Monday, February 16, 2009

French Preschool Teaches How to Enjoy Food

NPR Story from this morning.

I did a menu comparison for French, European and US schools a while back. Here is an actual French preschool menu that I have translated as well. The NPR story visits a preschool in France at meal time where the children are encouraged to taste their menu of braised leg of lamb, cheese course, carrots, cauliflower au gratin. The kids are also taught to eat in courses, stay seated until all kids are done and to try all the new foods, and enjoy the trying.

The French believe that by teaching kids to enjoy meals in courses, company, real foods, and the dining experience, it will help prevent obesity.

I kind of giggle when I hear these things because I have sent my own child off to school with braised lamb over polenta. This morning, her lunch contained brined and smoked pork chop, mushroom risotto, carrots in artichoke pesto, rustic bread with pepitas, and grapefruit sections. Her teacher jokingly requests for me to pack her lunch, too.

The giggling stops when I look at US menus and what passes for a meal here. There is something horribly wrong in our relationship with food.

4 comments:

Chiot's Run said...

And here we think kids will only eat hot dogs and chicken nuggets. Disgraceful. I love it when I go into a restaurant and the parents have their kids eating whatever they are, not fried fake food that looks nothing like it's origin.

Expatriate Chef said...

Amen. "Kid Food" is one of the biggest myths and one of my biggest pet peeves.

Rachel said...

Totally. I get really fed up with restaurants that have kids' menus. And the prices! The BS of a restaurant charging $8-10 for a serve of nuggets and fries!?!

whizkidforte said...

Finally - we all can learn a lot from the French! Restaurants should take note of this and model their menus at least after their adult counterparts so that kids can try new foods!