Eat Your Way Around the World: France

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In helping to broaden our kids’ minds, international cuisine is a great place to start. And while unfamiliar foods can put kids off, getting them involved in the preparation makes them much more likely to try new things.

All over the globe, France is recognized as an innovator in cooking. When it comes to cultivating the freshest ingredients and melding flavors and health, it’s really difficult to top France. Here are a couple really fun and intriguing dishes to try out on your kids, and while you are at it, you can impart a little technique and culture too.

Fondue. It’s totally delicious, simple and a great way to get kids to eat their veggies. Plus, it’s really fun activity in and of itself to use the long forks and dip things in the melted cheese. It does require some specific equipment, but a fondue set is pretty easy to come by. Plus, you can do the chocolate/fruit version around holidays and kids simply go nuts for it.

Crespéou. This is basically a fancy, three-layered omelet that comes together very easily and provides lots of opportunity to substitute in favorite flavors you know your kids will eat. The younger ones can grate and crumble the cheese while the older kids chop veggies and crack eggs. Here’s a great recipe from Sophie Dahl, granddaughter of Roald Dahl: http://www.healthygreenkitchen.com/very-fond-of-crespeou.html

Chaussons aux Pommes (Apple Turnovers). The French really mastered the art of baking, and part of the reason is that their butter is such high quality. Folding the pastry is entertaining for children, and they don’t take very long to bake. You can also riff a little by throwing some spices into the filling.http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/french-apple-turnovers-em-chaussons-aux-pommes-em-350419
To make it fun, have everyone pick an ingredient and look up the French word, so as your making these delicious dishes you can practice that tricky French accent. Your family will enjoy the lesson, and the food. Bon Appetit!