Back in October, Cara from Health, Home & Happiness mentioned a book called French Kids Eat Everything and gave her take-aways from the book. Intrigued, I borrowed the book from my local library. Overall, I enjoyed the book even as I winced at some of the situations/exchanges that the author encountered with rural French folks (including her mother-in-law). It is written very much like a memoir of the author’s year of living in rural France with her French husband and their two daughters (taking a year to telecommute their university jobs in Vancouver).
Some reviewers felt that the subtitle was a bit misleading. The subtitle is “How Our Family Moved to France, Cured Picky Eating, Banned Snacking, and
Discovered 10 Simple Rules for Raising Happy, Healthy Eaters.” When they came back to North America, they could not continue to be as strict as the French are regarding snacking and slow eating, at least not in the girls’ schools where they get only 10 minutes to scarf down their lunches and they are surrounded by junk/fake food.
I enjoyed the book/memoir and learning about French food culture. In the end, I
decided that the changes that we would make in our “already real food” home were that we would 1. eat our meals together 2. at the table 3. with no distractions (no screens or toys at the table). Additionally, I would serve a wider variety of real foods and everyone gets a serving of everything that I cook, even things that I *know* my kids are not fond of. We gently encourage them to “take one bite to try new things and exercise your taste buds”. I also explain to them that eating a wide variety of veggies with give them the vitamins and minerals that their growing bodies need to be strong and healthy (I can’t help it – I’m am a big nutrition nerd).
I haven’t banned snacking because my homeschooled children only get real food for snacks anyway ever since I banned crackers from my car last spring when I cleaned out my car because it had MOLDY cracker crumbs — GROSS! From then on it was only, apple slices and string cheese because they were less messy. Then I stopped buying crackers altogether because I never let the kids have them in the house — they were car snacks. But then I realized that crackers have NO nutritional value at all so it was easy to say no to buying crackers from then on. Now, when we go out for more than a couple hours, I will pack the apple slices, cheese and sometimes a serving of nuts for each child BUT we will all sit down together and have a picnic “lunch” with our snacks (which happen to already be real food). Yahoo!
Have you read French Kids Eat Everything? What did you think?