Gino D’Acampo has blamed parents for their children’s fussy eating.
Speaking to Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield on ‘This Morning’ on Tuesday 16 May, the celebrity chef said pickiness is down to “stupid parents”.
“Parents don’t want to fight anymore, parents don’t want to say ‘No’ anymore,” D’Acampo said on the ITV show.
“The easiest thing for them to say is: ‘You don’t want that? Don’t worry about it, I’m going to get you something else.’
“Your house, all of a sudden, is becoming a restaurant.”
D’Acampo continued: “That’s one thing that I just can’t get my head around.
“When I was a child, my mum used to prepare dinner, and that was it, that was what you ate.
“In my house, if the children say no to what I’ve made, they go to bed without dinner.
“If they don’t have one meal they’re not going to die.”
However, the chef did admit his children – Luciano, 14, Rocco, 11 and Mia, four, – prefer it when his wife, Jess, cooks at home because she is more lenient.
“I can understand if you spend all day with the children, and they’re yapping, the last thing you want is an argument at the dinner table,” he added.
He said he begged parents to be “more strict” and to tell their kids: “That’s what you’re going to have.”
But for parents who do have fussy eaters, don’t be disheartened. A study in October 2016 found kids’ picky eating traits were largely down to genes, not parents’ behaviour.
Researchers from the UK and Norway looked at more than 1,900 families with twins aged 16 months to see if genetics were involved in picky eating.
The analysis showed a child’s tendency to be picky about eating is heavily influenced by their genetic makeup and not just their upbringing.
“That these traits were so significantly influenced by genes so early on really indicates how innate the tendency is, and that it is not because of the parents that are kind of moulding [children] into fussy eaters – it is already there when they are 16 months old,” said Andrea Smith, PhD student and lead author of the research from University College London, according to The Guardian.
‘This Morning’ is on weekdays on ITV at 10.30am.