This morning I saw Karen Le Billon on the telly promoting her new book French Kids Eat Everything. I haven’t got the book yet, but it looks like it has a lot of great ideas gleaned from the cultural divide between the French and American way of eating (French = good food, with time taken to prepare and eat it, a government that works with the community to provide world-class meals in schools; America = quick + cheap food is king, but we’re trying to change).
On the morning news show, Ms. Le Billon talked about not catering to children by preparing separate meals for them, the no snacking rule, and that many French women began exposing their children to first foods that do not include iron-fortified rice cereal, but instead prefer vegetable purees — starting with leeks.
I love the idea that children should not be catered to at dinnertime, and think that if there is a healthy meal on the table, a child should at least be held to it once. But there are some times when our child consistently dislikes a dish and I wait until I have some leftover homemeade vegetable soup from the night before when I am making one of those meals for my husband and I. Sometimes forcing a child to go along with food they dislike causes unnecessary issues with food and I think there should be room for some flexibility there. By luck or insistence, our child eats extremely well. Continue reading