I am seriously hyperventilating. My heart is beating faster than a Kitchen Aid mixer on high speed and my body won’t let air go below the pit of my full stomach, which aches beyond belief. I ache with guilt and reek of embarrassment because I had an uppity moment.
In one of my recent posts – Gen Zs Want Fast Foodie Food, Not Fast Food – I sounded like an uppity narrow minded foodie-raising food snob who thinks most kids across America dine like the fortunate kids in my uppity neck of suburbia NY.
Here’s what dining is like for Gen Zs in uppity suburbia – – Kids arrive without a greeting and scarf down brie like it’s Dorito’s, inhale fresh extra jumbo line-caught shrimp without a clue of the price. They discuss their favorite form of onions, caramelized being the leader. Then they one up each other with their knowledge and dining opinions of favorite restaurants and I’m looking at them thinking, “What the HE&& have we raised?”
I feel embarrassed by my spontaneous ignorance because this frequent observation is such a generalization and assumption based on a small % of entitled kids who know what foodie food is. Here we have these fortunate gluttonous overly indulged Gen Z Foodies while so many children don’t even eat in America. I’m a compassionate, bleeding heart independent, temporarily turned hypocrite, who has swallowed my deep rooted humility.
Why am I loaded with guilt and self-disgust?
20% Children are Food Insecure in America: I don’t support Gen Zs being Foodies because not only are “Kids Starving in Africa”, 1 in 5 children are “FOOD INSECURE” in America. Right down the street. I plan to say, “Take that smelly overstated oozy coated wheel of $15 brie, return it in exchange for a few meals and deliver those healthy nutritional meals to the nearby shelter. There are starving, sweet, grateful, kids waiting to eat.”
Foodie Gap = Income Gap: If you add Gen Zs to the top 1% of American income, maybe 95% of the blessed, hard-working, American population under 18 are not Foodies. In 2012, 31 million children received low-cost or free lunches. 95% of American children are fortunate to get lunch and won’t eat Foodie Food unless their parents promote it. Most probably don’t know what the hell smelly sautéed caramelized onions are anyway. Please.
What’s Next, Crème Brulee?: Some overly compassionate boundary-free parents treat their overpowering uppity children like adults, and frankly they can be mini Napoleons . If they’re begging for brie now at age 8, they could be begging for brie in the streets at age 25. (Wouldn’t that be a good SNL skit.) Their reality without helicopter parents catering a pampered life and delicious foodie foods to them could be one crusty expired loaf of bread.
Don’t get me wrong, I love children and appreciate all levels of wealth, but I do think the small portion of Gen X (and Y) parents who helicopter, spoil, and indulge Gen Zs need to put nutrition over foodie food, supporting over spoiling, and focus on serving healthy, well balanced, nutritious food. We give so much power to our Gen Zs that we let them pick their half chocolate half vanilla triple layer buttercream cake and eat it too. Literally and emotionally.
After this uppity moment, I’m back to buying groceries on a tight weekly budget and saving the foodie food for later. It’s the parents’ job to raise kids to be adults, not to raise adults. Kids are so amazing, little adults maybe not so. With Thanksgiving coming up, and thereafter, let’s all collect good nutritious foods for the hungry Gen Zs and bring it to them however we can. That kind of goodwill heartfelt consideration brings a well-deserved smile of comfort and satisfaction to our Gen Zs. Here are some ideas…