Taking The French Approach To Food

Taking The French Approach To Food

Wed 29 Aug 2012

Story by The Food Revolution Team

September Blog of the Month: Karen Le Billon

With back to school in full flow we’ve chosen karenlebillon.com as our September Food Revolution Blog of the month sparking debate about key issues such as school lunches, snacking, and the food system in countries across the world.

Karenlebillon.com is intended to be food for thought, starting a conversation on the different food cultures and reflecting on the way that other countries, such as France, approach kids food and how the same approach may be useful in our communities. Karen’s opinion is that the French have a great approach to both what and how kids eat – one we could learn a lot from.

“I believe that food insecurity and unhealthy eating habits are two expressions of food and education systems that need fixing, so I blog about food politics, and about the amazing people and organizations working for better food in North America. These continue to inspire me…and hopefully you too!”

Karen Le Billon, mother, wife, and author blogs on karenlebillon.com. Married to a Frenchman, Karen and her family divide their time between France and North America. While Karen tries to avoid generalizations about the way the French, or Americans, or Canadians (or anyone else for that matter) eat, she instead shares ideas, tips, and recipes for parents across the world, with the goal of sparking debate about key issues such as school lunches and how they differ.

French School Lunch Project

Among some of the great content on karenlebillon.com is the ‘French School Lunch Project’, where in a ‘Tour de France’ of food, Karen posted sample menus of the delicious, nutritious meals that French children eat in the 'cantine' (school restaurant), from schools all across France for one year. Included in this are a variety of fish, cheeses and an impressive range of vegetables – including beets and berries, grapefruit, vegetable casserole and steamed spinach - that children as young as pre-schoolers eat and enjoy at school. See some examples below:

Lentils and lamb, beets and berries, spinach and saladBeet salad, cooked prunes and Roquefort
Grapefruit, vegetable casserole, steamed spinach
Paella, polenta, cauliflower and cordon bleu

Top Tips for Picky Eaters

Karen also blogs about the French attitude to what children should eat and how they overcome ‘picky eaters’ to help ensure that the variety of foods served in schools are eaten. Check out these top tips for picky eaters based on that the French believe that picky eating is a phase (much like the terrible two’s) and the strategies they use at home (backed up by ‘taste training’ at school) help reverse children’s picky eating habits.

Other great posts include ‘The science behind the French approach to kids food’, ‘Why parents can’t end the obesity epidemic alone’ and ‘Should kids be allowed to randomly snack? The French would say definitely not!’.

Eating Well is For Everyone

Underlying Karenlebillon.com is a belief that healthy food is a right, and that eating well is for everyone–not just for elites or foodies. So why not take a look and add your thoughts into the comments section.

The Food Revolution Team


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