Hi everyone! I forgot that Tuesday is Valentine’s Day when I planned this week’s dinner items. It’s doesn’t really matter because we are going to eat at home and celebrate with the kids. We can always go out another non-holiday night (plus, how unromantic is a Tuesday?).
This week, the only new item on the menu is a homemade chicken nugget recipe from Estela at the Weekly Bite. I plan to try a couple of new snacks that I hope to post. As always, head over to Org Junkie for more meal planning ideas!
Monday: Shrimp tacos and black with all the toppings
Tuesday: Pasta bar: Colored pasta (from TJs), chicken, veggies, bread and salad (like this but all separated out so kids can make their own)
Wednesday: Kids choice
Do the French Really Feed Their Kids Better?
Last week I read multiple times about the French and feeding/parenting. The first article was about their superior parenting (based on the book Bringing up Bebe), another was about the French advantage for feeding babies and the author of the upcoming book, French Kids Eat Everything, left a comment on my last post. This sparked much thought on my part (and this post on Blogher simply made me laugh!).
I have to admit, these French superiority messages are initially off-putting (I almost didn’t read Why French Parents are Superior for that reason!). Don’t get me wrong, I think there is much to be learned from the French about food and feeding (and parenting). They clearly make food a priority and much of what they do I recommend: feeding regular meals, providing a variety of foods, not catering to children and avoiding over-snacking.
While the French feeding style may help set the stage for better eating, I highly doubt that picky-eating doesn’t exist there.
For example, kids around the world still go through certain developmental milestones that affect eating. Research shows the preference for sweet and energy-rich food in kids is universal (yes, even in other countries). Even in countries like France where families share traditional meals, kids’ favorite foods still include items like fried potatoes, chocolate cake, and nut spread.
Yet despite kids’ tendencies, they learn to eat the food of their culture. Chinese kids eat Chinese food and obviously French kids eat French food. I make a lot of Mexican food and my kids are used to spices like cumin, garlic, and chili powder. As kids age, their palate matures and by the time they are adults they can eat lots of stuff.
This Time article made an interesting point: Perhaps I’m just not a big fan of these types of parenting books. To me, they smack of absolutes — do this and don’t do that — and exaggerated comparisons.
And that’s how I feel. Anyone with more than one kid knows how different they are, especially in terms of eating. I think making “eating well” only about variety is a mistake because some kids simply take longer to warm up to food than others. So parents of more cautious eaters may end up feeling like they did something wrong when they didn’t.
What I really think is missing in today’s feeding landscape is the educational component. There’s so much information about feeding and parenting that it’s hard to know what to do and who to trust. This is one of the goals of Fearless Feeding, to provide research-based information so you (the parent) can make the best decisions for your family.
Enough ranting. These are random thoughts that went through my head during my Saturday run. What do you think?