If you listen to Radio2 in the morning you might catch the segment where Chris Evans has a kid on with a sort of show and tell. This mornings wee chap of ten had been to his first session with his fitness instructor. I kid you not. What is happening to the world? What are his parents thinking about?
When I was young eating was something we did. We’d start with toast or porridge or a cereal, chosen due to the free toy that came with it obviously.
Two pints of proper milk was delivered fresh every morning sometimes it was a bit less than a pint, because the birds pecked a hole in the foil top and helped themselves. Sometimes it was a bit more because the milk was frozen and it expanded through the foil top.
At school morning break we got a wee bottle of milk with a wax straw, which invariably flattened after a few “sooks”, and you had to coax the straw back into enough of a tube to allow further “sooking” repeating as necessary until said bottle was empty. I’m pretty sure playtime required a play piece although I’m not sure what we were given. My Mothers claims it was an apple or a bit of some other fruit. It certainly wasn’t chocolate biscuits and stuff though although I’d have been just as happy if it had been.
At that time we had dinner and tea and sometimes supper, none of the lunch, dinner and always supper that we modern types foist on our bairns! At dinner, it was either a home lunch or a school dinner. Home lunch would be a cooked meal, along the lines of mashed potatoes and mince and custard to follow. Parental eating rules were formly in place. Clear your plate or no pudding. I well remember a lunch with my Mother hovering over me telling me to eat my mash. I was struggling because the mash had gone cold and there were wee hard lumps of not quite cooked potato in it. I never did get that pudding.
Tea would be between 5:00 and 6:00 and feature stovies or some sort of smaller warm meal. Cups of tea and either Rich Tea or Digestive biscuits perhaps with a thin covering of apple jelly or margarine for afters with maybe a slice of toast and another cup of tea for supper.
Saturday lunchtimes were traditional Scottish pies and Sunday breakfast was fry up with white scones included. Sunday tea was served at four and was a bit grander in general. Carry outs? Of course. Fish and chips or some sort of pudding or mini steak pie with two large pickled onions being compulsory, they are veg aren’t they?
In the winter home made soup was the staple and each morning I was given a spoon of malt, which would stick to my ribs apparently.
Cakes came in the form of tray bakes or tea bread and were a Friday thing (people were paid on Thursdays then, in actual money). The Co-op bakers van came to the door as did the Co-op grocery van. At least one butchers van also came as did a fish van (my dad for a few years). There was a grocers a few doors along and another a few doors along in the other direction beside a co-op grocery and a fish and chip shop.
Cakes were also quite bountiful when visiting Grannies and Aunties. Home made of course and a lot of them came with butter icing and mushy jam
fillings. Chocolate? Yes. Chocolate biscuits, oh yes. Chocolate bars, oh yes.
Nutritional values? Never heard that mentioned ever… at all. Fruit and veg? Easy. To have us kids eat it was simple, just mush veg up in soup. Having to eat veg included in a main course was much harder. Enter bribery or threats from stage left. Eat them up and you get a treat. Don’t eat them and you may be at the table for some time and/or no pudding or sweets. I wasn’t a fan of barley in soup. I would fish out every last bit and line them up along the soup bowl rim. My Dad would get really ticked off at this. I still avoid barley.
We managed just fine. There were some kids who, shall we say, carried a bit more weight than the rest of us. There were adults of a similar rotund appearance. Maybe there were more or less rotund people around who knows. We were too busy doing stuff. And here we are today.
Scottish Grannies nutritional advice – Everything in moderation! Who’s to argue with that? A mantra for all things. Well… maybe not all.
Finally a period nutrition story.
I had school dinners for the last two or three years at high school. The seconds (helpings) or even thirds of Syrup sponge and custard was particularly difficult to pass up.
My friend and I decided to change and started going a local wee shop. They sold good stuff from our staple lunch was drawn. For the same price of a school dinner we bought a bottle of milk, a Mars bar and as many white chocolate drops as the money we had allowed.
I related this to my son when he started high school. Horrifically he told my Mother! I mean shopped by your own son! I had to endure a lecture from her.
Do we ever reach an age when our parents stop giving us rows?