Pablo’s menu this week (19 months)… and a little comparison

This week started strong! I had the honor of being mentioned in Karen Le Billon’s latest post, talking about the food recommendations for babies and children, made by the French equivalent of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Société française de pédiatrie.  If you haven’t had a chance to read it, you should go check it out here. Very enlightening!

On a somewhat related topic, Pablo and I were looking through his picture books, which we have both in French and in English. I thought the food sections of the two picture books were interesting to compare… Here’s a look.

Obviously, this is a non-scientific informal comparison, just for fun, as the two books don’t have quite the same format and presentation… Nevertheless, I found interesting:

– The quantity of foods shown

– The kind of foods: while the American book wouldn’t dare include anything considered too indulgent, such as cookies or pie, the French doesn’t have a problem with it. The little character even says “Yum” at the chocolate cookies, and the text at the top says, “‘Yum, I love chocolate cakes’, says Nina who loves to eat [best equivalent for ‘gourmande’]. What about you, show what you love to eat.This reminded me of the study Karen Le Billon talked about, where most Americans, when shown a chocolate cake, think “calories” and “guilt”, whereas the French (with their very low rate of obesity) think “celebration” and “pleasure”. If we recognize that a sweet treat is a wonderful thing in moderation, maybe our children won’t be tempted to binge on the “forbidden” later on…

Interesting also how the only vegetables portrayed in the French are a lettuce and a jar of peas. I guess they went with what they thought children liked the most, while the US book went with what they thought children should like the most… Ah, those shoulds never get us anywhere, do they? Acknowledgement, on the other hand…

– As an illustration on how the French are usually intent on teaching children about food, flavor, etc., the little “game” on the bottom right of the page, consists of asking the child to show one sweet food, and one savory food on the page. (In the same vein as the Semaine du Goût…)

What are your thoughts on this?  Would love to hear them.

Now… let’s get down to business. The business of what we’re eating this week!

Cheeses of the week: Following French tradition, I always offer a little bit of cheese at the end of every meal, between the main course and dessert. Rotation this week: Blue cheese, Gruyere, Mushroom Brie.

Desserts: At lunch, I offer a fruit yogurt (or plain yogurt with fresh fruit), but at night, I prefer sticking to plain yogurt (regular homemade* whole milk, sheep’s milk, goat’s milk and Greek yogurt for extra protein) to avoid too much sugar before bedtime.

If you would like a particular recipe on the menu, feel free to contact me! (I marked with a * the recipes that will be the topic of upcoming posts).


Lunch – OUT.

(Went to SanSai Japanese Grill, very good options for kids. Pablo had some steamed rice, edamame, shrimp tempura – took out batter – tomato cucumber salad and cabbage salad.)

Goûter (4pm snack) – Banana


Appetizer / Finger Foods: Grated carrots and leftover Watercress sorrel soup

Main course: Turkey breast in creamy mushroom sauce, with ratatouille



Appetizer / Finger Foods: Authentic Greek salad

Main course: Smoked salmon with baby bok choy puree

Goûter – Apple compote


Appetizer / Finger Foods: Watercress persimmon chick peas salad from Deer Eats Wolf (had it last week, was so good we’re doing it again!)

Main course: Soft boiled egg with ratatouille



Appetizer / Finger Foods: Watermelon radish, hearts of palm and avocado

Main course: Tahitian poisson cru*

Goûter – Apple blueberry compote


Appetizer / Finger Foods: Apple & goat cheese millefeuilles

Main course: Lamb chops with delicious looking spinach flan from Rachel Eats



Appetizer / Finger Foods:  Cold potato and green beans salad

Main course:  Steak tartare*

Goûter – Apple pear compote


Appetizer / Finger Foods: Endive salad with walnut vinaigrette

Main course: Trying the smoked trout with apple celeriac soup from Cannelle & Vanille



Appetizer / Finger Foods: Quinoa salad with mint, tomato, cucumber and shallots

Main course: Ham with veggie noodles

Goûter – Kiwi


Appetizer / Finger Foods: White asparagus in yogurt tarragon sauce

Main course: Tofu, and a vegetable crumble*


Lunch – OUT

Goûter – Tangerine


Appetizer / Finger Foods: Cream of zucchini soup*

Main course: Braised ham-wrapped endives au gratin


Lunch – OUT

Goûter – Apple blueberry compote


Appetizer / Finger Foods: Raw beet and watermelon radish salad with citrus dressing

Main course: Oven roasted pork ribs with blue potatoes

4 thoughts on “Pablo’s menu this week (19 months)… and a little comparison

  1. I want to make all these meals this week now!!! I notice, though, that you didn't include breakfast. Why is that?

    1. Hi Jordin, thanks for visiting! Let me know how your family likes the meals! I don't post breakfast because it tends to be always the same in our household (and in a lot of French households actually, this is the meal that tends to have very little variation). Pablo has some greek yogurt with a sprinkle of sugar and wheat germs, berries, and cereal, either oatmeal or organic honey or chocolate o's (made of oat only – the chocolate is surprisingly less sweet than the honey one. The French are big on chocolate/cocoa for its magnesium, and it isn't necessarily associated with high sugar content). Pablo finishes with a little oatbread toast with butter (which he now asks for, "beuhh", for beurre ;-))

  2. We used to have that book! 😉 Anyway, very interesting review on the difference! Kids learn unconsciously about food from surroundings, including books!

    1. So true, Nami. Such an interesting point, it's not just what we feed our kids, but books and toys around as well. I'm always amazed at how many pizza / ketchup / hamburger food / cakes and cookies toys there are out there. I'd be really interested in seeing a similar book from Japan… How would it differ, do you think?

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