Tuesday, May 29, 2012
A Canadian married to a Frenchman, the author moved with her husband and two young daughters to northern France for a year. However, she was totally unprepared for the culture shock she experienced when it came to food. She discovered that French children, almost without exception, do not eat unscheduled snacks, behave impeccably at the table for hours at a time, and eat almost any food! Le Billon’s daughters, on the other hand, were typical North American children (like mine) -- turning their noses up at new foods, begging for snacks all the time, and misbehaving at the dinner table. When she enrolled her oldest daughter in preschool, the author discovered that the children ate a well-rounded hot meal for lunch, and everyone ate the same thing -- and liked it! And food was never used as a reward or treat for the children. Needless to say, it was a tough adjustment for the family!
French Kids Eat Everything is an honest and highly enjoyable read. The author admits to feelings of guilt and inadequacy in feeding her children, which I can relate to, and acknowledges that life in France was much more difficult than she had anticipated. But with the rising rates of obesity, especially among children in North America, I think we could learn some valuable lessons about feeding our families from the French -- with adaptations for life in North America. Like any new way of doing something, changes must take place gradually and with flexibility. But by adapting at least some of Le Billon’s food rules in French Kids Eat Everything, we may begin to see more enjoyable meals, healthier bodies, and fewer food battles at home.
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Author's blog: http://karenlebillon.com
About the Book: http://karenlebillon.com/books