French For Kids – Meal Time in French
Bonjour! Welcome to Lesson 5 in our Learn French for Kids series: Meal Time in French and using the verb “to like”.
I am Felicity, an early-years language tutor and creator of the Mini Languages® programme. I am also a parent to three bilingual children, so I think I have a pretty good grasp of what works!
We have come a long way in this series, covering many areas including greetings, colours, counting, bath-time, our appearance…! Not to mention advice on grammar and how to make French part of your routine. Make sure to check out the previous lessons starting back at the beginning. Exposure and a positive attitude are really key to making this a fun and effective experience for your child.
Language tuition can be incorporated into any part of your day and I would thoroughly recommend exploring new vocabulary at meal and snack times! Using various senses in learning can have a positive impact on recall.
I love to incorporate sensory items and food tasting into my classes and I recommend you try some of these ideas at home.
Today’s lesson is food related. You will find;
- Step-by-step fruit tasting session
- Extension exercise: the verb ‘to like’
- A special fruit salad recipe in French
Learning doesn’t have to be boring! Make it memorable!
Food Tasting Session
Involving taste in learning can add a new dimension. Try cutting up some of your favourite fruit and learn the words for the fruit along with some related vocabulary. You can also use the free resource above.
To prep – cut your favourite fruit into chunks and place in bowls. Label them using the free Mini Languages® Fruit Memory Game resource or using your own paper and pens. Follow the script using actions to help your child understand:
- Introduce the activity – Today we are going to taste some different fruit! Aujourd’hui on va goûter à des fruits différents!
- Point out the equipment – Here are bowls of different fruit chopped into chunks. Voici des bols de fruits découpés en petits morceaux.
- Present the fruit several times. Have your child point at and name the fruit with you – “Here is the apple!” etc. “Voici la pomme!” etc.
- Taste each fruit together – Do you want to taste the apple? Veux-tu goûter à la pomme?
- Use more useful words& expressionsi.e.Yum. It is tasty! Miam. C’est bon!
- Praise your little one – Bravo! That’s great! Bravo! Très bien!
Top Tip! As a verb, ‘goûter’ means ‘to taste’ but as a noun ‘le goûter’, it means snack-time around 4pm!
Extension Exercise: The verb ‘to like’
Learning to say you like or don’t like something can be kinda useful! With your child draw a smiley face on one sheet of paper and a grumpy face on another.
- One will be J’aime (I like…)
- The other is Je n’aime pas (I do not like…)
Some young children find it tricky to verbalise the words. This can be down to feeling shy but they have understood the question. To support them, ask them to hold up the face which represents their answer. You can build their confidence to then say the sentences
Ask whether your child likes the fruit they are tasting:
- “Est-ce que tu aimes les bananes?” (Pronounce: Ess keu tew em lay ba-nan)
- “Oui, j’aime les bananes”
- “Non, je n’aime pas les bananes”
You can transfer this learning to other subjects.
- “Est-ce que tu aimes Peppa Pig?”
- Oui, j’aime Peppa Pig!
- Non, je n’aime pas Peppa Pig!
- “Est-ce que tu aimes le chocolat?”
- Oui, j’aime le chocolat!
- Non, je n’aime pas le chocolat!
Top Tip! A note on definite articles (le, la, l’ and les). In French, definite articles are often included in sentences where they would not be used in English. One such example is when we are referring to a group of nouns in a general sense. Examples:
- J’aime les pommes I like apples
- Les souris aiment le fromage Mice like cheese
One way to think about it; would you say ‘In general’ before the sentence? Then you use a definite article!
Other useful meal time vocab
- À table – Come to the table! / Dinner is ready
- Mettre le couvert – toset the table. Giving an instruction:
- Mettez le couvert – when speaking to more than one child
- Mets le couvert – when speaking to one child
- Est-ce que je peux avoir – Can I have…
- …de l’eau, s’il te plaît? …some water, please?
- …les tomates, s’il te plaît? …the tomatoes, please?
- Est-ce que tu as assez mangé? – Have you had enough to eat?
- Oui, je suis repu(e) – Yes, I am full
- Oui, je n’ai plus faim – Yes, I am no longer hungry
- Non, j’ai encore faim – No, I am still hungry
Rainbow fruit salad – Une salade de fruits arc-en-ciel
Ok, so let’s combine lesson 4 where we looked at colours with this lesson on meals and eating with a unique way to present a fruit salad and perhaps encourage trying new fruit!
Talk about the colours as you go along and you could sing this French rainbow song! (Download).
- Des fraises – strawberries
- Une clémentine – a clementine
- Une petite banana – one small banana
- Des raisins blancs – green grapes
- Des myrtilles – blueberries
- Des raisins rouge – red grapes
- Découpez tous les fruits en petits morceaux. Cut the fruit into little pieces.
- Placez les morceaux de fruits en forme d’arc-en-ciel sur une assiette. Place the pieces of fruit in the shape of a rainbow on a plate.
I hope you have enjoyed this tasty lesson! Food is very important culturally in mainland France so I think that this is a great topic to continue exploring.
À bientôt! See you soon!