Friends of the Truckee Library: Do French kids eat everything? |

Friends of the Truckee Library: Do French kids eat everything?

TRUCKEE, Calif. — It all started in 2004 with “French Women Don’t Get Fat,” and has blossomed into a bestselling genre of “Frenchwomen Know Best” in terms of style, intimacy, food, parenting, or growing older gracefully.

The latest to grace our shelves here at the Truckee Library combines two hot subjects: food and parenting. While I am somewhat confounded by the popularity of this genre, since I lean more toward Anglophilia rather than Francophilia, “French Kids Eat Everything” makes some very good points to heed for parents on this side of the pond.

It is written by an American, Karen Le Billion, who moved her young family to her husband’s hometown in northern France and found that “in contrast to her daughters, French children feed themselves neatly and happily — eating everything from beets to broccoli, salad to spinach, mussels to muesli.”

Indeed, the lengthy subtitle of the book is “how our family moved to France, cured picky eating, banned snacking, and discovered 10 simple rules for raising happy, healthy eaters.”

And what are those 10 simple rules?

Parents, you are in charge of food education. Avoid emotional eating. No food rewards, bribes, etc.

Parents schedule meals and menus. Kids eat what adults eat! No short order cooking. Eat family meals together — no distractions. Eat your veggies. Key: think variety.

Say at every meal: “You don’t have to like it, but you do have to taste it.”

No snacking. It’s okay to feel hungry between meals. Slow food is happy food, as in, eat slowly.

Eat mostly real food. Treats for special occasions are okay.

Remember, eating is joyful. Relax!

To learn more about how to implement these simple rules and to savor the amusing stories that accompany them, be sure to check out “French Kids Eat Everything.”

Teri Andrews Rinne is the Children’s Services Librarian at the Truckee Library, 10031 Levon Ave., Truckee. Call 530-582-7846 or visit

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