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The 7 Secrets of Raising Happy Eaters: Why French kids eat everything and how yours can too! Paperback – 27 May 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Piatkus (27 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349404445
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349404448
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 3.1 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 149,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Karen Le Billon is an author, teacher, and proud mom of two daughters. She is married to a Frenchman, and her family divides its time between Vancouver and France. Her kids love spinach puree (honest!).

A Rhodes Scholar with a PhD from Oxford University, Karen currently teaches at the University of British Columbia, where she holds a Canada Research Chair. In 2012 she was named a member of Jamie Oliver Foundation's Real Food Advocates team. She is the author of three previous books, and her work has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Bon Appetit Magazine, and on Good Morning America.

She blogs on France, food, and parenting at

Product Description


Any parent eager to get kids to eat vegetables must read this instant classic right now. [The Seven Secrets of Raising Happy Eaters] celebrates the fun and joy of parenting-even of picky eaters. This book makes it a pleasure to teach kids about delicious food, encourage healthier eating habits, and counter the relentless marketing of junk food, without ever turning the dinner table into a battlefield (Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University, and author of Eat, Drink, Vote: An Illustrated Guide to Food Politics.)

Get ready for children who have healthy attitudes toward food and not only eat their veggies but like them, too. I absolutely love the idea of teaching them to eat well through the Taste Training program-a true 'fix' for picky eaters! (Lisa Leake, author of 100 Days of Real Food)

Want your kids to be food lovers? Karen takes away the pressure, stress, and frustration of mealtime with interactive food games and simple recipes that make eating a joy for the whole family! (Catherine McCord, author of Weelicious)

I simply adore this book as it is bursting with simple, down-to-earth, practical ways to "taste train" and educate children to enjoy healthy foods through fun games and activities. The underlying principle is that children can learn to eat well, just like they can learn to ride a bike, which I wholeheartedly agree with. Karen's book is a must-read for parents who battle with "fussy eaters" and dread meal times. So grab your copy now and begin to enjoy the adventure opening up to your children and your whole family, as you discover the joys of healthy eating and have fun creating healthy eating habits for life (Sue Atkins, author of Parenting Made Easy - How To Raise Happy Children)

Book Description

A simple and surprisingly fun way to change dinner time reactions from 'Yuck' to 'Yum'

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
What is the book about?

Karen Le Billon moved to France with two young picky eaters. As she explains in her first book, French Kids Eat Everything, within one year they became happy eaters, eating and loving a huge range of foods, including beet salad, broccoli and mussels… but how can you do the same in your own home?… This is what Karen writes about in her new book: The 7 secrets of raising happy eaters, a very hands-on and practical manual to teach your children to like healthy food through her 7 pillars/secrets and taste training.

What did I particularly like about the book?

There are plenty of things that I liked about the book so I had to list my top three. First things first, it is based on evidence, research and written in collaboration with test families. Secondly, the tone is really encouraging and motivating. Finally it is a really hands-on practical book packed with worksheets, games, tips, recipes, anecdotes etc…

In addition, I have randomly picked a recipe out of the book that I did not know before and I made it for one of our family dinner: Mollie’s Enchanted Broccoli Rainforest, in homage to Mollie Katzen, author of The New Enchanted Broccoli Forest. I served it with French torchon ham and bresaola my husband brought back from his trip in Italy. It was delicious. One of my sons polished his plate, the other one ate a third, which was great considering they had a big goûter (4pm snack).

What did I dislike about the book?

I have really enjoyed reading this book so it is quite hard for me to say.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
converted adult, being taught & leading family back to adventurous, exciting eating! 20 July 2014
By JayHawk6 - Published on
Format: Paperback
Background: I also read Le Billon's first book, French Kids Eat Everything, when my oldest was 2 yrs and I had a newborn daughter. (My kids are now almost 4, 2, and 1 yrs). It is the best primer in transforming oneself to a happy food lifestyle---I made the greatest changes in myself. Soon after our family adopted the manner of and attitudes toward eating she explains, we had major life events that took me away from menu planning, meal prep, and table time.

THIS BOOK: is helping me adjust what I learned 2 years ago (but lost because I wasn't able to practice it very long) to our new life situation. I cook a real meal every single night, often stress free, and the kids always eat what we eat. Period. I used to see food I'd never tried as something I never would try. Now, I see a strange combination of flavors or completely new flavors or objects in a dish and I think, "I wonder how this will surprise me and what I'll like about it." Thus when our four friends visited us in Seattle last January, we took our three kids age 3 years and under to the best restaurants for three dinners and two brunches. Among other delights we served them sea urchin, bone marrow, coconut jellied bites, and rich desserts, sips of strong wine, and aromas galore. My kids and I have lost all interest in repetitive home menus and most processed foods; they don't like staples such as quesadillas, mac n cheese, chicken nuggets, burgers. (They do like pizza and PBJ, but so do I!) The hardest nut to crack has been my husband, but after getting this book and getting back into new recipes and tastes, he said he's coming around.

This book is worth the buy for KIDS because:
1. It offers a practical, tangible, accessible way to create happy & healthy attitudes toward food in any family situation.
2. It isn't an overnight solution, and the time it takes to create habits & attitudes toward adventurous, happy, healthy eating means those habits will become engrained, themselves that much harder to break later in life when our kids are on their own.
3. It returns the focus of food to that of pleasure---that of company at the dinner table and that of the quality & taste of food. This book reminds us that the restaurant/gourmet experience is what we should have in our own homes every night; and just like a great restaurant, simple great food is often the freshest, most simple, and constantly interesting.

It is worth the buy for ADULTS because:
1. With our three very small children it would be easy to rush through dinner. The taste experiments give my husband and I time to simply BE at the table, to talk with each other and our kids. And that's saying something considering it's still crazy town with three little littles.
2. My husband and I actually lose weight when we eat this way (we're both pretty average, but there's always that magical 5lbs, right?). We both feel satisfied by what we eat so we snack less at night. And because what we're eating is interesting, I find we don't snack between meals so that we have enough appetite to enjoy the food.
3. I enjoy cooking and even meal prep more. (I use which really helps on all fronts). I hate eating the same meals over and over, so we have our list of favorites we'll make once a month, but otherwise we're trying new things.

At our core, we all know that food should be enjoyable--really, really enjoyable. We all long for connection, as FrenchFoodieBaby, a.k.a. Helene, says in the book. Karen Le Billon struck gold for our family again. I REALLY needed this book to learn how to teach taste exploration, for myself and my kids.

Let me know if this review helps you decide, or if you have questions. Thank you!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The Secret's OUT! 16 Jun. 2014
By speech therapist and mom - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a pediatric feeding specialist, I was pleased to read a book that focused on keeping the fun in trying new foods! Whether your child is a hesitant eater or an emerging foodie, I know that parents will appreciate the practical ideas that Karen Le Billon outlines in Getting to Yum. Easy to digest and easy to implement, the games and strategies outlined in her book will get the whole family engaged in exploring new foods.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Good book but only buy if you have not read the authors previous book. 15 Aug. 2014
By Mr. E. O'murchu - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A good book, would have been 4 stars but as I had read the authors previous book "French kids eat everything" I recommend either book but not both as this book is just a summary of the other.

Whichever you decide to read the takeaway is the same and worthwile.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Love this concept of taste training 20 Sept. 2014
By C. Morris-Robinson - Published on
Format: Paperback
Love this concept of taste training, and recipes from timid to adventurous. Have been working on it with my kiddos and I like that it makes trying new foods fun, not a battle!
I have not finished it yet, but so far ... 26 Dec. 2014
By A. Binder - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have not finished it yet, but so far I am loving it. Our daughter is quite picky, and the tips and strategies in this book have already started working. Thank you so much for this book. I will be getting this book for friends with kids.
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