Different cultural expectations and traditions (Nepal and Australia)

The way we feed babies and young children isn’t always the same in Nepal and Australia. It can be hard to manage this sometimes, especially when grandparents or in-laws are around (we have a whole page on this here!

Chaotic mealtimes | Nut allergies | After vomiting | What is okay?

Chaotic mealtimes

Wherever meals are held – at a table, pirka or chatai – they can sometimes get a bit chaotic, with parents trying to manage feeding, time pressures, and other responsibilities, all while children might be making a mess, being noisy, or wandering off. Often parents find it hard to keep meals to a set routine and habit in the way that they would usually happen in Nepal.[NH2] 

“In our family meals can be quite chaotic.”

[parent name]

Parents told us about things getting messy [HLINK], children wandering around, or taking a long time to finish a meal.

In fact, messy, chaotic meals are normal for most families in Australia – from all cultures! Other sections of this website (in English) describe how meal-times can be for other families. [Are there good CF pages we can link to? Should we consider parts of this for translation?]

One parent explained how she found watching videos on YouTube helped her. We’ve made some videos especially for Nepalese families [HLINK]

“Watching videos on youtube helped me. It made me feel it’s easier. Like to feed pasta on a high chair. These kids were eating easily on the video. So I tried putting my child in a high chair. They were eating by themselves so I also thought maybe I could let them try too. It was very messy on the video as well!”

[parent name]

Nut allergies

The issue of nut allergies can be confusing. People often make a big deal out of it here in Australia, but not in Nepal.

“Stories and issues about nuts are so different in Australia. I find it hard to understand. In Australia there is so much about nuts allergy, but with Nepalese that’s a primary thing mothers and children eat.”

[parent name]

Would be nice to have some ‘clinical’ input here and a link to an external site with guidelines about nuts. Maybe a brief explanation of why we might be careful about nuts, even though it’s often fine.

Feeding after vomiting

Often in Nepal, parents might feed a child straight away after they vomit. Nepalese families living in Australia noticed that this wasn’t so common in Australia. One parent explained:

“Don’t feed your kid if they vomit. We Nepalese try to feed soon after they vomit. That’s not necessary.”

[parent name]

Brief clinical message or external link here would be nice.

What is okay?

In Australia there are often guidelines from health services about what is safe and healthy to feed children at particular ages. Many parents aren’t quite sure what the guidelines are. Sometimes these guidelines might be different from traditional ways of feeding children in Nepal.

“I am a bit worried about giving salty food: I wonder if it’s too early and whether he’s too young for these foods at 14 months”.

[parent name]

The guidelines are only a guide, and if you’re unsure or things don’t seem right, you can always ask your GP doctor. There are lots of options for offering Nepalese-style food within the guidelines that are commonly used in Australia.

Brief clinical message or external link here would be nice. HLINK to comment in paasni section about salty foods

I hope we can link to a new resource and/or video with age-appropriate and culturally-relevant info

Changed from ‘table manners’ based on Anjana’s feedback

 [Modified also after Anjana’s feedback

 [Good point from Anjana about guidelines that exist in Nepali (can Binita help us find some?) – how do they relate to Australian/WHO standards?

Do we want to differentiate

  1. Being able to access the guidelines
  2. Finding your way as a parent in Australia, even with the guidelines in mind?