My grandmother could cook with a vengeance. I have many fond memories of sitting at the kitchen table watching her pull dough for strudel, bake pies and create German delights. So when the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) came out with advice for grandparents about teaching healthy eating to their grandkids, I sighed! Really, can’t grandparents still offer a few special treats now and then?
The heart of the advice was for grandparents to be a part of teaching kids to eat healthy. The instruction was for grandparents to give hugs and read their grandchildren a bedtime story. OK, I get it. We are fighting a war on obesity. Grandma can cut up apples and offer a host of healthily food items while talking to little Johnny about making good food choices. Then, she can shower him with hugs and affection. The message will challenge the notion of food is love.
I’m not opposed to this, but I still think grandparents can bring special foods and treats for grandkids. I love the memories associated with food and my grandparents. Their house was filled with baking and cooking smells I will always remember and I associated that with the warmth and love they also gave. So perhaps the message of not letting food be the only way you show love is important. Hug those kids! Read them bedtime stories, but let’s not get crazy and take away all the fun!