Tag Archives: snacks

What’s on your plate Part II: to snack or not to snack?

In France, snacking is taken quite seriously.  On an average working day, people get up and eat breakfast at the same time as the rest of the world – say 7-ish.  They have lunch at roughly the same time as the rest of the world – say between noon and 1:00.  And that’s where normal ends, particularly for school-age children, at least for an American kid like me.  Because the school day doesn’t end until 6:00 for high schoolers, and 5:00 for middle school.  Except on Wednesdays, when it finishes at noon.  So dinner gets pushed back a bit, and kids of all ages have what is known as a goûter at 4:00.  This isn’t so much a snack as it is a very small meal, usually involving exceptionally sweet things (another breakfast, then) like cookies and/or hot chocolate and/or pastries.  Dinner isn’t served until 8-ish, and it tends to be very light by Anglo/American standards, so this is reasonably understandable.

I have to say, though, that one of the things I’m almost certain about is that eating late played a big part in my weight gain.  That’s partly because it’s just not good for us to eat late, but it’s also because, as someone raised in the U.S., I am pretty attached to a substantial evening meal.  I feel a bit swindled if after a long day’s work, all I get is a small bowl of vegetable soup or a salad and a slice of bread (for the French, there’s almost always charcuterie or cheese involved…maybe that makes up for the lack of carbs…).

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