How many of our children eat cheese over and above the usual mild cheddar or Babybel? Perhaps we should join the French and introduce our children to more exciting cheese.
Whilst we would all love our children to be little gourmands they rarely are and we all do our best to keep their diets as varied as possible.
Here in France from the age of 3 they sit down every day at school to a four course lunch. Salad, meat or fish and a veg, cheese, fruit or yoghurt (sometimes choc mousse) and bread and water. You get a menu for the whole month at the beginning and it costs 2 euro 20 cents a day.
It’s all cooked on site and bought locally. Having come from a private London nursery where pasta was de rigeur and the menu was limited I was worried at how Finn would take to things like rabbit and boudin noir which appear regularly on the menu.
They have made no headway with the salad (a la Lola, Finn will never ever ever eat a tomato) but the other courses and in particular the cheese have been a great success. He has become completely used to a different cheese each day and will always go for the cheese board in a restaurant.
In the first few months when I picked him up from school he would always tell me about his cheese! Was it square, round, squishy or hard and I would check on the menu and buy it.
My best recommendations for French cheeses for children are: Mimolette, Cantal Jeune, Emmental, St Paulin and Tomme. We also give them Brie and Camembert but there may be some guidance on that in the UK?
I little bit at the end of the meal with piece of fruit and a yoghurt is good source of calcium and a nice way to finish and establish a more sophisticated taste for later life.
Why not give it a go?
Stephanie and her family live in
South West France after emigrating from the UK last year. She runs a family friendly B&B & gite in the gorgeous Charente region near Cognac and La Rochelle. If you require any further information from Steph on cooking for kids or on their lovely farmhouse please drop her line at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website here: www.thecourtyard.fr