As mentioned in last week’s meal planning post, I decided to give the French four-course meal a try. My kids do eat veggies, but supper is a often a struggle. I try not to stress about it, but I would like to see them eat more than just a slice of bread or a pile of noodles during a meal.

What is it?

The general gist of it is to serve vegetables first, when your kids (and adults!) are the most hungry; then the main course, usually containing protein and starch; then a third course of a simple salad or cheese; and finally dessert, which may be fruit or yogurt.

It had never occurred to me to do this, even though I saw it in use at my youngest son’s daycare during snack time.

What we ate

  • Day 1: Quesadillas
    1. Raw carrots, cucumber and celery with ranch dip
    2. Cheese quesadillas on whole grain tortillas with salsa
    3. A piece of cheese
    4. Yogurt and grapes
  • Day 2: Spaghetti
    1. Steamed mixed vegetables
    2. Spaghetti with meat sauce
    3. Kids had a piece of cheese; I had spring mix with a raspberry vinaigrette dressing
    4. Yogurt
  • Day 3: Veggie burgers
    1. French fries (I know, these are a starchy vegetable)
    2. Veggie burgers on whole wheat buns]
    3. Cheese and salad
    4. Skipped; kids ran off to play
  • Day 4: Breaded chicken
    1. Steamed mixed vegetables
    2. Breaded chicken drumsticks
    3. Skipped
    4. Banana bread
  • Day 5: Mac & cheese
    1. Raw carrots, cucumber and celery with ranch dip
    2. Homemade mac & cheese with butternut squash puree mixed in
    3. Skipped
    4. Banana bread

Why only five days? Days six and seven of the week were leftovers. After the week was over, the kids went to their dad’s.

How it went

As you can see, by the end of it we weren’t serving all four courses. I found the third course (cheese/salad) to be too much. We are not accustomed to eating dessert with every meal either, but I do not mind my kids eating fruit or yogurt.

Overall, it went very well! My kids have always been a fan of raw vegetables, but I think this was the first time that they ate the steamed mixed veggies (beans and carrots in this case) willingly, and even asked for seconds! They ate more French fries than they usually do, too.

They did not eat the veggie burgers themselves at all (they took a tiny taste and declared it yucky) but did eat the bun (of course).

I consider this a success! I will definitely keep serving vegetables first. It helps with my veggie consumption as well!

Have you ever tried this, or something similar? How did it go?

I served my kids veggies first for five days