France may boast one of the richest and most sophisticated cuisines in the world, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of delicious options for little ones to enjoy, too. Believe it or not, introducing French food to your kids is much easier than you think. Just take a look at these tasty sweet and savory French dishes that children will happily eat.
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Pain au chocolat
If there is one French food that kids will always reach for, it’s a baked good stuffed with chocolate. The French are world-famous for their delectable sweet treats such as the croissant, brioche, and pain aux raisins; which they often enjoy for breakfast. But if there is one that is guaranteed to lure them out of bed in the morning, it’s pain au chocolat.
Easy for tiny hands to grasp, this delightful pastry is sure to win over little ones. And best of all, it’s easy to eat on the go; meaning you can still start your days as a true Parisian with a cafe au lait and pain au chocolat from the local boulangerie. If your child learns to love only one authentic French food from this list, it will likely be this one. And that’s at least a start.
Also known as a galette in Brittany and northwest France, the hearty and versatile buckwheat crêpe can be enjoyed as a snack or a main meal. Unlike the traditional sweet crêpe which is made from wheat flour, the galette is made from buckwheat flour. This gives it a more rich and savory flavor. The real beauty of this popular dish is that you can load it with all kinds of delicious and nutritious ingredients.
Some of the most popular fillings and toppings include ham, cheese, spinach, asparagus, and a fried egg. Of course, you can also make them sweet by adding fillings such as Nutella, jam, or fresh fruit. You can easily find great restaurants that specialize in buckwheat crêpes throughout France. But if you want to have fun whipping up your own, just follow these simple recipes that kids will love.
More than just a sandwich, the croque monsieur has been an institution in France since the early 1900s. Its name comes from the French words croque (meaning ‘crunchy bite’) and monsieur (‘mister’). This is thought to have originated in a Parisian bistro back in 1910. It was there that the dish first appeared on the menu as a quick but hearty lunch for the local workmen; hence its rough translation as a ‘bite for the men’.
Made with crunchy bread, melted Emmental or Gruyère cheese, and smoky ham slathered in Béchamel sauce, this delicious snack is sure to put a smile on little faces. There are several variations of the recipe, too. Add a poached or lightly fried egg on top, for instance, and voila, you have a croque madame; otherwise known as a croque à cheval in some parts of Normandy.
A croque mademoiselle, meanwhile, is a lighter, vegetarian version made from normal melted cheese served with cucumber, chives, and salad. However you choose to make it, though, it will no doubt be a winner with your kids.
Pizza is loved by kids the world over. But if you’re looking to add a French twist on the popular dish, then pissaladière is the way to go. Originating just across the French-Italian border in Italy’s Liguria, it consists of sauteed onions, anchovies, and olives served on a crust. Notably, this is slightly thicker and doughier than a traditional Italian pizza. Simple to make and delicious to eat, the popular dish is a great option for either lunch or dinner.
If getting your children to eat whole anchovies is a challenge, however, you can always opt for onion and anchovy puree. This gives each bite a lovely salty kick and your kids will be none the wiser. Because pissaladière is often served as an appetizer, it’s also perfect for getting the kiddies fed faster. That way, you can enjoy a more leisurely, stress-free meal.
Now, here’s a simple dish you can try at home. Quiche Lorraine is the perfect introduction to French food for kids. It consists of pastry crust filled with savory egg custard and pieces of cheese and ham. Because it can be enjoyed either hot or cold, it’s a convenient snack to enjoy at home or when out and about; perhaps on a family picnic. If you want to try making it yourself, you can simply buy a pre-made pie crust. Then all you need to do is fill it with your favorite combination of ingredients and bake it in the oven.
If you prefer to buy it ready-made from the supermarket, such as Auchan, however, you’ll find that it’s readily available throughout the country. And because it’s suitable for any meal or snack, it’s a great way to get your little ones to enjoy French cuisine while filling them up.
Originating in southern France, cassoulet is essentially a rich, slow-cooked casserole that contains meat, pork skin, and white beans. Its name comes from the traditional deep, round, earthenware cooking pot that it is made in. The hearty French dish comes in a variety of different forms. However, kids tend to prefer the drier, casserole version over the runnier, stew version.
Of course, if you are making this at home, you can simply add whatever ingredients you have lying around your kitchen. As your little ones become more adventurous with their appetites, you can also experiment with adding different meats and veggies. That way, you can gradually discover what they enjoy most. Whatever you throw in the pot, though, it’s a meal that will warm up your kiddies in no time.
Is there anything more satisfying than cracking the sugary, crispy crust of a freshly-baked crème brûlée with a spoon? If you’re looking for ways to make your kids fall in love with French food, then this is it. Creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside, crème brûlée is your child’s idea of heaven. And once they break the surface to discover the deliciously creamy pudding within, it won’t take them long to gobble it up.
Of course, with all that sugar and fat combined into one delectable dessert, you probably won’t want to make this a regular treat. That said, the promise of that cracking sound after their main meal might just be enough to make your little ones eat up everything on their plates.