Category Archives: Books

Book Review: French Kids Eat Everything

French Women Don’t Get Fat, Bringing Up Bebe, and now French Kids Eat Everything. Come on! I know the French aren’t perfect, so why are we so drawn to these titles?! Admittedly, I was a big fan of French Women Don’t Get Fat back in graduate school. I had been meaning to re-read it, but never got around to it. I highly recommend it if you just need a little nudge to keep your weight under control using common sense and simple recipes. Bringing Up Bebe hasn’t interested me enough, so far. The French don’t do everything right, but they mostly do food right. I’m glad I chose to read French Kids Eat Everything, and I wanted to share.

The author, Karen Le Billon, is a Canadian woman married to a French man. She divides her time in both countries with her two little girls. I trusted her opinion right off the bat. She’s real, she’s honest, and she makes food mistakes just like the rest of us snack-happy North Americans. I’m not going to go into details about her rules and findings, you can read a nice summary here¬†and Le Billon has a blog too. I really encourage you to read this book if you have picky eaters, or if you need help getting back on track with some food rules you already hold dear to your heart (that’s me). If you have a small baby or are expecting a baby soon, you should definitely read this book. The French introduce vegetables first to get babies accustomed to the tastes. Le Billon includes some puree recipes, and a rough guide for introducing new foods. The book is currently on sale for $15 at most retail outlets, and you can find digital copies for even less!

There is one thing that shocked me about the French. Their breastfeeding rates are dismal! Most French women breastfeed for a couple months, and usually put their newborns on strict feeding schedules right off the bat (while in the hospital). I just cannot get on board with any of that, but everything else is pretty great. I had one “duh” moment when Le Billon says that some families give their kids a bath before dinner. Why didn’t I think of that?! Although, that would require two parents…at least in my house, one to cook and one to bathe.

The results? We are only a few days into the experiment, and I haven’t even told David about all of the new food rules we should attempt to follow. He just thinks I’m a Francophile dork, but he knew that before marrying me. Despite the early stages, Estelle is already showing a greater willingness to try new things. As the author warns, it’s a slow process. Since Estelle is still in the “opposition phase” of life (ages 2-4), I have very low goals. I just want her to try new stuff, she doesn’t have to like it or eat it, but she does have to keep trying it. David and I both eat a wide variety of foods, so I have no doubt that if we continue to model good food habits, Estelle will follow suit.

Have I convinced you to read the book yet? I would let you borrow my copy, but I’m the bozo who bought a digital copy for my iPad. It’s just a little difficult to share digital books! French Kids Eat Everything might be my new go-to baby shower gift, paired with a cute set of baby dishes.

Bon appetit, mes amis! It’s almost the weekend! Any fun plans? We’re just staying in town, trying out a new urban party style with the neighbors. I hope my vagueness is intriguing, I will be sure to share the party results after the weekend! The Father’s Day gifts I ordered on Sunday haven’t arrived yet, so David might have to live with waffles, crafts projects, and Camden Riversharks baseball until his gifts get here.

Stephanie