Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Bringing up Bebe

 Have you ever eaten whilst standing at the refrigerator? Probably not...

 How about eating by the sink? Jamais!

 Multi-tasking/eating in front of the computer? Are you kidding?
 After reading Pamela Druckerman's Bringing Up Bebe, Bear and I are trying to change our wicked ways...
 Yesterday Bear sat down a table and had a 3-course lunch = Mindful eating. Yahoo
 French kiddies do this everyday at la creche starting at 9 months.
 Watch David Turecamo's film for CBS on France's Gourmet School Lunches'. It will knock your socks off and prove the point Druckerman makes in Bringing up Bebe. French infants begin on a 4 times-a-day feeding schedule
(8 am - 12 noon - 4pm - 8pm)
Just like their parents. A sample creche.
 The concept of la formule offered at lunchtime restaurants is a replication of lunch at la creche/maternelle. Three-course meals a la Francais.
 Parents are encouraged to prepare vegetables many different ways so a child will taste ('just one bite') and experience a variety of foods. The first food infants get is pureed vegetables not rice.
 Do French kids eat sweets? Of course but at snack time/le gouter/4:30pm. Have you seen Fr kids walking around clutching bags of chips or cokes? Jamais. Snacking between meals is a non-non. No wonder French women are thin. Bear and I could hourly munch popcorn and marshmallows.
 Dessert at dinner is often fresh fruit or fruit compote. Have you noticed aisles of compote at the supermarket?
 Turn up at a Paris bistro at 7:30pm. You'll find it vide/empty.
 Come 8pm every seat is filled. The French do not forget their early training.
 Bear's breakfast today - we're eating a la Francais.
It ain't easy. Sometimes we get out our dolls and practice eating a table instead of in front of the 'puter.
Bon Chance!


Unknown said...

As a boy raised in S. Jersey, whose farmer parents also had a country store,
I ate many meals on the run, in-between customers, with only Sundays being a day for anything close to ritual times to eat. Working at home, I actually enjoy standing at the counter for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Plus I'm usually writing at those times in my sketchbook journal. But when out for a meal, I thoroughly enjoy being proper, and all the niceties thereof.
Another very fun and informative post, Carol.

Merisi said...

Love this post, Carol, and love the video (I have watched it before). "A work of art" (the lady in the interview referring to the 2-month-school food list) - true! All kids should be fed so well.

Kudos to the French for giving food a proper place in the daily routine. Respect for food and mealtimes is good for our health, after all!

Parisbreakfasts said...

I have to admit food tastes different when you're sitting down and eating in courses.
I generally eat everything on one plate a la Rose Bakery.
I miss out on noticing different textures/flavors and tend to gobble mindlessly.
Ppl say because French portions are smaller i.e. the French are thin.
When you eat in several courses (sitting down) food is more satisfying.
A meal is more of an event.
c'est comme ca

Melissa Smith said...

OMG - just read this at the computer while eating cereal with blueberries!

Tamuna said...

Actually, my favorite place to eat is in front of the computer...ooops! But I do enjoy taking time to set the table and have a proper meal when I have enough time. Love the three course lunch you and Bear enjoyed!

Mathew said...

By the way have you seen the movie Baby?
I believe that it came out about 2 yrs ago and compares the way parents in Japan, Mongolia, Africa (I forget the country) and the USA (San Francisco) raise their children during the first year of the children’s’ lives.
No scripted dialog, just the natural conversation in the families.

Nothing to do with France, but a very interesting study into different parenting techniques.
Keep up the good work.

MS said...

Great review of the book! I look forward to your next blog with the French food issues. I’m going into San Francisco this afternoon to pick up some books at my favorite book store and I’m going to get a copy of this book which I’ll pass on to my son and daughter in law after I have read it.
They have an 18 month old girl and a 1 month old boy.
You can never start too soon.

jeanette, mistress of longears said...

It seems so right - this French way of eating! But that means I must spend a lot more time preparing those meals! Love that Eiffel tower salt shaker! With your Paris Metro placemats, and your very French dishes, it's like visiting a bistro right in your home!

Im Spiegel said...

i ate at the computer while i was reading this too. i think have to change something...

Parisbreakfasts said...

Perhaps all addicted computer nerds need to set up a pretty breakfast tray table so we can eat our courses in style?

Sweet Freak said...

Guilty, guilty and guilty! But your post (and those beautiful meals Bear is indulging in) just might be the straw that pushes me to proper, seated meals. Merci, Carol!

ES said...

I must get this book! I was raised in a German household and interesting, the parenting styles are quite similar. Even though I don't have kids, I know many parents that could benefit from this book.
Seems the US is loaded with selfish, entitled, spoiled brats who are in for a rude awakening once they enter the real world - in my opinion.

Parisbreakfasts said...

The book is also hysterically FUNNY don't forget :)

Giulia said...

It's all true, yep. Having experienced it myself & looking after a French enfant now & again...the difference is major. I especially like when I can offer the baby her bottle of water first to see if she's thirsty. When I told this to American moms, oh wow. They freaked out. That this kid isn't stuffed w/food every 5 minutes (& the insidious sugary apple juice).

I don't think the French have it "right" on everything but in this case, I do.

Thanks for the cute post. Off to watch the video now...xo

Ayîk said...

Merci, Carol!

I feel so much better already.
We are not raising Bébé exactly in a French style but we are not too off the mark: sit down meals, scheduled snacks, plenty of vegetables, fruit-centric desserts. Use of cutlery is not such a success yet... oh well.
Sick days and some weekend days we allow "picnics" which are really just meals spread out on a tea towel on the sofa.
I feel like less of a bad mother today. Whew. Et merci encore!

P.S. - The Babies movie that Matthew mentioned is fascinating! Even our bébé ejoys it.

rosanna said...

Just like Italian way.
We prepare a 3 course meal twice a day every single day.
It is natural and allows lot of talking time. More over if you eat well at meal times you wont need snacking.
Thanks for your posts,I love all of them although I seldom comment.

My Cookie Kitchen said...

Hello Carol!

When are you going to direct tours to France? I think many of us would go with you!

My mom was French. She was a baker. Her mother's maiden name was "Fournier", which I understand is "baker". She made a big deal over food. Not only because she was French, but the Great Depression influenced her, too. We have eaten quite well, as her kids. During this bad economy, I HAVE to have good food. This is not a luxury, but a necessity. I was always slim, too. If I keep making macarons, that might not stay the same! LOL!

Nikon said...

I eat at the computer, too :)
(As a single male, I am not into cooking - I just want something to fill me up!)
Today's NYT had an article on "Bringing Up Bebe" BTW.
When I was in Italy, I was fascinated how the day revolved around mealtime - much like France.

MesvitrinesNYC said...

You just need a good training!Then, you will enjoy it!

La Table De Nana said...

So cute! I bet Bear has the best manners..and food savvy:)

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

Eight o'clock.. We eat at five or six the latest. I could never eat so late. Interesting cultures.

Merisi said...

Merci, Mathew for recommending the movie "Babies" - I want to see it! :-)

Jill Colonna said...

You are too funny, Carol. Love how you present this with great photos. Yep. We don't snack here. Serious stuff. But we eat goûter, yay.
MacDonalds couldn't cope with demand when they first opened in Disneyland, Paris. They didn't estimate that everyone would arrive at the same time! I guess they now get it.

Jerri-Ann said...

Out of necessity, our eating schedule is 6 AM,Noon, 3:30 PM, 6 PM. I prefer later dining, but I'd nod off in my plate- zzzz...
Bear' breakfast & lunch look most enjoyable. Not so much trouble vivre bien,

Laura said...

Thank you for sharing these French rituals. They are a great foundation for children in any culture. As with you and Bear, any of us could benefit as adults by putting these into practice.
Also, thought it was a cute idea you had to set the dolls up at a proper table. Children would certainly relate to that!

Parisbreakfasts said...

the dollies a table were in a shop window on rue des Martyrs but it seemed so appropo to this discussion plus a reflection of French culture.

Prairie Jill said...

Love this post! Bear looks so proper sitting a table. But I hope he doesn't have to completely give up his marshmallows and popcorn. (Maybe you should write a book, "Bringing up Bear"?)

Jenny said...

I saw the lady promoting her bringing up bebe book on the Today Show and then looked at my 5yo who was happily munching on her breakfast and told her, "Sophia, you must be French". I do have to say that when we toted her (18mos) and our 12 and 10 yo girls to France in 2008, they fit in perfectly and enjoyed every bit of it. Now, in full disclosure, we are what would be called "strict" parents in the US, and always require a please and thank you and for meals, if there is a new curious item on the plate or something that is not your favorite you are at least required to have a bite or finish a small portion. Not quite the norm.