My Mom’s Version of Healthy

As a kid in the 60s, my sisters and I walked a half mile to school, came home for lunch, and went back again. My mom stayed home and ran our household with business-like efficiency. Lois grew up on a farm during the Great Depression and learned to cook for over 20, but her real passion was being in the fields with her father and the men. A tomboy in the Betty Crocker era, she did her duty as a homemaker but secretly longed for more. She graduated top of her high school class, worked in a bank, and being a wiz with money earned a spot as the president’s assistant. Once my dad became a chemistry professor and she had five kids, her career ambitions faded. My mom was practical and no-nonsense – we were expected to walk back and forth to school and to entertain ourselves. But she made the best Molasses Crinkles Cookies a kid could want! One of my most vivid childhood memories is walking in the door (after our second hike up the hill) to the delicious scent of cinnamon, cloves, and ginger . . . biting into soft and pungent fresh-baked cookies . . . drowned with a glass of milk. After our snack, we were shooed out the door to romp the woods & pastures  . . . and orchestrate our childhood play until the dinner bell rang . . . promptly at 5:00.

Our stories convey who we are and why we are here. Once people make your story their story, you tap into the powerful force of faith. I share a piece of my personal story to illuminate a few insights about my upbringing and the family values around food and activity that shaped my life. Since we walked two miles every day and ran around outside in our spare time, having treats like cookies after school did not put on extra calories. And forever, the smell of Molasses Crinkles Cookies will make me feel loved and cared for.

What values have shaped your health choices? How do you touch others? How does my experience growing up in the 60s relate to today’s children and the obesity epidemic we face?



  1. Mindy Hermann on April 23, 2013 at 9:22 am

    I grew up in a house that always had cookies, although not as yummy as your Molasses Crinkles. Do you share recipes?! My mom, who is European, served dinner in four courses every night, including fruit, salad, main course, and dessert, and that set my foundation for healthful eating.

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