J500 Media and the Environment

What is healthy? by tesshedrick
March 5, 2010, 2:50 pm
Filed under: J500 Week 7 | Tags: , , , ,

Growing up in a Jewish family, food has and will always be an important tradition.   Brunches at my grandparent’s house occurrs monthly with the standard lox, bagels, and egg casserole. 

“Tess, eat more,” is what I hear at every meal with my grandparents.  By the end of every meal, I am full up to my ears.  Dessert is a must for my grandma.  So even after brunch, the dessert that is served is usually some type of pastry or coffee cake.  Usually a brunch is just one course, but for Grandma Stella, it turns into at least three. 

What I do find interesting about my grandma is that she thinks everything she cooks is healthy.  She always stresses to me that she is making a “healthy” meal.  However, when I see her preparing the steamed vegetables, I see her putting a stick of butter on top.

When I was little, this didn’t phase me.  Now that I focus more on my health, when I see her do this, it makes me cringe!  I don’t understand how she thinks this is healthy!  Is this a generational thing or am I making too big of a deal out of this?

It seems like a stick of margarine is my grandma’s weapon; she puts it on absolutely everything and calls it healthy!  I really don’t understand it.  I try to empathize with her in that food was nearly impossible  to afford for her family when she was growing up.  Maybe that is why she doesn’t really care what she is putting into her meals.

I don’t know if I should give in to this and just eat whatever she makes or if I should say something as in suggesting a healthier way to cook things.  The questions that arise are “will this offend her,” or “will this make her upset?” 

What is this correct way to approach someone on this issue?  Personally, I am very conscious about what I eat.  When I see my grandma preparing her meals with the ingredients she uses, that is all I can think about during the meal. 

Through writing this, I think I have discovered my plan of action; I am going to suggest some healthy options for my grandma as well as cooking with her.  This will not only bring us closer, but it will inform my grandma how to be more healthy.

-Tess H.


3 Comments so far
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My mom does the same thing. My sister and I have been trying to get her and my dad to eat healthier for a year now and my stubborn (but wonderful) mother always says “healthy doesn’t taste good”. I can’t wait to tell her what we’ve been learning in class. Why do you think older generations have this misconstrued image of healthy?

Becca N.

Comment by beccan


What will some of your healthier suggestions be? -Kristina B.

Comment by kristinabev


I’ve found that appearances go far when trying to convert someone’s food choices. People will be quick to criticize if one slips with the colors, textures, or moisture levels. It’s already a new experience so accidental incorporations will taste amplified.

Good luck I’m sure she’ll love the food and the experience.

Sean T.

Comment by Sean Tokarz

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