Grandparenting Advice From The USDA

      36 Comments on Grandparenting Advice From The USDA

In his books The Vision of The Anointed and Intellectuals and Society, Thomas Sowell wrote that the intellectuals who consider themselves part The Anointed place great value on what he calls “verbal virtuosity” – i.e., the ability to explain their cockamamie ideas in a way that sounds convincing to us stupid people. The Anointed are always right, you see, so if we’re not on board with their ideas and Grand Plans, it just means we haven’t been properly educated. If our betters can only explain their ideas clearly, we’ll see the light.  Heck, we’d probably even believe those godawful-looking school lunches I featured in my previous post are nutritious.

If you have any lingering doubts that the dietary dictocrats at the USDA view most of us as ignorant yahoos who need proper educating, take a look at this page from the USDA site that offers advice to grandparents on how to help their grandchildren develop healthy eating habits. Here are some quotes:

From time to time during grandchildren’s young lives, grandparents may have the pleasure of being their caregiver. Show them how to be healthy, including how to make healthy food choices–an important way grandparents show how much they love and care about their grandchildren.

They mimic everything you do, so be a healthy role model by taking care of yourself and they will learn to value healthy habits. Use to guide your food choices and better understand the nutrition needs of young children in your life. 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 throughout their lives. Encourage them to be active throughout the day.

Show your grandchild games, activity sheets and other fun ways to learn about good nutrition at MyPlate Kids’ Place. For a bedtime story, read The Two Bite Club.

Yup, the good folks at the USDA are actually encouraging grandparents to read government propaganda to their grandchildren at bedtime. Here’s the official description of The Two Bite Club:

This educational storybook, available in English and in Spanish, was developed to introduce MyPlate to young children. Parents or caregivers read the book to children and encourage them to try foods from each food group by eating just two bites, just like the characters in the story. The back of the book contains a MyPlate coloring page, a blank certificate for the Two Bite Club, fun activity pages for kids, and Tips for Growing Healthy Eaters.

Boy, I bet kids would just love having that story read to them …

“And after the boys and girls started eating their mutant semi-dwarf wheat as one-quarter of every meal, they all got healthy and lived happily ever after.”

“Oh, Grandma, what a wonderful story! Can I hear it again – after we eat some whole-wheat crackers together?”

I don’t have to express more opinions on the USDA’s laughable arrogance, because several people did so on the site. The USDA views us a bunch of ignorant yahoos, but here’s what the ignorant yahoos have to say about the USDA’s advice. (Each paragraph is from a different commenter.)

I don’t think I need the government to tell me how to treat grandkids. The government has already ruined the future of millions of grandkds by spending and creating a very “unhealthy” debt.

I love my country so much I’m not going to finish reading this. I am teaching my grandchildren to be self sufficient, and eat whatever you choose, whenever you choose, and however you choose. You see, my kids have raised my grandchildren well, and they don’t need the government to tell them how to think.

Get the HELL out of my kitchen and my family! I served overseas to protect this???

Are you also going to recommend that the members of Congress read the Constitution at night? It seems their education needs some education just like the little children.

Are you people insane? Despots and totalitarian regimes use state propaganda to direct the public. You don’t need to worry about the children who spend time with their grandparents, that’s usually a sign that they live in a good family.


This one was my favorite:

This article was parallel to the information I’m looking for but not quite the thing: specifically, I need to know the government regulations for healthy and politically correct toilet training, and I need access to government resources – maybe picture books featuring people who live and work in the White House teaching racially and ethnically diverse toddlers by example how to make important, environmentally sensitive choices while learning to “go” on the “potty”.

Careful there, buddy. The trouble with parodying The Anointed is that eventually the parody becomes reality.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go feed my daughters a high-fat meal that doesn’t include any grains.  Then I’m going to mail my tax returns … after all, I wouldn’t want the government to run out of money for such wonderful education programs.


36 thoughts on “Grandparenting Advice From The USDA

  1. Gregg Sheehan

    Having been a parent for 32 years I now consider myself well qualified to be a grandparent. Whilst there were moments of uncertainty about my parenting skills (particularly when my daughters reached the age of around 14 or so), I nevertheless survived and the very survival is what qualifies me now.

    I know, for example, that when I hear a kid falling down the stairwell, to listen for sounds of distress. If I can hear yelling and screaming then they are well on the way to recovery. If there is silence however, I know that I should put down my coffee and check out the scene first hand.

    Yup, I always listen for a voice after that suspicious THUMP. The loudest Sara ever screamed (which propelled me from my chair in record time) was when she looked in the mirror after a bad haircut.

  2. Sharon Burress

    I love Thomas Sowell! He has more sense in his left fingernail than all the progressives added together.

    Indeed. David Mamet referred to him as our greatest living philosopher.

  3. Jan's Sushi Bar

    Our grandson is starting kindergarten in the fall, and we will have the pleasure of feeding him breakfast, packing his lunch and sending him off to school every morning. Trust me, I’ve already started to plan what we’ll be feeding him.

    I keep having these wonderful daydreams of receiving notes from the school about his lunches. No chips? No cookies? No “fruit snacks”? No goldfish crackers or Nutrigrain bars? No Wonder bread or American “cheese”? I don’t know what I want more – for them to be impressed or upset.

    Upset would be more fun.

    I agree, although impressed would be a nice change.

    1. Gilana

      Jan’s Sushi Bar: I know it’s been well over a year, but I came across this comment just now and I’d love to hear what the experience was like, or has been so far, of feeding your grandson before school and packing his lunch? Have you heard anything critical or questioning? How is your grandson doing in school? Do you think he’s got an edge due to the food you’re sending? Is it awesome?

  4. Lori Miller

    “Dance, run, and play hopscotch or soccer with them when they’re full of energy—it’s fun and healthy for both of you!” I can just see my 70- and 80-year old grandparents running and dancing and playing hopscotch with me back in the day in between reading me bedtime stories about eating your spinach and showing me how to buy high quality produce.

    But I like this post better:

    Head. Bang. On. Desk. So kids don’t get the free meals during the summer, and yet somehow survive — in fact, we have a childhood obesity problem. Now, what can we conclude about the need for all those free meals …?

    1. Firebird7478

      I’m sure they’ll tie it into the “read a book” program. Schools are now requiring kids to read x number of books over the summer. They’ll just add another book…a food log, and they’ll get graded on it.

      Don’t give them ideas.

      1. Bret

        Can’t wait til my kid goes to school and starts doing that summer reading crap. She will read 1984 and write a report on all the parallels she sees in today’s governments of the western world. Then she’ll read FDR’s Folly: How Roosevelt and His New Deal Prolonged the Great Depression and write about modern parallels to that as well. I’ll have to thank those good government bureaucrats for giving her so many opportunities to learn history and formulate perspective.

        I’d put “The Forgotten Man” by Amity Shlaes on the summer reading list if you want your daughter to grasp the full scope and stupidity of FDR’s economic programs.

        1. Firebird7478

          I would have read Helter Skelter and shaken up my teacher by reporting that I agreed with Manson’s views of the world. 😉

      2. Walter

        Hey, if it teaches them to disrespect authority it’s good.

        My girls are definitely learning to be skeptical of authority.

  5. Sue D

    Totally awful advice continuing to come from the government men (and/or the FL’s minions.)

    Since the best nutritional advice I’ve ever read is – don’t eat anything your grandmother wouldn’t recognize. Especially true since I’m in my 60s and my grandparents were the meat, dairy, egg, veggie, and potato/bread (in that order) people who grew up on farms in the Midwest. A great number of which have lived well into their 90s and beyond! Nothing better than going to a church dinner featuring booyah! And Ill let you all look up the ingredients in our local favorite.

    I looked it up. Sounds delicious.

    1. Ash Simmonds

      I’m approaching 40, so both my grandmothers were young adults just as the 50’s nutrition science nonsense begun and had their staples as fresh meat and veg which is great, but it was always accompanied by breads and sweets and margarine/shortening and cakes and ice cream and chocolate and Schweppes lemonade and beer.

      They both spent the last 20+ of their years fat and likely diabetic and with blood pressure issues and with osteoporosis and heart troubles and poor eyesight and difficulty getting around and everything else that “comes with age”, both dying around 70 of stroke/heart issues I think.

      So the advice to eat like my grandma isn’t really that appealing.

      I’d prefer to think of it like “eat like your grandma^1000” – basically, eat like my grandma of 1,000 generations ago did.

      I think eating like a grandma in the 1940s or 1950s would be fine for most people.

      1. Ash Simmonds

        Yeah, just sayin’ – that’s 80 years ago… My mum brought me up in the 70/80’s, her mum brought her up in the 50/60’s.

        I’m pushing 40, hardly a youngster – the “grandmother effect” is already outdated.

        Read Stefansson from the 1920’s – things were already messed up, people already believed less red meat and fat was the answer over 100 years ago – it’s not some fad from just 2 generations ago.

        I remember the anti-fat hysteria really taking hold in the ’70s, though. Before that, I never heard my grandparents worry about fat in the diet. My grandmother happily fried food in lard.

        1. Lori Miller

          You can read Weston A. Price, too–people’s teeth were going to pot in the 20s and 30s from too much flour and sugar and too few nutrients. That was also the era when governments and concerned citizens started promoting iodizing salt and a “balanced diet” of various nutritious foods because of rampant iodine deficiency, pellagra, and (in Asia) beriberi, all due to nutrient deficiencies.

      2. Walter

        The low fat dogma was already around in the 40s and 50s. Perhaps I was aware of it because my mother was a nurse, but even my father’s parents thought real mince meat pies were too rich.

        And everyone ate bread usually with potatoes for dinner. Of course, bread was not made from modern wheat. It’s easier to get spelt than 50s type wheat products.

    2. Lori Miller

      Respectfully, my grandmothers and their grandmothers would have recognized flour and sugar, along with cheese, milk, fruit, and a lot of other things many of us can’t eat. My mom’s parents (b. 1894 and 1904) had a toaster on their kitchen table and ate gravy at every meal, so the grandparent diet wouldn’t have been a good one for me.

      I don’t think they’d have recognized kimchi, seaweed, macadamia nuts, almond butter, Splenda, wasabi, kale chips or coconut milk, foods many of us have no problem with.

  6. Phyllis Mueller

    Well, the part about going to a farmers market was good, but the rest sounded a little too much like a broadcast in North Korea.


  7. Bret

    Speaking of tax returns, have you figured out the right withholding amount to keep your annual underpayment under a grand?

    I am not (currently) being impacted by the ACA myself, but I think I will adjust my withholding to that effect nonetheless. I’d rather those feds make a $1000 interest-free loan to me than vice versa.

    I’m self-employed. I never get a refund.

    1. Bret

      Do you have to pay the IRS quarterly, or can you get away with giving them all their tax money in December without facing penalty?

      It depends on how much you owe them at tax time. I don’t know what the cutoff point is. I don’t do my own taxes, so I let my accountant worry about that.

  8. Gerard

    Hey – off topic….

    There is alot of stuff going around the “paleo” world about resistant starch?

    You ever considered doing an article on that in your blog? Be very keen to get your perspective on it.

    Am I worse off eating a raw potato that isn’t going to be digested & create an insuline spike? Until such time that it reaches my lower intestine and converted to fatty acids by the gut microbes that live there?

    My next two posts will be on resistant starch.

  9. Bruce

    Oh comrade. You will be happy to have the pictured food, in the previous column, served to you when you get to the reeducation camp. It WILL be delicious. It WILL be nutritious. You WILL be singing our praises in cafe-gym-atorium every day.

    Thank you. And sleep well.

    Yes, Maximum Leader.

  10. Linda

    Just seeing the words “My Plate”in this post made my head lean suspiciously toward my desk top as if it were going to bang on its own!! Back in 2011, when my mother was seriously ill and in the hospital, the family got together and decided on beside shifts to protect her from the hospital. (Yes, I’m a retired RN now and I know this is sadly necessary.) I relieved my poor brother at midnight so he could go to work in the morning and was staying till noon because my cousin couldn’t come at 8 AM that day. When my cousin arrived early at 11 AM, I was seriously hungry, having only eaten the one boiled egg I brought. I raced to the hospital cafeteria, thinking I would get whatever baked or broiled meat they had and whatever green veggie they had, no matter how soggy. When I got to the head of the line in the cafeteria, what to my wondering eyes should appear?? Nope. Not eight tiny reindeer and a man in a red suit. It was a six foot tall easel with a graphic of My Plate on it. That should’ve made me suspicious right there, but I was tired, ya see? So, on I went. I noticed that some of the food had little red flags with smiley faces and the words “better choice” on them. Well, there was breaded fried chicken and corn flake crusted baked chicken, corn, creamed peas, lima beans, mashed potatoes, french fries, white wheat biscuits and whole wheat biscuits. The cute little flags were on the corn flake chicken, corn, mashed potatoes and whole wheat biscuits! I ended up drinking about half a carton of 2% milk (the non-fat had the flag,) because there was no whole milk. I made real food when I got home. All of this would be funny, if it weren’t so da*n pitiful! The saddest thing is that people actually believe all this CR@P!! I sometimes wonder if there isn’t a plot by the government to destroy the American people (I’m joking, right? Right?)

    Nope, just a plot to use us as a disposal system for subsidized crops.

    1. emi11n

      The sad part is that’s typical hospital food. You would think a hospital, of all places, would have some real healthy food, but no. Crazy.

    1. Bret

      Careful, Tony. That kind of speech might get you some attention from your best friends at the CIA and NSA, who are monitoring our every words for our own good.

      I am so grateful that morally superior government keeps us inferior civilians (mere mortals, mind you) in line.

    2. Walter

      The Nazis did not try to kill the entire population, well until the final defeat became obvious and the top leadership thought they were inferior and should all die.

  11. Ulfric Douglas

    🙁 “choosing the juicier oranges or the fresher vegetables”
    The soft veggies are cheaper, our local game-dealer/grocer often has past-their-prime stuff for really cheap prices.
    We are blessed by living in a village where dead things still hang outside the game-dealer’s shop front! 😀
    Duck eggs too! Blessed I tell yer.

  12. Tami

    I am a grandmother who has custody of her grandson and I do tell him about good food and bad food.”This full fat yogurt with blueberries is good, that bowl of rice bubbles is baaaaaad”. I apologise regulary to my younger children for making them eat the nasty tasteless shite I thought was healthy, while serving up bacon, coconut fat bombs, veges drizzled in butter or sour cream to the wee man. I am definatly better at being a grandma than a mum. I was born in 1973 so I was well indoctrinated and assimilated in the way of the grain 🙁

  13. Babs

    My first job was a nurses aide. This was around the years 1995-1999. It was rare to find anyone under age 85 in the rest home I worked at. Most were 95+.

    Now, my parents aged 73 and 76 were of the hearthealthywholegrains generation of adults. They have the diabetes to prove it. My 73 y o mom is so incapacitated from her morbid obesity that we may have to put her in some kinda home. We r making lots of changes to keep her home as long as possible but its just the fact 15-20 years ago you just didnt see ppl in their 70s in nursing homes.

    That’s what happens when a quarter of the nation’s seniors have diabetes.

    1. Walter

      And statins and overdoses of PUFAs wurst mostly omega 6.

      And denatured grains such as mutant ninja wheat, and ubiquitous and every present hormone disruptors.

  14. Kristin

    I went to the page for that article curious about the comments on it. There were only two I could find that were praising or defending the article at all and a whole bunch that were unhappy. The really curious thing to me is that the defenders made the assumption that everyone who didn’t want the government spending their money telling them how to eat were far right conservatives. As someone who is not a far right conservative and also don’t want the government telling me what to eat I find the constant tendency to turn everything into a division between left and right tiresome and irrelevant to the conversation.

    I agree.

  15. Gilana

    I’d be afraid to leave any comment (well, one like those above) on a .gov. Is that too tin-foil hat of me? I’ll live with it.

    Given what we know about the NSA, if you’re not a little paranoid, it means you’re not paying attention.

    1. Walter

      They’re watching this site even more than the .gov sites. Anybody posting there against the government is not building nuclear devices in their basement. Here, OTOH . . ..

  16. daniel

    As I watch more and more documentaries about how the US has its hand in food production, it just amazes me. Thanks for the good read and a group of people that agree with my view point.


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