be identified as hateful or xenophobic but this report spells out incidents that are more common to the everyday child yet less obvious to those surrounding them.

Some are taking the guidelines quite literally and claiming that if a child says, "yuck" to a certain cuisine, it can be construed as racist. Giving the NCB the benefit of doubt, I'm going to assume that one particular line is being blown out of context. The UK's Daily Telegraph reports:

The guidance by the NCB is designed to draw attention to potentially-racist attitudes in youngsters from a young age. . . The guide goes on to warn that children might also "react negatively to a culinary tradition other than their own by saying 'yuk'".

If a child finds a certain culture and its cuisine disdainful, then it makes sense that caretakers would try to intervene and educate that child about the positive offerings of that culture. If, however, a child says, "yuck" to a plate of curry chicken, I wouldn't immediately assume the NCB would call the tot racist. If the youngster genuinely hates the taste of curry, "yuck" may be appropriate. If, however, the child simply says "yuck" because the dish is associated with Indian food, there probably is a lesson to be taught and learned.

Join The Conversation
Greggie Greggie 8 years
That's beyond ridiculous.
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 8 years
^ "yuck, this food is.." I included to many "is"'s,lol.
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 8 years
If a child says "yuck" to food it is because the find it gross/not yummy, the last thing they are thinking is "yuck, this is food is French,etc...) I find this "theory" silly.
Audrey1974 Audrey1974 8 years
"Yuck" is an innocent reaction. Certainly, we'd like our kids to be open minded but for someone under the age of 7? Give me a break.
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
i have children who have allergies. other kids see their food and say "yuck", heck, 2 teachers told me they feel sorry for my 8 year old because of what she has in her lunch. why should anyone care what someone else thinks of their meal? my 7 year old hates whip cream, if she says "ewwww! your snack is GROSS!" is that going to make any child feel bad? i doubt it. i think they will eat their whip cream ruight up! i think when the child feels bad about their meal or about themself the comments of others matter, otherwise they don't. a girl in my first graders class brought fish head rice to school for lunch. guess how that went over with 6 and 7 year olds? some of the kids were freaked out at seeing something with eyes being eaten, some kids are vegan. guess what, not everything is our business. keep your eyes on your own plate :)
Dbtabm Dbtabm 8 years
This is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard. You know what makes kids racist?...Turning every tiny little thing into a race issue.
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 8 years
Ya I'm not feeling this report, I don't like Chinese food but I'm greatly fond of Chinese culture. Idk, whatever if my cousin says "yuck" to chinese food he just doesn't like chinese food.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
I agree -- I think the guideline is overreacting. A child's "yuck" reaction is innocent. On the other hand, I've met certain ADULTS that behaved that way. Given the close-mindedness of those individuals, they seemed more racist to me than children. JMHO.
Kim27 Kim27 8 years
I think this is just rediculous. A child does not know the origins of all foods, they say yuck becuase maybe it looks different, smells different or they just plain dont like the taste. Over analyzing things like this is exactly why kids cant play simon says at school because they might feel alienated. They cant play dodgeball becasue it makes them feel targeted, and tag is out of the question because being "it" might cause emotional damage to the childs ego. honestly they are children, let them be. I promise they will grow up just fine like our parents and grandparents did.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 8 years
Maggie - same for my son! He won't eat hamburgers, but will eat lamb biryani or beef curry! This has to be the dumbest report ever - geez...can't kids be kids.
MaggieLei MaggieLei 8 years
My son LOVES curry and says "yucky" to macaroni and cheese (the American kind) and mashed potatoes. What does that make him? I think this says more about parental cooking styles than anything else and the British government isn't going to start regulating what parents cook at home, is it?
Kristinh1012 Kristinh1012 8 years
seriously, that fact that anyone is even doing studies or having guidelines on this is really amazing. If this is what things are going to be like now, what is it going to be like when these kids are adults? I think this is sad. There is never going to be a day when people can just be people.........No one will let it happen.
bluepuppybites bluepuppybites 8 years
Kids usually don't like to try new foods anyway. They're usually happy with the same thing everyday for weeks sometimes! So of course they are most likely going to say yuck and this is gross right off the bat, that's just the way kids are. I agree the parents should introduce and educate about different foods around the world.
snarkypants snarkypants 8 years
um kids usually don't like spicy or strong-flavored foods. this eliminates food from many different cultures. when they get older, they often grow to like the food. this is the dumbest report i've ever seen!
RosaDilia RosaDilia 8 years
This is downright ridiculous. A child's perception of another culture depends how it's introduced to the child by the parents or educators. When my son and I go out to eat I usually like to try different cuisines. Especially in NYC where you can find restaurants of any cuisine imaginable. I always tell my son to try the food first and then comment.
meumitsuki meumitsuki 8 years
Children really don't learn that others "look" different from them until around this age. Saying yuck is not based on the where the food is from, but just because its different. I get "gross" from my 3 year old when I try and give him something other than eggs and yogurt.
kikidawn kikidawn 8 years
I don't think 4 year olds know that curry chicken is from India! They are only saying 'yuck' because they don't like it. Sometimes I think people read way too much into things.
millarci millarci 8 years
Speaking from personal experience, I knew how it felt when kids looked at what I was eating with the 'yuck' face. However, I don't think it makes them racist. I think that they just aren't aware of other cultures and their ethic foods. On the other hand, I think parents should make their kids aware of this and teach them not to say 'yuck' because the food is different.
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