Posted by / Category Cultural Differences, Looking Good /

I will always remember my first day at work in London. At about 10 o’clock, I heard a bell. It took me a while to understand what was happening. A trolley was in the corridor. All my colleagues stood up and started queuing. The trolley man was in fact selling snacks like Mars bars, crisps and bacon sandwiches. Everybody had gone to buy something. I couldn’t move. This is because I wasn’t used to snacking between meals. I wasn’t hungry anyway. It must be a French thing, but we just don’t snack. In fact, come to think of it, snacking is looked down upon. Imagine my surprise when the very same trolley came again, fully re-filled, in the middle of the afternoon. To cut a long story short, on top of all their (already copious) meals, all my colleagues were having at least two snacks a day. No wonder most of them were overweight.

The weird thing was that some of my colleagues were also exercising during their lunch break or at the end of the day. But as soon as they had finished their workouts, they were having a couple of sandwiches and a chocolate bar. I started wondering what the whole point of exercising was. But they clearly didn’t see it the same way.

Group Shot

Shortly afterwards, I found out that, after a sport event like a netball match, my children were given biscuits and chocolate bars. I was shocked and, me being me, I started complaining to the school. They didn’t understand why I was upset. I quickly gave up.

You see, in France, a post workout snack is usually a fruit, a piece of bread or a compote, and not much else. I personally give Crushed compote to my daughter after a training, and they love it, because it feels like a treat and remains healthy. But I am an exception and people look at me in a funny way when I tell my daughters to leave the biscuits and have a compote. So much for being French.


What gets me is that it should be easy to eat healthily, but somehow all common sense is ignored over here, and I see children stuffing their faces with crisps and other types of junk food all the time. It drives me mad but everybody seems to find it completely normal. And it is a vicious circle, isn’t it: kids have bad habits, and it will be difficult to lose them. What to do? Well, don’t stuff your face after a workout for a starter…

Disclosure: for the series ‘Maman knows best’, I have teamed up with Crushed. All opinions remain mine.