Bon Appetit Les Enfants!
J’adore La France et J’adore Paris! I was lucky enough (thanks to my very kind husband) to start this weekend sipping cocktails at the Champagne Bar in St Pancras enroute to the French Capital for a much needed catch up with one of my best friends. We had plenty to catch up on.
I'm a French Teacher as well as a Mummy and Blogger so France, and its beautiful capital city Paris, will always have a special place in my heart. There are so many things to love about France, the language, the spectacular countryside, the beautiful Parisian buildings, the wine and of course the amazing food. It's fair to say I sampled some delicious French cuisine this weekend, think entrecôte, salade au chèvre, creme brûlée, croissant, you get the gist but what I am fascinated by is the way eating is such a special occasion in France not just on special occasions but all day every day. It is family time; it is time to spend together ‘à table’ with the ones we love. It is about all eating the same food without ordering for the little ones from a children's menu – which in fact weren’t on offer in the cafes and brasseries we ate in this weekend. Yes, there are children's portions but they eat the same as their parents.
Wandering the streets of this beautiful city in gorgeous Autumnal sunshine I saw so many families 'à table', small children, toddlers, older children and teenagers all sharing a meal together be it ‘le petit déjeuner, le déejeuner or le dîiner’. It was a delight to see.
Now I know that many families aspire to do this here in the UK and other commitments get in the way, work, after school clubs and a million other things I know - but I think we can take something from the French. Mr J is rarely home for dinner in week but at weekends eating together is always a priority. Food is for sharing and enjoying together and maybe that is the key to getting our children to eat clean, healthy foods that aren't processed or from a children’s menu.
Back in my university days I spent some time teaching English in Primary Schools in France. It was a life-changing experience & I remember the school lunches well; watching little 5 year olds tucking into tomato salads followed by fish, green beans and a cheese & fruit course joined by their teachers who were all eating the same meal. What a healthy, nutrient rich start to life these little ones are benefitting from across the channel. After my weekend I’ve done a bit of interest searching for school lunch menus in France. What a difference to the one little Belle bought home from school for the next half term. Not a fish star (yep a fish finger shaped as a star) or iced doughnut in sight in France but a starter of soup of the day or a tomato salad with sweetcorn, followed by fish with a hollandaise sauce, vegetables and an assortment of yoghurts for desserts. Other days include a spinach and mushroom gratin, cod with a prawn sauce and roasted courgettes. Does anyone in the UK have a school dinner like that? We certainly don’t where we are but I wish we did.
Many readers think their children wouldn’t eat these types of food but maybe they would if that was a normal part of their routines. Certainly some food for thought for us Happy Mummies and there will be some French inspired recipes coming to the blog soon for your Clean Little Tummies.
I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on this subject, message me here on instagram or facebook. I look forward to hearing from you.
Bonne Journée et bon appétit xx
I travelled on Eurostar from London St Pancras to Paris www.eurostar.com
I sipped champagne at Searceys Champagne Bar at St Pancras http://searcysstpancras.co.uk/champagne-bar/
We ate some gorgeous French food at Obermama in Oberkamf http://www.bigmammagroup.com
We ate at http://zebreamontmartre.fr/en
I'm wearing Zara Jeans, Blouse and Jacket www.zara.com