“It takes a brave couple to move two picky–eater kids into a French small town and convert them to foodie omnivores. We have much to learn from European food traditions, and the contrast between French and North American school lunches is a striking example. A must–read for teachers and parents.” (Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University and author of What to Eat)
“Humorous as well as instructive, this culinary adventure will change the lives of parents and children alike. . . . Karen Le Billon and her children learn that it’s okay to feel hungry between meals, turn to mindful eating, and learn the importance of enjoying one’s food.” (Patricia Wells, author of The Provence Cookbook)
“This book is not only about how to teach children (and yourself) to eat well and happily for life, it’s a book about how to help build and maintain the foundations of any civilized society. I loved it. Essential reading, whether you have children or not.” (Laura Calder, author of Dinner Chez Moi and host of French Food at Home)
“A wonderful―and important―book. One family’s topsy-turvy culinary transformation becomes an in-depth exploration of the habits that have kept French kids loving food (and eating spinach) for centuries.” (Elizabeth Bard, author of Lunch in Paris)
“A fascinating and valuable read.” (Lynne Rossetto Kasper)
“A breezy but practical volume for hurried parents looking to keep their kids well-fed. . . . [The] tone is straightforward, generous, and gentle. That Le Billon concludes with a small collection of kid-friendly recipes makes this foodie manifesto all the more accessible.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Le Billon . . . strategically identified questions she faced while living abroad: Why were French kids tidier eaters? Why did they sit quietly at restaurants? Why did her daughter’s teacher suggest she see a therapist when she wanted to pack her school lunch?” (BonAppetit.com)
“Portrays the stark contrast between French foodways― valuing communal meals, diverse foods and good taste― and Americans’ round-the-clock snacking and narrow, market-driven tastes…We now have the occasional course that lets us glimpse the soul nourishment that marks the French approach to food.” (Portland Press Herald)
From the Back Cover
Moving her young family to her husband’s hometown in northern France, Karen Le Billon expected some cultural adjustment. But she didn’t expect to be lectured for slipping her fussing toddler a snack, or to be forbidden from packing her older daughter a school lunch. Karen is intrigued by the fact that French children happily eat everything—from beets to broccoli, from salad to spinach—while French obesity rates are a fraction of what they are in North America.
Karen soon begins to see the wisdom in the “food rules” that the French use to foster healthy eating habits and good manners in babies and children. Some of the rules call into question both our eating habits and our parenting styles. Other rules evoke commonsense habits that we used to share but have somehow forgotten. Taken together, the rules suggest that we need to dramatically rethink the way we feed children, at home and at school.
Combining personal anecdotes with practical tips and appetizing recipes—including Zucchini and Spinach Puree and Bouillabaisse (Fish Soup) for Babies—French Kids Eat Everything is a humorous, provocative look at families, food, and children that is filled with inspiration and advice that every parent can use.
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French Kids Eat Everything is a wonderfully wry account of how Karen Le Billon was able to alter her children’s deep-rooted, decidedly unhealthy North American eating habits while they were all living in France.At once a memoir, a cookbook, a how-to handbook, and a delightful exploration of how the French manage to feed children without endless battles and struggles with pickiness, French Kids Eat Everything features recipes, practical tips, and ten easy-to-follow rules for raising happy and healthy young eaters—a sort of French Women Don’t Get Fat meetsFood Rules.