(Yes, Angry Girl, this is for you.)
From the article:
Our children are three times more likely to be overweight than French children...we lead the world in producing overweight children, but the French have one of the lowest rates of overweight children in the developed world...
The reason lies in how we teach our kids to eat...French parents teach their children to eat like we teach our kids to read: with love, patience and firm persistence they expose their children to a wide variety of tastes, flavors and textures that are the building blocks of a varied, healthy diet. Pediatrician-recommended first foods for French babies are leek soup, endive, spinach and beets (not bland rice cereal — have you ever tasted that stuff)? They teach their children that “good for you foods” taste good (broccoli – yum!), whereas we often do the opposite.
The result is a nation of healthy eaters: 6 million French children sit down every day to school lunches featuring dishes like cauliflower casserole, baked endive, beet salad and broccoli. Vending machines and fast food are banned, and flavored milk is not an option. To introduce kids to a wide variety of foods, no dish can be repeated more than once per month. ...
French children are also trained to think about how to eat. The French won’t ask a child, for example, “Are you full,” but rather “Are you still hungry” — a very different feeling.
Just in case you were wondering, diets for French children are relatively rare; few of them need it. Nor are they deprived of treats: “food is fun” is the Golden Rule of French eating. Moderation, not deprivation — along with viewing food as a source of pleasure, a fun family adventure — is the core of French food culture.
Rumpole says: What is one of the major problems bedeviling our society? Health care costs. What is the simplest way to control those costs? Stay healthy. What is the number one cause of poor health?Poor eating habits.
Food for thought: a votre dante' !