While I was in the Philippines, I read French Kids Eat Everything: How Our Family Moved to France, Cured Picky Eating, Banned Snacking, and Discovered 10 Simple Rules for Raising Happy, Healthy Eaters and absolutely loved it. It’s the story of how author Karen Le Billon, her husband, and two young children move to a small town in France where her husband grew up, and completely transform their (unhealthy) North American eating habits.
I used to think that my kids were picky because they ate far less than any of their peers. Charlie in particular never liked solids since he was an infant, had a very sensitive gag reflex/threw up frequently, and still struggles with constipation. But I’ve met children with true food issues from severe allergies, extreme sensitivities (only eating a handful of foods total) to swallowing issues, so I know that our challenges are much more trivial in comparison.
Admittedly eating is still one of my biggest daily parenting struggles though. The kids have small appetites (they’re more than happy to skip entire meals regularly), almost every meal is such a struggle even when I serve foods they like, and they have a great fear of trying new foods. In hopes of changing all this, I’ve been trying to think more French when it comes to our food rules. After an embarrassing family meal in the Philippines where Charlie and Olive refused to eat the lunch that was served (pickiness is not a problem in El Nido!), I was determined to apply some of the ideas in the book to my own kids and transform their eating habits.