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French Kids Eat Everything

At 15 months we learned that Logan had a severe peanut allergy, and we learned it the hard way: allergic reaction. Almost immediately we saw his predispositions toward being a picky eater turn into something much more.

Imagine your child being on guard all the time. And over time that fear of unknown foods turning into a habit.  As parents, suddenly we found that despite our best efforts, Logan began to eliminate more and more foods from his diet.

Food became a power-struggle. I was in a constant state of worry about Logan’s nutritional intake. And already on the smaller side, food strikes were not an option. Working with a feeding specialist we learned that Logan wasn’t really a picky eater, but a “Problem Feeder.”

French Kids Eat Everything

Fast forward 5 years…these days Logan is still “Picky” by my standards, thought I’m certain that he eats a much healthier and nutritionally well-rounded diet than many of our fellow American children.

His diet is FULL of fresh fruits and vegetables. He PREFERS whole grain and whole wheat bread to any other variety. He eats sweets in moderation. He follows Michael Pollan’s advice to “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

So what’s the problem? We’ll, we’re still fighting the battle. The odds are in our favor despite the fact that Madeline has chosen to join forces with her brother. Slowly I see small victories that will translate into a war won. But I’m ready for it to be over.

Our picky eaters.

Picky eating is an issue that we are working on DAILY in our home. I am always on the lookout for Picky Eating Tips as well as Nutrition Tips for Picky Eaters. I think it is a safe assumption that picky eating is always on my mind.

When I received an invitation to review a copy of the book French Kids Eat Everything, by Karen Le Billon I was naturally intrigued. Especially when I came to the subheading of the book: How Our Family Moved to France, Cured Picky Eating, Banned Snacking, and Discovered 10 Simple Rules for Raising Happy, Healthy Eaters. Cured picky eating? Sign me up!

10 Simple Rules for Happy, Healthy Eaters

We have already mostly banned snacking since I began reading this book. The exception: a snack of a fruit or vegetable is allowed in the event someone really is hungry (and not just bored). This has increased my children’s fruit and vegetable intake.

What I didn’t realize when I began reading French Kids Eat Everything was how badly Madeline needed help as well. I have noticed in the past few months how little she has been eating at dinner.

She had taken to spending all her time between meals snacking on things like yogurt, crackers, dried fruits, etc. While those items are healthy in moderation, the simple fact that she wasn’t eating her dinner because she had filled up on snack foods did not sit well with me.

I am also a big fan of rule #6 – You don’t have to LIKE it, but you have to TASTE it. I’ve been saying this all week and somehow have been able to gently encourage Logan into eating a few bites of rice from our stir fry dinner.

Watch the Trailer for French Kids Eat Everything:

More Interesting Reads from Karen Le Billon:

I could write a book about how this book is changing my outlook on feeding my kids. I have already had some thought provoking discussions with Allison (she read the book too).

The takeaway tips are helpful and practical. The writing is enjoyable as is it incredibly intriguing to peak into how the French view food and education. And there are adorable illustrations throughout from the lovely Sarah Jane (we have a few of her prints in Madeline’s room).

If after reading French Kids Eat Everything you are hungry for more, head over to Karen’s blog. I loved these posts about the French’s approach to kids food, how to deal with picky eaters, and thoughts on snacking. Click on over and give them a read!

Giveaway Prize (2 winners):

Each winner will receive one copy of French Kids Eat Everything, by Karen Le Billon

Giveaway Requirements:

  • Do you have picky eaters in your home? How would you use French Kids Eat Everything to reform their taste buds and eating habits?
  • Contest ends May 25, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. PST.
  • Contest open to USA residents only.
  • Winners will be chosen via random.org and will have 3 days to respond before disqualified and a new winner chosen.

Optional Extra Entries:

Additional entries can be earned by doing any of the following, giving you a total of 4 extra entries. Leave a separate comment for each of your entries.

1. Follow GoodLifeEats and Karen Le Billon on Twitter and ReTweet the following message: I just entered to win a copy of @karenlebillon’s new book, French Kids Eat Everything, from @goodlifeeats http://su.pr/2ezuYf #giveaway #books

2. Share this post on Facebook. Come back here and let me know that you did.

3. Like GoodLife Eats and Karen Le Billon on Facebook. Come back here and let me know that you did (or already do).

4. Share this post on Pinterest. Come back here and let me know that you did.

 

Disclosure: I was provided with a review copy of the book as well as the giveaway prize.

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Trista

Monday 16th of December 2013

I know you posted this a while ago, but I found this on my search on picky eating. I'm interested in reading this book, but let me tell you about what our battle is at the dinner table. There's that rule, "You don't have to like it, but you do have to try it." It has turned into a shouting match more than once just trying to get our son to try things. I tell him he doesn't have to eat it all, but he does need to try it and it's a huge battle. Any tips on how to get them to just try it without the arguing? It has seriously gotten to where we don't even eat as a family at the table because I am so tired of the arguing over dinner.

Katie

Wednesday 1st of January 2014

I know exactly what you mean. This has gotten easier as my kids have gotten older, now almost 9 and 6. They have come to learn my expectations at the table and there is less attitude about trying the one bite. My daughter (6) will try almost anything if she sees her big brother do it first, so that helps. If he starts having a bad attitude then it can go one of two ways - Madeline adopting his bad attitude or Madeline giving him some positive peer pressure to try the bite/that the food is good. I've also had to make some tough calls of not allowing snacks after dinner and before bed if people are hungry because they chose not to eat their food. I also don't allow much snacking in the couple of hours before dinner to make sure they are hungry. If they are really hungry before dinner and not just wanting to eat out of boredom then I'll allow fruit or vegetables. Another thing that I do at dinner is try to make it so at least one of the foods on the plate is something that I know everyone will eat. Now that they are older I have started putting all the food out on the table and allowing them to serve themselves (but they have to take something of everything) instead of me making up their plates. I hope that this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions. I'm happy to answer them.

LarsLove

Friday 22nd of June 2012

This is our struggle because our daughter is not a great eater. She is only 2 but we try to encourage her to try everything. She will usually try it but then throws to the dogs. In the end we just give her yogurt or something else we know she likes just to be sure she eats something.

Stephanie Howard

Tuesday 5th of June 2012

Thank you so much for this post. The book sounds wonderful. I am sorry I missed the contest...I guess I will have to buy a copy ;)

My Children started out eating everything (I think because my rules are similar to the French), but my son has recently decided that he is picky at 16... go figure.

Misty

Friday 1st of June 2012

Katie I can relate with you completely. Our daughter was diagnosed with a soybean allergy when she was two. (she's now 7) I trly believe that started a phobia with food. She has even a small panic attack if we put something new on her plate, even if she doesn't have to eat it. It completely paralyzes her to eat even the food she likes. I have tried it all when it comes to food and her and it scares me to think that there might even be a predisposition to an eating disorder later. I am always reading your food posts to see about anything new, I will definitely be buying this book. I know there has to be some hope out there for our sweet girl. Thanks for being an ecouragement, Misty

Cecilia

Friday 25th of May 2012

I also like Good Life Eats and Karen Le Billon on FB.