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French mums - what do you feed your babies?

(34 Posts)
puffling Sat 17-Feb-07 13:17:25

I watched the programme about Parisian eating habits last night. I found it very interesting and it led me to wonder what French babies typically eat. DD is nearly one and I'd be interested to know what you feed one yr olds and what they love to eat.

frenziednester Sat 17-Feb-07 21:53:50

ooh, can I jump in and ask too, what is the french view on alcohol when breastfeeding?

NotQuiteCockney Sat 17-Feb-07 21:54:53

A friend of mine in Paris seemed to feed his kid lots of jar food. He was quite startled when mine ate tagine, merguez, whatever was on offer.

I expect ideas vary - this friend's wife is very anxious that her child eat well, so her child has become quite fussy, imo.

sideways Sat 17-Feb-07 21:55:39

That programme last night was typical ITV tabloid journalism at its worst.

Skribble Sat 17-Feb-07 21:55:46

I found it very interesting too, I bought "French woman don't get fat" in a charity shop a while ago and haven't read it yet. Think its next on my list.

Skribble Sat 17-Feb-07 21:57:17

Fair enough it was ITV tabloid journalism, but it does show the huge differences in attitudes towards food and lifestyle, between not just the french and british but between brits too.

sideways Sat 17-Feb-07 21:59:32

Agreed, but it was disappointing, as it could have been an interesting programme showing real differences between comparable people.

Instead, it took an overweight UK mum feeding her kids frozen potato smiles and tinned spaghetti and a French mum who just happened to be a top chef.

Opportunity wasted.

I have several French friends and they all gave their kids similar stuff to what I gave dd - vegetables, fruit, pasta, sauces etc.

Skribble Sat 17-Feb-07 22:02:52

Ah yes there was the fact that one was a stay at home overweight mum and the other was a top chef with her own restaurant.

They could have done a much better comparison and used a few examples. So yes in that regard it was a bit feeble and could have been done much better,.

puffling Sat 17-Feb-07 22:37:11

I agree with your point Sideways. ITV are obligated to fulfil their news/current affairs brief and this particular programme like may of them only bore the most scant relation to 'news.'
I enjoyed it anyway and wasn't too bothered that the womens' lives weren't totally comparable. If their lives had not been so dissimilar, then the English participant might not have come away so inspired to change.

Skribble Sat 17-Feb-07 22:45:22

It was good to look at two different attitudes to food and eating, but it didn't sum up the difference between french and british in the way it claimed to.

The observations on excersise and how brits binge oon excersise and french excersise all the time was interesting too.

admylin Sat 17-Feb-07 22:46:01

When I went to stay with my french friend I was quite surprised to see her 1 and a half year old got a big bowl of black (not herbal like in germany) tea with milk in and 6 or 7 rich tea type biscuits thrown in for him to eat with a spoon. Other french friends were very into healthy muslis, fresh veg purees etc and no pork at all saying it was an unhealthy bad meat.

PizPizPiz Sun 18-Feb-07 21:04:53

I'm French and watched the program with my Brit hubby. It's true that the comparison wasn't fair, if a chef doesn't feed her children well, who would? I also found that it was too naive in its generalisations. Sone French mums feed their children crap and drive them to school. But, it is true, from my own observation, and I've been living in th UK for 6 years, that more french women feed their kids healthy stuff than British ones. You'll never see a French kid eat a packet of crisps at 4 in the afternoon or at any time of the day actually. Crisps are for special occasion (aperitif) and not a staple food as it seems to be here.

The good things about French eating habits too are that we all eat together at the table and at regular times, home cooked stuff (even if ready made meals are more and more common nowadays in France).

Othersideofthechannel Mon 19-Feb-07 03:55:50

Puffling, over here they tell us only 50g of meat or fish once a day for 1 yr olds ie only at one meal, preferably midday meal. 500ml of milk or equivalent.

A 1 yr old would have
breakfast with a bottle of milk, then some bread or cereal. Many people dissolve the cereal into the milk so it is drunk.
hot main meal maybe with a starter. Children get used to having a salad style starter eg grated carrot very early on, between the ages of 1 and 2.
afternoon snack 'gouter' of milk or yoghurt or fromage frais, with fruit or biscuits.
hot evening meal is served later than in the UK, usually about 7pm, no meat or fish,

Yes Piz, you just don't see crisps and sweets for sale everywhere in France, as compared to the UK.
Other differences I've noticed are:
No one I've met in France (except DH who has lived in the UK) seems to think a sandwich can be a proper meal but then generally speaking people in the UK have lots of practice in turning a sandwich into a balanced meal. Far too much mayo and not enough veg over here!
French children drink milk from bottles for far longer. DS is nearly 4 and has school friends who still have their milk from bottles.
I don't know if it is the same in the UK, but I was surprised to see that babyfood manufacturers make ready food up to the age of three, they come in little plastic trays with a film lid. It's longlife stuff found on the ordinary shelves not in the chill cabinets. Beeurk!
Over here it is water with meals. Juice/squash is more of a treat. (Of course there are exceptions to all of the above, I know of a French family who give 3 year old Coke with meals)

slim22 Mon 19-Feb-07 12:19:27

moved to UK in 1999 from Paris.
Honestly, it's pretty much the same. Some families have healthy habits, some don't.
French mums don't give crisps or chocolate bars, but buy croissant or pain au chocolat, which is basically all made of the same stuff: fat and sugar and very little nutrients.
One thing is true, you will never see a french mum feeding her children a sandwich.Most meals are hot.
Grew up in switzerland and also lived in Amsterdam. I find german/nordic attitude towards food much less obsessive. They basically focus on whole foods, as little processed as possible and very seasonnal.And their idea of a treat is french fries or waffles when it's minus 10 degrees.

AuldAlliance Mon 19-Feb-07 17:16:15

As mentioned by others, it depends on families. Most mothers I know here in France feed their kids what I do (DS is 23mths) or similar (pasta/ rice/couscous with sauce, lots of veg, meat or fish once a day, loads of mash but with varied veg (potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, spinach, etc.). Some get biscuits/croissants, some don't. Some get juice, some don't. They definitely drink bottles of milk for much longer.
But it really does depend: our neighbours came round for supper and their DS (4) and DD(20mths) ate crisps and ham slices.
And their mother is in charge of the local crèche and plans the menus there...

OttergavebirthonValentines Mon 19-Feb-07 17:30:48

i like that grated carrot idea- will try and report back

PizPizPiz Mon 19-Feb-07 18:40:26

otter, try it with grated celeriac and a hint of garlic - for that French touch!- it's yummy. Good luck, my dd has been raised a la French and won't touch it

Othersideofthechannel Tue 20-Feb-07 06:16:26

We started about 8 months ago, with finely grated carrot with a splash of freshly squeezed orange juice. I sometimes vary it by adding chunks of orange or raisins. Have now graduated to vinaigrette. DD is 2.2.

slim22 Tue 20-Feb-07 10:27:39

-grated carrots+half squeezed orange juice+pinch cinamom+raisins
-grated cucumber+2tbsp water+half tsp honey

particule Wed 21-Feb-07 09:04:06

hello! i'm pretty new to mumsnet and haven't quite grasped how tu use it yet... I'm a French mum to a 5-month old baby girl and I've got a million questions I should like to ask other French mums! how do i start a conversation/thread without butting in (as I'm doing now) on a pre-existing one?
Thank you!

ggglimpopo Wed 21-Feb-07 09:06:05

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ggglimpopo Wed 21-Feb-07 09:06:59

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AuldAlliance Wed 21-Feb-07 09:27:55

ggglimpopo: I'm about 20km north of Aix-en-Provence. Don't want to be more precise right now, having criticised the directrice of the crèche on here, especially as she is lovely. I think she gets so fed up with doing things the right way for everyone else's kids the whole day long that she lets it all hang out when she gets home.
P.S. I've offered to help organise a French Mile for Maude, but I think maybe the MNers in France are all a bit too scattered around the country. Although I don't 'know' you, I have been touched by your posts and your courage and I think of you and your family very often. If I can do anything for you, even if it's only sending calissons d'Aix(!) or some other Provençal treat, just say the word.

particule Wed 21-Feb-07 09:28:04

Bonjour à vous/ toi (est-ce qu'on se vousvoie sur le net... sans doute pas!)

thanks for the tip!

COuld I ask, since you were discussing feeding, what you think about using "farine" to thicken milk for a baby's bottle?
I'm reading Laurence Pernoud to try and cope, she mentions this for babies whose sleeping patterns are less than regular.
I tried to ask the pharmacist nearest to me, but all I got was frowning and a chilling "this is not the approved procedure in THIS country". ah.

AuldAlliance Wed 21-Feb-07 09:35:27

Hi Particule,
I think Pernoud is now seen as a bit outdated as regards feeding.
Our pédiatre here would not contemplate the idea of "farine" (is that ground rice? I never used it so I'm not sure what's in it). But then she's not the one trying to cope with a non-sleeping baby.
Maybe you could try the feeding/sleep threads and ask British mums (I presume you're in the UK??) for feedback on what they were recommended.
Bon courage en tout cas...

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