Moving her young family to her husband’s hometown in Northern France, Canadian Karen Le Billon expected some cultural adjustment. But she didn’t expect to be lectured for slipping her fussing toddler a snack—“a recipe for obesity”—or to be forbidden from packing her older daughter a lunch in lieu of the elaborate meal on the school menu. Given the fussy habits of her daughters (both picky eaters), she is intrigued by the fact that French children happily eat everything: from beets to broccoli, salad to spinach, mussels to muesli. And she is fascinated to discover that child obesity rates in France are a fraction of what they are in North America.
Le Billon soon begins to see the wisdom in the common sense “food rules” that govern how the French foster healthy eating habits and good manners in babies and children. Some of the rules are controversial (like the rule about 'no snacking', to which the French rigidly adhere), and call into question not only North American eating habits, but also our parenting styles. Other rules evoke common sense habits that we used to share, but have somehow forgotten in this era of 'unregulated eating'. Taken together, the rules suggest that we need to dramatically rethink the way we feed children, at home and at school.
With her (at times unwilling) family, Le Billon tests out ten French Food Rules and vows to have her children “eating French” within a year. The result is a family food revolution--with surprising yet ultimately happy results.
Combining personal anecdotes with practical tips and appetizing recipes—including Zucchini and Spinach Puree, Bouillabaisse (Fish Soup) for Babies, Zesty Orange Salad, and Clafoutis (Sweet Cherry Souffle)—French Kids Eat Everything is a humorous, provocative look at families, food, and children that is filled with inspiration and concrete advice that every parent can use.