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Gourmet Kids: The Rise Of A New Generation Of Foodies

Gourmet kids are everywhere

If your children are becoming more discerning at the dinner table, you’re not alone, reveals startling new research.

OpenTable, a leading online restaurant reservation platform, has discovered that Australia’s new generation of food aficionados has an undeniable appetite for all-things gourmet.

Its new Gourmet Kids report reveals over a third (39%) of parents consider their children to be ‘foodies’, and nearly one in three parents (30%) admit their children favour fine-dining over fast food.

Aussie kids prefer gourmet to fast food

The majority of Australian mums and dads (75%) revealed that when dining out, their kids prefer to order from the adult menu rather than the specific children’s menu.

The research also showed the average Aussie child has dined at a hatted restaurant at least twice in their life. Three in four (74%) parents say their children eat out more often than they did growing up.

“Every day we see more and more parents and their kids coming into our establishments for a family meal, many of whom are ordering dishes for their little ones from the adult menus,” says John Fink, Creative Director at FINK Group, whose portfolio of restaurants includes Quay, Bennelong and OTTO.

“It’s fascinating to see mature palates from such a young age; across the board, our young diners are open to new delicacies and are becoming connoisseurs in their own right.”

Younger diners are enjoying feasting on everything from raw fish and high-quality red meat to the latest health-food fads.

Sushi (49%) takes the top spot as the most popular gourmet dish among Australian children, and reigned supreme in each of the surveyed locales, closely followed by macaroons (38%) and smashed eggs on toast (38%).

According to the Gourmet Kids report, the 10 most popular gourmet dishes, foods and drinks for Australian children are (in order of preference):

  1. Sushi (49%)
  2. Macaroons (38%)
  3. Smashed eggs on toast (38%)
  4. Coconut water (30%)
  5. Scallops (29%)
  6. Veal (27%)
  7. Crème brûlée (26%)
  8. Wagyu beef (25%)
  9. Almond milk (24%)
  10. Lobster (24%)

Home delivery specialist Gourmet Dinner Service (GDS) provides another way to satisfy your child’s inner foodie.

It’s just launched a ‘Back-to-School Rescue Pack’, which includes a variety of gourmet ready-made meals to give parents more time to get the family schedules in order.

Gourmet Delivery Service for kids

Available until the end of February, the pack prepared by a Michelin-trained chef includes: Bolognaise pasta sauce, Chicken teriyaki + Fried rice, Risotto cakes w pesto, Mac + cheese + Beef burgers all for just $130.00.

The family meals serve four to six with a range of sides and salads also available.

Janel Horton, managing director and founder of Gourmet Dinner Service, says the promotion reflects the spike in demand from a more discerning market.

“These little ‘gourmands’ seem to be developing a more sophisticated palate due to the wider range of food their parents serve at home from a younger age,” she says.

“We tend to see this in the ordering patterns of our customers. While we have family meals available,  mums’ are also ordering from the main menu for the entire family as they are looking for more than ‘kid friendly’ meals. It’s not unusual for families to order Massaman Beef Curry, Moroccan Chicken, Lamb Tagine and Russian Salmon Pie.”

Written by James Graham

With over 20 years as a journalist and TV producer, The Carousel Editor James Graham has a wealth of experience covering the full media spectrum.

James has a formidable reputation as a talented media veteran and worked as a reporter, script writer and as the producer of the TV documentary The Road To Athens.

He has worked across newspapers, radio and the biggest flagship magazine brands in Australia and New Zealand. Previously, James was the News Director at Woman's Day and New Idea.

Whether filing celebrity exclusives, or some of the biggest real-life splashes of recent years, James’ career has always been at the frontline of mainstream media.

When not in the Ed’s chair, you’ll find him at Royal Randwick, his beloved Long Reef Golf Club on the Northern Beaches – or visiting his mum in his native New Zealand.

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