Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Bad eating habits?

Even since Aelig was a baby, she follows the French eating habits : a meal every 4 hours. Basically, she has her breakfast around 8am, lunch around 12pm, snack around 4pm then dinner around 8pm. This is very different from my own habits as I can eat anytime anywhere. French parents in general discourage nibbling between meals. This is stated in Pamela Druckerman's Bébé Day by Day : 100 keys to French parenting. Pamela is an American journalist who currently lives in Paris, raising three kids. She observed and wrote some parenting books about how French raise their kids. Her books were translated into other languages including Mandarin, and they have been a bit in the parenting world.

Anyway, seeing that I eat all the times, she quickly asks to do the same. When she comes back from school, around 6:30pm, she would tell me that she is hungry. I consider that fruits are no harm and could be consumed at anytime, so I prepared a fruit basket so she can help herself whenever she wants.

One day she asked her dad's permission for a banana before dinner but it was refused. She then came to see me and I overruled her dad. This caused some tension between me and hubby. During dinner she didn't eat much and hubby blamed this on the banana she ate earlier. True, if she hasn't eaten that banana, she might have taken more food. But, I considered fruit as part of the meal and provided the same good nutrition.

On another occasion, Aelig was hungry and asked to eat between meal again. This time hubby gave her some bread. He told me that bread is allowed and it is the way it is. True, he eats bread at anytime. Now, the question is why nibbling on bread is ok while savoring fruit is not ok?

We have not come to any conclusion about this. I agreed that I need to stop Aelig from eating all those biscuits I bought (I miss salty biscuits as breakfast as French breakfast are usually sweet). I still think eating fruit between meal is ok but if she eats fruit and bread between meal then it would be too much.

There are many conflicting studies about eating. Some say eating frequently with smaller portion is better for the body, some say we should not eat between meals. Some indicate we should eat fruits at the beginning of a meal instead of having it as dessert. Asian don't have habit to eat bread during meal but French do it all the times. At the end, it really depends on each individual.


11 comments:

  1. My dietician told me to cut down on fruits, she said one apple is worth 4 cubes of sugar. I find French too rigid on their eating habbits. Asians eat fruits all the time, especially as dessert. Ok maybe a banana is too much before supper. I think I will raise my kid on asian food.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, how different between your dietician & mine! Mine said I can continue to eat fruit as the sugar they contain are easily digested.

      Delete
  2. Since a story has two sides: the banana episode was right before the meal while the bread one was far form it ... And the tension did not come from the eating habits differences but from the fact that a parent should never ever overrule another one.

    And finally, I do like our habit of preventing the kids from eating junk food between meals and let them discover new tastes, new textures, etc ... I remember that when my friends and families went over Malaysia, they could get used to many malaysian food but when it was the other way round, I remember them eating a lot of instant noodles ... cuz it would be pretty much, asides from chips, all that most of them could eat.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Food is a touchy subject because it's very cultural.

    I dislike the way people eat in Canada. Too much snacking, and meals seem to be treated as a chore where the goal is to eat as much as you can for the cheapest price and at the fastest way possible. Ugh.

    I don't snack because I can't find anything healthy to snack on (I'm not a huge fan of fruits except apples and bananas). I'd rather eat my calories during a proper meal, relaxed. But I don't see anything wrong with snacking if you need it. Mark snacks a lot, he can't eat much in one setting anyway. That said, it bothers me that he doesn't sit down to eat, that he snacks on the go. Feng and I disagree on that but there isn't much I can do, toddlers don't sit for very long.

    I think there is no rule when it comes to food. Everyone is different. And we all know if we eat healthy or not!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bet you and Feng have a lot of differences in raising your kid, Asian and European have very different way in parenting.

      Delete
  4. Very difficult to reject kid when they claimed hungry. My son always claimed he hungry while I still preparing dinner. It maybe due to not enough during snack time or they spent more energy to the physical activities. But what are the right snack before dinner is ready, this need to be 'discussed' :-)

    Here, they told me they eat to live. And I feel Asia is live to eat ( but I am not :-)
    Generally, my personally point of view is they not care, what they want is finish the meal , then they can relax, doing the things they like, exercise , or finish their work. Sometime, they do prepare good food, good atmosphere for family.It is quality time. Else will be just bread with many different choices of 'topping' , quick prepared warm food . And my sons still rejecting having bread as their main course, beside their lunch box :-|

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. French people enjoy their cuisine so I presume for them it is more like the Chinese : live to eat :-)

      Delete
  5. ha .. I am the boss in the kitchen, I dictates when kids eats and what to serve them. Period. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Chinese do not eat bread during main meals because they eat rice. Eating both rice and bread in a meal would be too much carb.

    I love to eat western food especially bread and blue cheese more than rice so I would not say that snacking prevents a person from enjoying food of other cultures.

    ReplyDelete
  7. My husband usually ask for my permission if he could give snacks to my daughter. A small piece of chocolate or bread... I prefer this taken hours before dinner. Minutes before dinner, I won't allowed it. There is no over ruling whatsoever because generally every requests has to go through me. I actually prefer if someone asking my permission to give snacks to my kid, than giving it to them with no concern if it may be moments before a proper meal time.

    ReplyDelete