We've all heard about French women and their reasonable portions—of cheese, meat, le pain
. But what we tend to forget is the category of food they don't
put limits on: fresh, seasonal vegetables and fruit. In part, it's because they've been encouraged to try many varieties from a very young age and have developed a lifelong appreciation for naturally healthy food, explains Pamela Druckerman in her book, Bringing Up Bébé
. Druckerman writes that it's almost impossible to find rice cereal in French supermarkets, and bébé
's first foods are typically "flavor-packed vegetables...steamed and pureed green beans, spinach, carrots, peeled zucchini and the white part of leeks." So what do you do if you were raised on meat and potatoes and you're not crazy about "flavor-packed vegetables"? Druckerman writes that French kids don't all have an innate preference for, say, the white part of leeks, but "parents see it as their job to bring the child around to appreciating [them]," and a government handbook even urges parents to keep proposing a food even after kids have rejected it three or four times. This approach can work on palates of any age: Research has shown that trying a "meh" food 10 times in a row can help you develop a taste for it.