I love Karen Le Billon's carefree writing style. She is not afraid to write about the many cultural blunders she made when she moved her family from Vancouver to her husband's native village in France. It was a learning experience for all - including their two young daughters who learned to transition from the American way of eating to the starkly different eating habits of the French.
I love learning from different cultures and adapting these ideas and approaches to fit our lifestyle. Karen suggests 10 "rules" that her family adopted from the French way of eating, which are summarized below:
In the U.S., the focus is generally on how to fit healthy dinners into everyone's schedule. On the other hand, French children, as a rule, learn where food comes from, they help cook and set the table. French kids sit down to eat for every meal. Not only is this taught at home, but in daycare and school as well. If you read about the meals schools serve in France you will be shocked - three-course meals for pre-schoolers? Yup. And you name it, they eat it.
I could especially relate to Karen's struggle with the foods served at American schools and daycares, where let's face it, our children are learning a great deal about how to eat (or what not to eat). Because even if you do everything right at home, they are still learning about food while at school. The best tip I have for parents is to join your child for lunch and observe how children are served, what processes are followed for helping them eat, how much time they have, and then to think about how this could influence the way (and what) they eat.
Even if you don't have time to read the whole book, check out the last section, which has Karen's "rules" with short explanations for each, along with tips for how to put these healthy eating ideas into practice with your own family. It's not only about putting healthy food on the table, it's about creating an experience and helping your children develop a relationship with food that I find so valuable.
What tips or resources do you have to share about healthy eating for kids? Did you read this book or follow Karen's blog? I'd love to know what you think!
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