From Pecan Spins to Bagels

A mother and grandmother reflects on the nutritional value of Pecan Spins and fried bologna.

When my children were little, I fed them Pecan Spins for breakfast. Sometimes they ate cereal, and if I recall correctly, Carrie’s favorite was Fruity Pebbles. That’s okay with milk, right? And they also drank orange juice, plenty of it. It was loaded with sugar, but I didn’t know that at the time. When Pop Tarts became popular, we switched to them for a while. All those flavors, and they were quick and easy to prepare. What more could a mom ask for? Even Paul, the reluctant breakfast eater, liked them. He liked Eggos too, as long as I didn’t smear any margarine on them before pouring on the syrup. Later, he graduated to fried bologna. In fact, he liked it so much that he soon learned to cook it himself. Carrie loved going to McDonald’s and would promptly slather syrup all over her sausage too.

I know so much more now. Sure we ate plenty of fruit, especially apples and bananas, but I don’t remember that many blueberries (unless they were in muffins) or Bing cherries. All three children liked grapes, maybe because they were small, easy to eat, and neat…nothing to peel or drip. Until I got a lesson on nutrition from Lisa, little did I know that white grapes weren’t really all that healthy, at least compared to purple or red ones. In the vegetable area, we often ate green beans, corn, sliced tomatoes, and speckled butter beans. Only rarely did I serve asparagus and broccoli.

What was I thinking??? I was ignorant, pure and simple. I mean, I knew about the five food groups and tried to make sure that everyone got his and her fair portion every day, but it was wrong, just plain wrong, to let French fries count as a vegetable. One evening, a high school friend of my husband’s came by to eat hamburgers with us, and even though he was a gracious and mannerly guest, he said, “I’ve always heard that the whiter the bread, the sooner you’re dead.” Well, we certainly hadn’t heard that, and we thought he was a bit fanatical. 

That was yesteryear, my friends, and my diet is a lot different now. I think I’d choke on a Pecan Spin, and the absolute last thing I’d let my grandchildren eat for breakfast is a sugary cereal. Whole wheat bagels and peanut butter is my standard breakfast fare.  There’s a lot more information out there on nutrition than there was “back in the day,” and as an older (er, more mature) adult, I can well understand the certain impact of food on the body. I want to feel energetic and prevent diseases like cancer and diabetes, and it doesn’t take a genius to know that certain foods are better or worse for one’s body than others.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not an extremist who spends her life chomping on carrot sticks and glaring condescendingly towards anyone devouring those yummy rolls at Fatz. In fact, I’ll probably grab one from time to time. And if my better half is eating fries from Mickey Dee’s, I’ll undoubtedly snap a couple. Connie and I dined at San Jose’s last night, and I chowed down on the chips.

At the same time, I’d like to live 25 or so more years and BE HEALTHY. That’s not going to happen on a steady diet of cheesecake, loaded baked potatoes, fried chicken (love that stuff!), and cola drinks. Pass the wheat bread, please.


Author: jayne bowers

*married with children, stepchildren, grandchildren, in-laws, ex-laws, and a host of other family members and fabulous friends *semi-retired psychology instructor at two community colleges *writer

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