French children don't snack

How is that, except for a specific time in the afternoon, French kids don’t snack? (French Children Don't Throw Food, by Pamela Druckerman, p.3)
 
Yes, it's mostly true. We do not like our kids snacking out of meal time, except for this dedicated time when they come back from school, that we call "goûter" or "quatre heures" (meaning "4 o'clock") and which is French-wise a social moment to bring them to talk about their day.
 
I personally was surprised the other way around, when my daughter started day care here in the United States around 6 months. I was able to follow-up through the family-communication daily sheet what she had been eating all day long. Not only was I surprised with her new eating habits (bean burrito, pizza, cheeseburgers!), while at home she was almost only fed with boring green veggies puree or mashed sweet potatoes, but also with her eating schedule. I was so proud to have her on a 4-meal schedule at home (8-12-4-8) at 6 months of age, but day care was playing against me, offering her a snack every two hours! 
 
She’s now used to this ongoing flow of food 
  • When she arrives at 8, she is offered some fruits and pancakes and milk. 
  • At 9:30 she gets yogurt or cheese and crackers. 
  • Two hours later, just before nap time (around 11:30) she enjoys a full hot lunch (veggies, meat, tacos, cheese, fruits). 
  • Just after a 2-hour nap, she wakes up for another snack (fruits, milk).
  • And at 4:30 she gets her final snack (yogurt, fruits, crackers)! 
  • When I see her back around 7, I still have to feed her dinner. 
It seems like her Americanized appetite never says nay… In a normal day at day care, she gets to eat about 6 meals! No surprise she does not look happy during weekends when she inundates me with pleadings for “gateau” (cake) at missing snack times and I have to stand firm.
 
More on this topic: http://frenchandamericans.blogspot.com
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