Pimento Cheese, Not Your Grandma's Spread

Pimento cheese is one of those foods that has been so corrupted by the food industry that it has become synonymous with other crappy foods like Spam.  I'm not even certain what store bought pimento cheese might contain, nor do I want to find out.  It's a shame because pimento cheese can be a delightful treat, even if it does Read the full post…

Plum Good BBQ Sandwiches

In a few days it will officially be fall but the temperatures are still warm enough for me to continue swimming for a few more days.  The breeze was a little cool but that didn't stop me from swimming several laps this morning and I felt great afterwards!  Have you exercised lately?  With fall's cooler temperatures and fewer insects, you Read the full post…

Shingles Vacine and Treatment

A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with shingles so I felt I should discuss this nasty virus once again.  If you ever had chicken pox, you are at risk for getting shingles and believe me, you don't want it.  Shingles is a painful rash with blisters that scab over and may take 4 weeks or more to heal.  The Read the full post…

Vegetarian Tacos are muy delicioso!

There are times when I think I could easily become a vegetarian, especially when I try a new dish that is as good as the vegetarian tacos I had at Local Lime restaurant in Little Rock and the tofu fried rice at Sai Tai here in Jonesboro.  My husband and I celebrated our 23rd anniversary this past weekend by spending Read the full post…

Midyear Health Check

Summer is winding down , the year is more than half way over and our January resolutions are long forgotten.  It's time for a health reality check.  First of all, how is your health lately?  If you have enjoyed good health, are you thankful?  Take some time to appreciate how wonderful it feels to be healthy, for your family to Read the full post…

Vacation Lessons For A Healthier Life

  I'm back from a lovely beach vacation and I wish I was still there with all my heart.  Wouldn't it be nice if our every day life was as nice as a vacation?  If we could relax, eat well, sleep and exercise just enough without having to worry about bills, work, illnesses and school, our lives would be perfect.  But Read the full post…

If you are a parent of young children and are concerned about their health, rush out today and buy “French Kids Eat Everything” by Karen Le Billon.  This is one of the best parenting books I have ever read and is based upon the author’s own experiences.  Many parents in the U.S. seem to be afraid to be parents, to guide or discipline* their children.  They are more concerned with being a friend to their children or worse, more concerned with their own affairs, leaving the child to make decisions.  Karen Le Billon was worried that her daughters ate so poorly, only choosing a few foods and refusing to try new foods.  After moving to France to live near her husband’s family, she discovered a marked difference between her children and the French children they encountered.  French parents teach their children about food and good nutrition.  This lesson is reinforced at school.  It is a matter of national pride that everyone in France, rich or poor, learns to eat well in order to be healthy.   This lesson is sadly lacking here in the U.S.


At first, Le Billon could not understand how the French got their children to eat everything from fish soup to cauliflower to lentils, and like it.  She began a lengthy study of the French way and discovered it wasn’t so difficult to get kids to eat but did involve committed, consistent parenting.  Through her research, she learned that children who eat well (more vegetables and fiber) have higher IQs, perform better in school, are less likely to be overweight and suffer health problems.  She learned the French have less trouble with emotional eating and view meal time as a social time to be with family.  The French seek out locally grown, fresh produce and cook simple meals at home.


The book is easy to read and Le Billon spells out 10 “rules” the French follow such as eating slowly, no snacking between meals, and parents decide when and what to eat, not children.  She does point out that it was not easy to change her family’s habits at first but once they adapted, no one wanted to go back to their old way of eating.  She provides tips on how to achieve these rules and make them a habit for your family.  Her children were older when she started this process but she does cover how the French start out with their infants, training them to eat healthy foods, on schedules, right from the start.


As I read this book, I realized I have much in common with French parents.  I have always planned balanced meals and my rule is that you must try a bite of everything on your plate.  We also eat as many meals together as possible and I try to make meals fun and pleasant.  To me, food is an adventure and should be enjoyed as such.  My children both understand that good nutrition is the key to good health.  That doesn’t mean we don’t have treats and desserts; we just limit them.  If you want to make a difference in the health of your child, this book will start you on the right path.


*Discipline means “to teach” but has come to mean “to punish” in our collective vocabulary.

Upadated on July 12, 2012

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