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Our Family's Favorite French Food Rule

All week, I have been focusing on the French Food Rules from French Kids Eat Everything” by Karen Le Billon. Plus, I will be giving away a copy of this book tomorrow! Have you entered for your chance to win? (To enter, click here)

So far, I have discussed how our family follows the no snacking rule and our efforts to avoid emotional eating. Today, I want to talk about our favorite rule: 

French Food Rule #10 - RELAX! Eating is joyful, not stressful.

I know a lot of parents who stress out about feeding their families. It's difficult not to worry about whether we are doing things just right. Is it okay to skip the baby purees? Should I give my 6 month old meat or veggies first? Is my child eating enough or too much? What if my toddler won't eat the food I prepare? What if I can't cook? What if my child throws their plate on the floor? The potential list of anxieties is long, but it does not have to be that way.
Relax! Eating is joyful.
French Food Rule #10 is my favorite because it encourages us to remember what is really important. It's true that we have to eat to survive, but food is not just about nutrition or counting calories. Eating is also a social and cultural experience. The act of eating is about taking pleasure in sharing food together. It's about appreciating the bounty of the harvest, experiencing new and comforting flavors, and sharing conversation around the family table.
Find pleasure in sharing good food.
Learning to relax is a call to change how we frame the experience of eating. The food rules are meant to encourage children to develop positive eating habits, not to micromanage what our kids eat. Mealtimes are about finding balance and trusting our children and ourselves to make good food choices.
The French might frown on this messy lunch, but they also know that eating is fun.
The other nine French Food Rules set up the basic guidelines for good eating routines, but Rule #10 is about giving yourself a break and being open to fun. It is even okay to bend the rules every once in a while, especially when it helps to keep you from stressing out.

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