French food-attitude makeover, I'm re-making our dinner hour in the French image one element at a time: more courses, a more leisurely pace, a fancier table, and better conversation.
A More Leisurely PaceIn French Kids Eat Everything, Le Billion mentions approaching setting the table as if heading out on a long car trip. I've started making an effort to anticipate every possible need before sitting down (salt, pepper, dressings, drinks, napkins, etc). I also stay-put as long as anyone else is eating rather than beginning to clean and tidy up as others are finishing.
What I've Noticed . . .
- Being able to stay-put once I sit down makes a huge difference for me. I'm able to relax and engage more in conversation.
- Remaining at the table and chatting seems to encourage the kids to linger longer and eat more food, naturally consuming a greater variety in the process.
- I'm really surprised at how long my four year old and six year old will now stay at the table. Was my jumping up to start cleaning--so I could move on to the next thing on my list--having that great an effect on their eating? It must have been.
- Serving multiple courses helps slow the pace of the meal down.
Join me next week as I scrape the play-doh residue off the table in an effort to make things a bit fancier.
Read more about our French food-attitude make over:
French Kids Eat Everything: A Paradigm Shift for Parents of Picky Eaters
Six Ways Eating on a Schedule Has Improved Our Lives
Frenchifying Dinner, Step 1: More Courses