I have been completely inspired by some new readings I discovered recently about how the French (particularly their children) eat. I wouldn’t say my two toddlers were bad eaters. However, we had slowly been becoming more and more lax, and I noticed meal time consisting of them picking at their plates for a few short minutes before jumping down and playing again. As one could only guess, this equaled zero trips to restaurants. I was not about to be the mom with two wild banshies running through the aisles while she tried to scarf down her plate, tasting nothing in the process.
I knew we needed a change but wasn’t particularly sure in what way we should embark. This is when I discovered the ways of the French. I have slowly started incorporating more and more of their eating habits into our family life.
It has been AMAZING!
My kids actually sit at the table and eat–for a long time! So long I have been able to enjoy each and every one of my own meals to the very last bite, even finishing before them sometimes. Wow, talk about a mommy dream!
This has been working so well with us that I would love to start share some of these tips with you!
Do we follow all of these all of the time? Of course not. Rules are made to be bent, right? There are vacations, sick days, soccer days. . . it just doesn’t always fly. But on a whole, this is how we do eating over here.
Each Friday I will be sharing a different “French kid” method we have started incorporating! Here is my first Friday’s French kid!
We keep snacking to the ultimate low.
What? Am I really being serious right now??? What kid, or American for that reason, doesn’t snack–all the time. Before implementing this new way, I did not leave the house without something always in my diaper bag. The kids even knew it, digging through its contents whenever they felt the need for some more goldfish crackers or cheerios. Their carseats were always filled with something in the cup holder, their stroller the same.
French kids eat three solid meals a day, with one small nutritious snack after school, such as a piece of fruit or applesauce.
What does this mean, this limited snacking? It means your kids are hungry when mealtime rolls around. And hungry kids eat! As the French say, “Hunger is the best seasoning,”
This one was huge for me. I always worried about my kids being hungry, therefore we snacked. A little hunger, however, is not a bad thing. It is something that is actually good for them to learn as children, rather than growing into adults who always feel the need to snack whenever a little pang hits. If you wait until the meal, when you are truly hungry, that serving of mixed veggies is going to both look and taste great. If you filled yourself up on granola bars, you will probably just skip right over those veggies to something else.
By only eating at meal times, with perhaps a small, nutritious snack when we know a meal may be running a little late that day, this momma has reached a new victory over here.
My kids are actually hungry at mealtime, and they EAT! Just yesterday I made this delicious cheesy chicken & broccoli quinoa dish. I doubted they would really eat more than a few bites of this health filled bowl. I couldn’t believe it when I just sat down to my own bowl that I heard them both requesting “more.” I filled their bowls up three times!
Why? For starters, because they were hungry. There is more reasoning as well, but that will wait for next Friday’s post. 🙂
What are your thoughts on this? How do you do meals/snacks around your place? I would love to hear your thoughts!