How to raise a gourmand

1. Start with sending your kid to school in France, which participates in a municipally-run lunch program.

Lunch is serious business, which takes two hours (including a round-trip to the canteen). At lunch children are not coerced to eat everything on their plates but rather encouraged to always try everything that was served. Meal consists of at least 4 dishes - a starter salad, main dish + side dish, cheese and dessert. In the 6 weeks the Little Nomads attend school, none of the menu items were repeated (except fries, which I've seen a couple of times).

2. In a few weeks the child will start using napkins, use silverware, and ask you which sauce you'd serve with meat tonight (:0). Viola!

Here is an excerpt from the last and this weeks' menu at the Little Nomads' school (last week / this week):

  • starters - x / tabbouleh
  • main dish - cordon bleu in tomato sauce / turkey saute in curry sauce
  • side dish - macaroni / green beans
  • cheese - garlic cheese with fine herbs / Camembert
  • desert - season fruit / season fruit

  • starters - cucumber vinaigrette / x
  • main dish - pork saute with mushrooms / ham cooked in a towel served with ketchup
  • side dish - white beans in juice / fries
  • cheese -  yogurt whipped with fruit / St-Paulin
  • desert - season fruit

  • starters - grated carrots / celery remoulade (a salad with mayo-based dressing)
  • main dish - omelette / ground beef steak with sweet pepper sauce 
  • sidedish - vegetable piperade (a Basque dish prepared with onion, green peppers, and tomatoes) and potatoes / torti (sauteed veggies with zucchini being the main ingredient)
  • cheese - mimolette / yogurt
  • desert - apricot tart / x

Thursday - Farmers' day
  • starters - x / carrots and cauliflower florets served with chive and cream dip
  • main dish - veal roast in herbs / beef in Miroton-style sauce (mushrooms, tomatoes, garlic)
  • side dish - vegetable cordiale (another veggie saute) / pumpkin puree
  • cheese - gouda / x
  • desert - season fruit / creamed fruit with caramel and almond sauce

Friday (fish day)
  • starters - tomatoes and basil / green salad
  • main dish - fish fillet in Provencal sauce /  pollack fillet in sauce Aurore
  • side dish - rice Creole-style / carrots in butter and fries
  • cheese - petits-suisses / x
  • desert - x / chocolate flan

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