As the next baby step in our French food-attitude makeover, I have plunged into changing up our dinner time habits with four French attributes in mind: more courses, a more leisurely pace, a fancier table, better conversation. First up . . .
|Veggie Starter Plates: A Playful Way to Serve Salad|
1. A vegetable starter
2. Protein rich main-dish, with a vegetable side
3. Dairy (usually cheese or yogurt)
4. Dessert (usually fresh fruit)
Being dairy-free, I can scratch the third course off (phew--one less thing to do).
Previously our dinners have generally just been a protein rich main-dish--sometimes with a vegetable side, sometimes with the vegetables incorporated into the main dish.
What I've Noticed . . .
- I've noticed that starting with vegetables when the kids are hungriest makes them slightly more willing to experiment with something new.
- It also seems to help that we're all eating each element at the same time--positive modeling. Previously my husband and I ate our vegetable sides first while the kids plunged into the main dish.
- For myself, I've noticed that starting with vegetables (usually some sort of salad), has made it easier to stick to a modest portion size of the main dish.
- Ending with fresh fruit (very easy this time of year, but what will we do this winter??) is refreshing.
- Ending with fresh fruit also makes it easier to stick to a modest portion of the main dish. I look forward to enjoying the fruit, so I'm more likely to transition away from the main dish while I still have space to enjoy the fruit. It also makes it less likely that I find myself smuggling chocolate chips from the pantry while I clean up after dinner.
- Ending with fresh fruit is much better than ending with any sort of sugary dessert--which tends to become an obsession for the kids. When they know there's a dessert (other than fruit), dinner becomes an agonizing barter over how much they have to eat in order to get the dessert.
|Apricots for Dessert|
Check out other posts about our French food-attitude makeover: