One day, while perusing my library account for my next read, this book popped up as newly available and recommended to me. I was pretty intrigued from the start because I just adore French culture. I’ve always been attracted to all things French; from a desire to speak their beautiful language, to the serene country of France, their renowned chefs throughout the region and all that is in between. But this book also touched on a sensitivity and concern I have for my family:
You see as many North American moms, I see some poor eating trends/habits in my children. I started a long journey roughly 7 years ago, towards eating more healthy and especially towards cooking in a more healthy way just for myself. My main motivation was my own appearance in the beginning. But my love for food and cooking seemed in contrast to my new found goals. I grew up in a Hamburger-Helper, Condensed Soup Casserole based family. I was an overweight preteen and struggled off and on with my weight throughout my life. So, I basically had to re-learn how to shop, eat and especially how to cook. I wanted my food to taste good and I wanted to be able to eat what I wanted, so I had to rethink and redo what I had always known and seen done.
As a result, my family and I had a lot of food battles specifically over their passion for processed, sweet and fatty foods. While I educated myself more and more on the importance of healthy food and good choices, how the things I eat (and don’t eat) affect my mind and my body, I felt powerless to get my children (and my husband) to understand and be convinced enough to join me in my journey. I was passionate about my goals but extremely frustrated with getting my family to make better choices because they WANTED to, not just because they were FORCED to.
Reading this book was tremendously encouraging to me as I continue on my journey with a new focus on bringing my family along with me. I have seen so much improvement in both my husband and my children! In fact, my husband has been a wonderful team player in his own efforts to change his palate. But even more so, I have found encouragement for the long-haul. This book gave me even more evidence and statistics proving that if we stick with the path, the end result will be exactly what we desire-true change. I’ve been inspired to make nutrition a conversation that is open, fun and even whimsical!
The step-by-step explanations of how this North American mom instituted the new norms in her family, the authenticity and honesty with which she shares her stories of how her children responded (both the good and the bad!) and the helpful recipes and tips she gives throughout the book, gave me so much new-found enthusiasm. It reminded me to stick with it and to make the table a place of family bonding and connection time.
My husband and I are not advocates of attachment parenting. In fact, our family parenting style is very different from most of our peers. We feel that our children are a blessing and we love them deeply, however we do not allow them to have control of our home. This book does talk a LOT about the vast differences in Americans love for their children to have CHOICE and how the French have a much different perspective on the matter. I say that only because the suggestions this author made were very easy for our family to pick up because we were already doing many of them to begin with. (By the way, this is the same author of the popular book, “Bringing Up Bebe”, which explains a lot.)
While I haven’t been asked to review this book, I’ve loved it so much I couldn’t not recommend it! It has helped and encouraged me in my journey to encourage my family to embrace and love food with high quality nutrition. This book has gone from a book I borrowed from the library to one that is on my bookshelf permanently. If you are frustrated with food battles in your home and ready to have your cultural norms challenged, I hope you’ll get this book and read the WHOLE thing before you dismiss it. “A táble!” might be your kids’ new favorite phrase before long!