I have been a very fortunate man that until recently still was lucky enough to have all four grandparents with me. Unfortunately, I recently lost my grandmother, and in penning my thoughts down about Nan, I realised the impact Nan had on my relationship with food. You see, my Nan loved to treat us kids, and whenever we would go to Nan’s, dinner was followed by a choc-wedge. Probably one of my youngest childhood memories is biting into that chocolate topping and having melting white ice cream drip down my fingers and then having my mouth and hands wiped clean. It’s so vivid. I still remember where Nan kept them, the colour of the box, the ritual of being given one, the ripping open of the paper and sound of the chocolate crackling. Then the final step: chewing of that paddle pop stick until you nearly splinter your tongue.
The concept of a relationship with food is a foreign one for a lot of people, and until I studied nutrition, I had never given it a second thought. How do you relate to food? Is it a coping mechanism at times? Fuel at another? An obligation for some of the time? An escape from work at others? Would you say you relate to it healthily?
Healthy doesn’t mean we need to eat vegetables every meal or obsess about every last calorie. However, the old relationship question is the empathetic one. Would you be happy if someone you love related to food the way you do?
It’s an individual thing and a decision for every household to make but one worth thinking about. I suppose in promoting the health benefits of those foods typically deemed healthy I wanted to reassure everyone that it’s normal for you and your family to indulge. The choc wedge at Nan’s house is one of my favourite memories and one I’ll have forever.
Thanks to my Nan Dobson.
Say hi to your Nan for me.