I had a regular walking date with my friend while I was finishing grad school. We would push our jogging strollers around a beautiful lake chatting and thoroughly enjoying ourselves. After about one mile we’d stop for water and snacks. She faithfully brought icy water bottles for her kids. I remember being seriously impressed that she put in ice! She also faithfully brought fruit snacks. I was a newer mom. I hadn’t yet discovered the glossy-packaged wonder of fruit snacks. Or ice in water bottles for that matter.
I would always bring something like grapes or cantaloupe and ice-free water.
One day she mentioned to me that she bought fruit snacks because that’s what she thought kids were supposed to eat. Her kids knew when she said, “snack time!,” it meant that those glossy-packaged wonders would be at the forefront. She continued to tell me that she was going to try fruit. Like me.
I wasn’t trying to make a point about fruit during our walks. But it made an impression on my friend. Cool. She is still proudly serving actual fruit to her children and is a FABULOUS mother in every other regard. This conversation helped me figure out how our family food culture is easily defined by giant food manufacturers. What fruit snacks should children eat? A banana. It’s already in a shiny package.