The Real Reason Why the French are Skinny…

You’ve heard of the French paradox. How do the french eat so much cheese, dessert and wine and stay skinny? We Americans got obsessed with this for a while. Here we’ve been eating low-fat this and no-fat that, and we’re the fat kids? We don’t get it.  This article does though. It’s about school lunches in France. They’re just what you’d think – gourmet. proper. fussy. Not a single meal gets repeated over 32 days and four-year-olds are served a five course meal of an hors d’oeuvre, salad, main course, cheese plate and dessert. You could get used to this, right? The point is that at a young age French kids are taught to take food seriously. I love this…

“…it could be the red wine, as some believe. But another reason has to be this: in a country where con artists and adulterers are tolerated, the laws governing meals are sacrosanct and are drummed into children before they can even hold a knife.”

A few weeks ago on Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution the school cafeteria in West Virginia didn’t even have knives. I’m not saying our problems would be solved if the kids in America ate hors d’oeuvres for lunch. That’s not it. It’s the values that are being served up with it. There’s something to eating at a table… in good company… and it being a full and balanced, nutritious meal. every. single. day. These kids aren’t eating fruit snacks out of a vending machine. They don’t even have vending machines. They were banned. So were Coke machines. Eating real food at a table is the only option.

I like this line too… “The French don’t need their First Lady to plant a vegetable garden at the Élysée Palace to encourage good eating habits. They already know the rules: sit down and take your time, because food is serious business.”

Or, you know, maybe it’s just the wine….

  • GOT to love the french – they really get it! my mom spent a few years of her childhood in paris, and she’ll attest. she had wine in her lunchbox! 🙂

    • That is your mother, but we most certainly do not serve wine to children in France, nor does anyone condone it. That is absurd and irresponsible.

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