I love the French Eating rules above. I came across it on Bon Appetit and thought you may like it too. I have been fascinated with all things French lately. Maybe it is time to revisit France but till that happens I am enjoying the books I have been reading on how French eat – Bringing up Bebe and French Kids Eat Everything. In understanding how French feed their kids I have come to realize that I have been unknowingly French in teaching my children eating habits. Here are a few of my favorite non-negotiable rules:
Rule #1: Parents – YOU are in charge of Food Education
So true! As parents we fuss over what classes our kids take, what school our kids will go to, their activities, their play friends etc..but most of us don’t spend the same energy when it comes to teaching kids why they need to eat what they are eating.
I am constantly trying to teach my kids why eating certain things is good for them. i.e. You take Omega 3 for brain health, you need to eat a balance of carbs, protein and fat in every meal. If your pee is dark then you need to drink more water etc. By always associating food with what it is doing their bodies, the kids are interested in taking care of themselves.
Rule #2: Kids Eat what Adults Eat
Once we crossed over the initial solid food stage, the kids have eaten whatever the adults have eaten in the home. There is no kids meals in our home, it is one food for us. What separates the kid meal from the adult meal in our home is how it is presented. I try to have fun with the food for the kids. I have lots of plates for the kids to eat from. Sometimes I use these plates from uncommongoods.com and create a face from the food, or I use steel plates with partitions in them, or use different themed plates for a meal.
I might also make the same thing slightly different for the kids – if I am making Indian bread, rotis, then I may make a monster roti, or a butterfly roti. I believe these little things make childhood special and create lasting memories.
Rule #3: No snacking between meals
In my experience when kids come hungry to the dining table, they will eat whatever is there or are less picky. I always find my kids are more willing to eat anything on the table for breakfast and dinner (as long as they are not really tired). Because these are the times when they are the hungriest. Their only snack a balanced meal of protein, carbs and fat is around 3pm and after that the next meal is dinner.
What are your food rules? I would love to hear what you do in your home.. so come one leave a comment.