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Mainly veggie family hosting French students, will food be okay

(17 Posts)
starfish4 Sun 14-Jun-15 17:07:54

We only eat veggie, fish, chicken or DH will eat things like bought lasagne and pies.

We've got two French students staying soon, do you think our normal food is going to be okay? If not, can anyone suggest something else simply they might eat (I don't might serving meat but don't want to mess about with it):

Breakfast - we have cereal and toast, they are welcome to juice, fruit or yogurt if they prefer

Lunchbox - sandwich (we can get sliced chicken, ham, cheese, tuna and marmite in to choose from), fruit, biscuits or cake, something savory like crisps, babybel, sausage roll.

Tea - typical meals for us are: salmon, white fish or chicken with veggies, veg curry, veg chilli, tuna pasta bake, veggie spag bol, tortillas with optional veggie filling (also served with rice, salad & cheese), pizza, chips & salad, might do a BBQ offering sausage or burgers. It won't be homecooked, but could do meat lasagne or similar. DD won't eat some meals so chicken nuggets, chicken in breadcrumbs or fish in breadcrumbs & veggies are always available as an alternative.

Bunbaker Sun 14-Jun-15 17:17:12

Will the students know that you eat mostly veggie food?

Branleuse Sun 14-Jun-15 17:19:23

it will be fine

Cretaceous Sun 14-Jun-15 17:34:32

From that, it doesn't sound like you eat veggie at all? You eat fish and chicken. Surely most people don't have red meat every day - maybe once a week? confused I wouldn't worry at all.

littleomar Sun 14-Jun-15 17:38:17

Good luck getting French people to eat Marmite, otherwise fine.

malaguena Sun 14-Jun-15 17:53:56

This is reminding me of being a teenage French student and staying with a British family while I was studying English- the food was horrendous! In fact, it was so bad that I would deliberately come late to miss dinner time. One particular highlight was pasta with crisps mixed in confused. I think what you have listed will be totally fine! Veggies are rare in France but I suppose they can buy extra meat for themselves if needed, and you have chicken and fish anyway. I agree about Marmite, not sure they'd like that, and jam sandwiches (bad memories here). Some people don't really eat toast, maybe you could get hold of baguettes or similar from the supermarket? Curry, they might not be used to this type of flavours as Indian food is not really popular over there, so might be best to check first. You sound like a great host family!

Bunbaker Sun 14-Jun-15 18:02:31

Don't offer chicken nuggets. I will only reinforce the stereotype of awful British food.

mummytime Mon 15-Jun-15 07:41:54

DD survived fine in her vegetarian phase on a French exchange - she did get a little bored of Brie, but they were lovely to her.

Do you have to provide packed lunches? If so the tip from friends is to try to give them brand name crisps as they tend to compare them at lunch time.

lottiegarbanzo Mon 15-Jun-15 07:54:49

So you eat an omnivorous diet with little red meat, like millions of health conscious Britons who are not vegetarians? Pretty normal British food then.

It's nice to be so thoughtful but probably best to have a few options in mind and ask them if there's anything they don't like. I think your home cooked healthy dinners are likely to go down well and at least be recognisable to them!

Part of the exchange experience is trying different food and the main factor for success is the exchangee's willingness to try things. I recall rabbit with prunes, also hot chocolate at breakfast, as a 13yo in France. I don't think the hosts worried too much about anticipated 'cultural dislikes' IYSWIM but did ask if I liked things.

starfish4 Mon 15-Jun-15 10:39:08

Thanks for your replies. No, the students don't know what our diet is like. The first one comes from via the school and they've suggested homecooked meals. The other one from elsewhere and we've been told just to carry on as normal in all aspects.

I'm going to let them choose from the fillings for sandwiches. The chicken nuggets/chicken or fish in breadcrumbs are just an alternative if they say they won't eat what I'm cooking from scratch, ie to offer them another choice.

It doesn't worry me about the lack of understanding, but I hate the thought of anyone feeling hungry!

castleintheair Mon 15-Jun-15 12:52:25

Your menu sounds the kind of thing most French kids eat. Contrary to popular belief, they do not exist on a diet of mostly "blue" red meat! In my experience they are not fussy eaters and they do seem to love chicken nuggets/breadcrumb fish, pizzas etc so don't worry about that. Anyway, they are experiencing culture and not just language. I am sure they will be very happy. Good luck with it.

ShaynePunim Mon 15-Jun-15 13:43:23

It will be fine.

yakari Mon 15-Jun-15 13:57:41

My DH is French and loves to recount the horror stories of his first exchange in the UK probably about 30 years ago - I believe it was the baked beans that tipped him over the edge grin

Overall it sounds fine (bar the marmite!). The main difference I notice between British and French meals is the French tend to do courses, so a starter followed by a main, then cheese or dessert (and often both). So if you don't tend to have multiple courses, do think about having extra in - bread, cheese, yogurt can serve as dessert, some salad on the side etc.

You may also want to point out to the organisers you are primarily veggie - that may influence their matching criteria, if for example they had a veggie student to place. Also think about the return trip will your kids cope with a lot of red meat when they exchange to France?

But as PP said - the whole point of an exchange is appreciating the differences so don't stress to much.

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Mon 15-Jun-15 14:01:40

I host foreign students and am vegetarian. I do cook meat but not for every meal. I have a few meals I do which go down fine - breaded chicken and chips, breaded fish and chips (they love this!) pizza and wedges (can add ham or pepperoni if you want) veggie bolognese, chicken breast and savoury rice, omelette and vegetables. All are generally popular and easy to prepare if you aren't big on meat.

Cafeconleche Mon 15-Jun-15 17:20:38

We had a French exchange student staying with us last year. Nutella and toasted baguettes and juice/hot chocolate for breakfast. Packed lunches of baguettes (again - his request) with ham and cheese and salad, tuna and salad etc. Chicken, good quality burgers, pizza and salads/veg/fries for dinner, loads of cheeses on offer and a variety of ice creams in the freezer. My DS had emailed him before he visited to find out his preferences and they were pretty much the same as my DS's standard fare. I discovered that when the French students were out for the day in London with their teachers they'd all hit McDonalds...

SallyMcgally Mon 15-Jun-15 17:27:42

You're not a veggie household with chicken and fish. French people would have no issue at all with what you're offering - it sounds lovely. Just as a tip Nutella and Nesquik went down very well indeed with homesick French teenagers in our house.

LotusLight Mon 15-Jun-15 18:35:13

There was nothing my daughter liked on her french exchange - it was very very grim. She had one stock phrase she used - Je deteste le fromage (she hates cheese) which did not go down well as they had cheese with everything. When the girl was here I cannot quite remember what she ate but I was happy to buy in whatever she might have wanted.

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