Why do French kids eat everything?

Written by: Lianne Castelino

Published: Sep 4, 2012

I have finally found it!  A book that should be required reading for every parent — not to mention any and all non-parents —-responsible for feeding their families and themselves.

This book should the eating publics’ bible.

It’s called “French Kids Eat Everything” and I devoured it during a recent summer trip.  I could not put it down.  I was so moved while reading it that I was compelled to contact the author and tell her how brilliant her book was.  I did both and then asked if I could interview her.  She agreed.

Karen Le Billon is a mother of 2, a native of Montreal, resident of Vancouver, married to a Frenchman and frequent inhabiter of both France and Canada.

During her family’s year-long stay in northern France, Le Billon discovered some powerful differences in the way the French view food versus North Americans.

Her book chronicles that extraordinary journey of realization, and recounts how these learnings educated and empowered her to make changes in her own family’s eating life. She encapsulates this journey by offerring valuable tips that parents, non-parents and the eating public should take note of.

It is, pardon the pun, phenomenal ‘food for thought’.

While we scurry around today, the first day of school in many cities, trying to concoct the most delicious, nutritious, visually-appealing lunch that our kids will inhale, think about this:

How do you view food?  It is a necessary evil, an inconvenience, fuel, fun, more trouble than its worth, a chore?
How much thought or time do you devote to actually enjoying a meal, not simply shovelling, scarfing or swallowing it down?
Why is it that most kids in school get no more than 20 minutes and often less to EAT lunch?  What does this teach them about the value of food?
Do you eat primarily because you are hungry or for other reasons— something to do, boredom, habit?
How often do you dread making dinner for your family?  Why is that?

These are some of the deeper questions addressed in the book that really paint a clear picture of the chasm between how food is perceived by the French versus North Americans.

Eating is not simply an act, it’s an important event rife with emotion and energy — or least it should be.  As parents, much of that emotion is often spent battling children about trying new things, finishing what’s on the plate, food likes and dislikes, picky eaters, etc.  As parents, much of our energy is lost on a host of other tasks and responsibilities during our busy days making food (more often than not) an after-thought.

There are so many gems in this book that it’s no wonder Ms. Le Billon is part of Jamie Oliver’s food revolution.

An inspirational, informative and intelligent read, to say the least.



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