What Italian Children want
What do Italian children want to eat? Not just the fussy eaters but kids, in general.
They are not all that different from other children. They tend to like unchallenging food. First of all food they see other people eat and appreciate. Preferably with little seasoning, especially not too spicy and not green.
During childhood the notion of comfort food develops. The love for dishes that never ceases.
What Children want: breakfast
Italian breakfast has two main ingredients. What children want are milk and biscuits. Usually store-bought ones. Cereals too are a welcome breakfast. With a little twist: they add them to milk, not vice versa.
Older children may have their milk with a drop of coffee. Or a spoon of orzo bimbo.
Children rarely have savoury food for breakfast. The mere idea of having eggs or cheese makes them shiver. Till one day they try it, of course.
There is no juice on the Italian breakfast table. Except when it is fresh juice, in orange time.
Merenda aka snacks
Italian school starts at eight and finishes at two. So a mid morning snack is essential. What children want and what they are given is not the same. Over the years industries marketed snacks as healthy. And easy to bring to school. They are often overloaded with sugar and dubious ingredients. They are know as merendine. A valid alternative, a tad sad, are crackers.
Depending on the point of view, lucky ones have a healthy, home made snack. Or rosticceria picked up on the way to school.
What Children want : lunch
Since school ends at two, children are pretty hungry when they get home. And they just want to eat.
Often that is pasta. The infantile top three? Pasta with tomato sauce, pasta with pesto and pasta carbonara. All three served with a generous amount of grated Parmesan cheese.
Younger kids have pastina, little pasta. Mixed with blended veggies or just oil and cheese.
A classic dinner option for Italian children is the breaded cutlet. Accompanying with vegetables is a well-know struggle.
They do like pizza. Until a certain age they have margherita pizza. Sometimes with fries and Viennese sausage.
The most popular ice cream taste among children is chocolate.
A special thanks goes to Marco Trancchina, Bea and Eva Spena for their appreciated collaboration on the topic.