I’ve been delving into the world of non-fiction lately, and one of my recent finds has me ready to buy a beret and my husband bemoaning my enthusiasm.
It’s a book by Karen Le Billon, and it’s called French Kids Eat Everything.
For those of you with kids (especially picky eaters), stop what you’re doing now and go buy the book. Right now. I’ll wait…
And for the rest of you who don’t have kids, listen up. This book is for you too. Here’s the gist: Food is central to French culture (duh). They respect food and mealtime and demand that their children do the same. Now before you imagine totalitarian parental control, and pain and suffering for parents and youngsters, bear with me. Rules and a little discipline at mealtime do not an unhappy family make. The French have mastered the art of eating well, and they pass that art on to their children, which means that they have a serious leg up on those of us who live outside of their culture.
“We’re not French. We’re never going to be French!” my husband tells me. And to him I say, you’re missing the point. I don’t want to be French. I’m sure there are aspects of my life that I’d prefer to theirs. But not food and the culture that surrounds food. Tell me, what is wrong with a little discipline in eating habits? What’s the problem with reining in snacking, introducing a new item to the menu, expecting your child to at least taste what you provide, and putting a table cloth and candles out at dinner?
Yes, you too can use cloth napkins.
I have another non-fiction book on using linens, and what do you think my husband thinks of it? Well, that’s another blog post for another time.