In our week cycling in France, we stayed and ate at lovely inns. My high school French came in handy, especially when it came to reading menus.
The meal always began with a surprise nibble called “amuse-bouche” and proceeded to an appetizer, dinner, cheese and then dessert. I’m not sure we cycled enough to pedal off the calories, but it was a vacation not a marathon.
What got me was the children’s menu. Do French kids really eat this?
Here’s one of the menus:
Pour les Enfants
Le Foie Gras de Canard au Naturel
Les Asperges Vertes, Sauce aux Herbes
Râble de Lapin Rôti, Quelques Le´gumes de Printemps
Filet de Poisson, Pureé de Pomme de Terre
Assiette de Fraises,Crème Chantilly
Duck Liver Paté
Green asparagus in Herb Sauce
Pan Roast Rabbit, with spring vegetables
Fillet of fish with mashed potatoes
Strawberries with whipped cream
Ice Cream with Caramel Sauce
My three kids, when young, would have eaten the mashed potatoes and dessert. I prepared balanced meals, usually incorporating most of the crucial food groups, but their favorite foods tended to be pasta, burgers and plain chicken. For vegetables, they preferred carrot, celery and cucumber sticks. One son ate ham & cheese sandwiches EVERY DAY throughout school, and my daughter loved anything tuna fish.
Thinking of eating, I remembered reading Mireille Guillano’s book, French Women Don’t Get Fat http://frenchwomendontgetfat.com/ where she maintains French women stay slim and stylish thanks to walking a lot, eating small portions, and sipping one glass of wine a day.
As First Lady Michelle Obama continues her efforts to streamline America’s waistlines with her Let’s Move! Campaign, soliciting promises from corporations, including Disney to offer healthier foods and as New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg enacts laws to limit sizes of soft drinks, I wondered whether we should borrow some clues from the French.
Or perhaps we should ask the kids. Take Nicky Bronner, a 15-year-old who created his own line of healthy junk food, Unreal Brands Inc. after his father confiscated his Halloween candy.
So how do you keep the balanced diet between healthy food and junk food?