Tuesday, January 29, 2013
the generation gap: grandparents and sugar
I'm curious, does anyone out there have a wholefood grandmother or if you're really lucky two wholefood grandmother's in their family? Or a wholefood grandfather? I'd love to hear.
Both Pete's mum and my nan are of similar vintage, they are beautiful grandmothers we love them to bits and like many grandparents they have sweet teeth, that's right not just one tooth, a whole mouthful of them and take great delight in giving our children sweet 'treats' mainly in the form of chocolate AND/or ice cream. These great women grew up in times before fast food, before overly processed and packaged additive filled 'food', they were the days of backyard veggie gardens and chooks, cooking from scratch, and at times - going without.
Fast forward to the days of 'convenience' food and these beloved ladies are kicking up their sugar coated heels and relishing every moment of pouring ready made custard from the carton on to their heat'n'eat apple pie. My nan still loves to bake, cheesecake and pavlova being her signature desserts. And in some ways I can't blame them! They are living long lives defying nutritional odds, they've worked very hard, given a lot (and still do) so I say yes ladies put your feet up and have your pav and eat it too. Of course I can't help but think of the longevity and vitality that adopting even just a few wholefood ways would provide for them.
When it comes to sharing the sugar coated love with our boys, the sweet treats from their grandparents are well spaced as we only catch up once a month sometimes less because of the distance apart that we live. If we lived closer I fear I'd have to change the rules. I say fear because you and I both know there'd be tears and possibly not just from the children.
Grandparents are not the only ones though who take great delight in filling children with sugar and other processed junk 'food', other relatives and some friends do too.
I read with interest on the weekend an extract of Dara-Lynn Weiss' book The Heavy: A Mother's Battle Against Her Seven-Year-Old Daughter's Obesity. What stood out to me in Weiss' story is the way she stood up to social pressures on a daily basis to prevent her child being offered and encouraged to eat unhealthy or excess food. The stakes were higher for Weiss in navigating this because her daughter at age 7 was obese and had high blood pressure, she was very clear first with herself and then with those around her that she wanted to improve her daughters health and if that meant asking her daughter when she went to a friend's birthday party to choose between chocolate and cake then she would. It wasn't always easy but she did it with the best grace and good nature she could muster and her daughter is healthier for it.
Parents of children with allergies are also navigating more challenging waters when faced with people who want to pressure their children into eating foods that are not compatible with their body. 'Go on just a little bit won't hurt'. A friend learned her child was allergic to orange juice and dairy, she took her child to her mother-in-laws to be minded for the day and explained the allergy diagnosis. Her mother-in-law replied that she didn't believe in allergies "you never heard of it in my day." Well no you didn't but that's a whole other post.
I am well underway with writing my first ebook and it relates to this post. I am working at filling it with useful information, tips and recipes to help you share the whole food love with your family. One of the chapters covers dealing with peer pressure from grandparents and other caregivers to feed your children junk. I would love to hear your experiences with this.
Do you have parents or grandparents who are not on the same page as you when it comes to sugary 'treats'? Have you had to set limits? Do you make allowances? Or do you have wholefood grandparents so it isn't an issue? Is converting your family from eating processed food to wholefood something that you are working at or have you already done so? Tell me tell me tell me do.