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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

TUI reveals Northern Ireland kids’ favourite foods combos!

Two young boys wearing chefs hats and holding a plate of chips and chocolate.

New findings from TUI BLUE reveal a generation of choosy children when it comes to food, with Northern Ireland’s kids being the most likely to stick to home favourites when on holiday (67%) compared to the rest of the UK. And as well as beachwear, travel games and sun cream, food is high on the holiday planning list with 71% of NI parents admitting to packing the suitcase with snacks from home.


Despite parents calling their children fussy eaters, kids appear to be more adventurous than they are given credit for. Northern Ireland's kids were not against more of the unusual food combinations with cornflakes on pizza (44%) and chips drizzled with melted chocolate (33%) as top choices.


To help families indulge these bolder tastes, TUI BLUE is introducing Adventurous Appetites, a menu of activities, including Odd Bites and Kids Á La Carte, that will put kids in the driving seat, trying new foods and creating new dishes to serve up to their parents this summer. 


Sign up for ‘Odd Bites’, and be prepared to sample some very unexpected food combinations - anyone for marshmallow stuffed olives or coconut coated tomatoes? Families are challenged to unleash their senses and guess what they're eating whilst blindfolded, experimenting with new tastes and encouraging kids to try new foods.


Or try Kids Á La Carte, where children are tasked with opening their own restaurant and the first customers are their parents. After preparing delicious snacks including tasty fruit bugs and rainbow pizzas, kids set up restaurant tables and serve their creations to their parents.


Louise Bates, Managing Director of TUI BLUE said:

"Food is a great way to learn about new cultures – and it’s fantastic so many children are receptive to trying new tastes when holidaying in another country. Our mission with Adventurous Appetites is to encourage braver culinary choices and provide carefree family moments, one plate at a time.

"Holidays are a liberating time when we leave behind our day-to-day routines, so it’s the perfect opportunity to shake up what and how we eat. As well as Odd Bites and Kids Á La Carte, we’ve got a healthy eating challenge and at some hotels we also have kids cooking classes. We’ve also created some useful hints and tips with nutritionist Sarah Almond Bushell to help families have fun with food, stimulate culinary curiosity and embolden fussy eaters to try new things.”

When it comes to making changes, kids are willing to try something new, but they aren’t willing to do it alone. The study found that kids in NI are likely to listen to peers when it comes to trying new foods with 44% of kids responding to other children as much as parents.

Some foods remain firmly on the no-go list however, as avocados are voted the top hated fruit by 33% of NI kids, with mushrooms, cauliflower, parsnips and asparagus topping the list of the least favourite vegetable options.


Sarah Almond Bushell, the child nutritionist whose tips can be found on the TUI BLUE App said:

“Children change their eating habits when food is an enjoyable experience and helping them use all their senses is really important. Eating shouldn't be a chore and repeatedly encouraging experimentation through discovery and play and involving kids in their food choices is the key to expanding picky palettes.

"The experiences that TUI BLUE has introduced do just that, allowing youngsters to innovate and create and bring families together to explore new tastes; a perfect recipe to help children on the road to becoming adventurous eaters.”


Sarah's Adventurous Appetites hints and tips can be found via the TUI BLUE app. Download the app on iOS or Android.


Adventurous Appetites activities will be available as part of TUI BLUE's extensive Kids Clubs Programme at most family hotels this summer.

Find out more at


Top 10 NI Kids Food Combos:

  1. Pizza with a topping of cornflakes

  2. Chips and drizzled melted chocolate

  3. Noodles and melted cheese 

  4. Scrambled eggs and fruit

  5. Broccoli with ice cream

  6. Sweet potato with marshmallows

  7. Hamburgers with peanut butter

  8. Hotdog with popcorn on top

  9. Yoghurt sandwiches (both sweet and savoury)

  10. Salmon and sultanas 

Top 5 NI Kids Most Hated Fruit and Veg:

  1. Avocado

  2. Mushroom

  3. Cauliflower

  4. Parsnips

  5. Asparagus


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