As Americans, we are taught to deny pleasure and venerate self-sacrifice and hard work. And when we finally take time off to have fun, we often do things in excess. We party hard. We eat and drink too much. And then we feel guilty. When we enjoy food too much, we say we’ve been “bad.” Maybe if we didn’t deprive ourselves of simple pleasures all day every day, we wouldn’t feel so compelled to overdo it on weekends.Share
A comparative study found that when American parents talked to their children at the dinner table, they talked about what children should eat in nutritional and moral terms. When the Italians talked at the table, they talked about what their children wanted to eat, and encouraged them to develop their individual tastes.
One of the most surprising things that French mothers shared with me in my research was their belief that stimulating children’s appetites for a wide variety of life’s pleasures can actually deter them from becoming addicted to drugs! (Read more.)