Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Jennifer Steinhauer - "Snack Time Never Ends"

There is a timely article—“Snack Time Never Ends”—in the Dining Section of today’s New York Times.

The author, Jennifer Steinhauer, laments not the constant baking she is asked to do for various events, but the now-engrained belief that every event requires a snack.

However, the incessant snacking isn’t served à la carte; it comes with sides of nutritional and parental-guilt concerns:

"What is especially baffling where I live, in Los Angeles, is how often the kind of parental paranoia that obsesses about school ratings, vaccines and myriad imagined plagues is matched by utter disregard for the nutritional downsides of mowing down Fruit by the Foot every afternoon at 4. Rarely do I see a parent show up on the soccer field with a homemade snack, or even a bag of carrots. Oreos are the post-game snack of choice, even in sports leagues dominated by upper-income parents."
Click here to read the entire article. For another view of snacking, read author Harlan Coben’s first-rate op-ed piece, “Will Play for Food,” written in 2006 but as prescient as ever.

There is one more issue I want to discuss. At the end of Steinhauer’s piece, almost as an aside, she addresses the issue of baking handcuffed because of our kids’ myriad allergies:
"Food allergies are a real problem. But did no one ponder the idea that perhaps the solution is for children to bring their own snacks? Or to eat no snacks at all?"
Reading this, my thought was, “Or that maybe the allergies are partly caused by the mass of synthetic chemicals in the junk food masquerading as snacks?” But that’s a post for another day.

Parents, what do you think about snacking?


Robin Sue said...

Rob this is an interesting article for sure. When I was young I was allowed a small snack after school to hold me over until dinner and that was it. Usually an apple or a small handful of chips. We are in a generation of instant gratification and I have thought long and hard about this. It is not so much computers that do this for us but the microwave. Food in our mouths within 30 seconds. I wonder, if the microwave was never invented, would we still be of the mind set of prepackaged goods in seconds? I wonder? We pilfer fruit on our kids and more and more I home bake their snacks but I have fallen for an oreo now and agian. Our new thing is green smoothies in which we get all kind of fruits and veggies into our children. Great post!

Chef Rob said...

Robin Sue,

Thanks for your comment. Do you think we should add cup holders in cars to your list?