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USDA Article Brings Back Memories of my Grandparents

This post from the USDA's blog brings back some memories. The post is about how grandparents can help their grandkids form good eating and exercise habits. It urges grandparents,

Take your grandchildren shopping at a farmer's market and the grocery store. Talk about the choices you are making--choosing the juicier oranges or the fresher vegetables. Help them learn cooking skills, which will benefit them them throughout their lives. Encourage them to be active throughout the day. 
Spend time walking in the neighborhood, planting a vegetable garden, or shooting a few hoops. Dance, run, or play hopscotch and soccer with them when they're full of energy...

Up until I was twelve, my mother and I visited my grandparents every year in Missouri. After a daylong drive from Colorado, an orange sunset would find us on the dirt road in front of Grandma and Grandpa's house. Everybody hugged, then we dug in to a savory spinach salad Grandma made for the occasion. During our week there, Grandma took me shopping and showed me how to select the best produce. I was only 12 at most, didn't get an allowance and had no way to transport groceries, but she thought it was never too early to learn. Likewise, Grandma and Grandpa put me to work weeding their large garden, where I sank to my knees in the mud. Grandma rinsed me off and said it was good that I was active throughout the day.

Southern Missouri is hot and sticky during the summer, but that didn't stop Grandma and Grandpa from playing with me and the kids next door, Sally and Danny. When I say "hot and sticky," I mean that you could take a bath, dry off, and within five minutes you were just as wet as you were before you toweled off. The heat wasn't roasting, as it is in Colorado, where the sunlight burns fair skin in 15 minutes. It was like a kitchen full of steam with all burners going, but no air conditioning or window. And unlike Colorado, it stayed hot at night.

Nevertheless, Grandma put on the phonograph at night and taught me the Charleston. Side, back, side, front, side, front, side, back--twenties Charleston. She tore up the floor like Prohibition had just ended. I don't know how she did it at 75--there were days after dancing benders in my 30s when I wanted a new pair of knees.

Other times, Grandpa hopped on his bike and rode all over the countryside with me and the neighbor kids. How I hope I am that youthful when I'm 85! I don't ride a bike, since I was badly hurt in a bike wreck a few years ago, but I like to picture myself playing a pickup game of something with nieces and nephews or neighbor kids, platinum blond hair in the breeze, before serving a vegetable tray and reading them stories by the USDA.

Comments

I just love this paragraph "Take your grandchildren shopping at a farmer's market and the grocery store. Talk about the choices you are making--choosing the juicier oranges or the fresher vegetables. Help them learn cooking skills, which will benefit them them throughout their lives. Encourage them to be active throughout the day.
Spend time walking in the neighborhood, planting a vegetable garden, or shooting a few hoops. Dance, run, or play hopscotch and soccer with them when they're full of energy.."

I was so fortunate that my parents and grandparents were so involved in my growing up. It's not always possible these days ...times have changed ...modern day living is different. Families don't always live close by ...but it is so often the simple pleasures that being with family brings that leaves us so many good memories.

All the best Jan
Lori Miller said…
I loved seeing my grandparents, too, but in reality, Grandma fed me lemon merengue pie, cereal and cookies.
Hi Lori

When I think back my grandparents didn't eat too much sugary/carb food. They grew a lot of their own vegetables, salads etc Yes, we did eat home made fruit cake and apple pies .... but not every day.

I enjoyed my visits and look back with great fondness.

Take Care

All the best Jan
Galina L. said…
I was raised by my maternal grandma, who believed into not giving snacks to children (in the fear of spoiling their precious appetite), we were not allowed to choose our food, had to clean plates and we had to eat everything with a piece of bread. After I turned 10 years old, my parents started to live separately from my mom's parents, I began to cook during week days - it saved me from some of bread consumption, I remember always craving to eat more meat. My appetite was always too good, until I started LC.
Lori Miller said…
My parents made me clean my plate, but I didn't have to take anything I didn't want.

For some reason, this reminds me of something I read in a book about France. An American tourist asked a French waiter for a children's menu. He said they didn't have one, and she asked, "What do French children eat?" He said, "Madame, French children eat what they are told to eat." The French have the right idea to avoid giving kids a taste for junk food in the first place.

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