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November 2, 2012



"Yiayia" means Grandma

      In Greek culture and society, Grandma and Grandpa play an important or dominant role in the upbringing of their grandchildren, since often both parents are working and they become the babysitters. Their presence may be important but they unwittingly, perhaps from excessive affection and care, contribute to the bad eating habits of their grandchildren. 

      For example, Greek grandmothers seem to have X-ray vision and are able to see through your skin and into your stomach so don't lie to them that you are full, there's still room in your stomach (it's not quite exploding yet!)

      They make you feel like it's a sin not to clean up your plate, they even make jokes about how you've eaten everything in your plate and she doesn't even have to wash it. And she looks at it with pride that you ate it all! Did I mention that Grandma portions are very 'generous'?

These phrases have grown generations and generations of Greek youngsters:
 -- "one more mouthful for Grandma, one for mommy, one for daddy ...,"

" I going to have a mouthful for each and every one in the family tree?...."

 -- "your last bite is your strength "
"The exorcist's" Linda Blair's baby photo: "If you force me to eat this I'll show you strength!"
-- "eat because children are starving in Ethiopia "
(through grinding teeth) "Well, send it to them..."

If these tricks don't work then the intimidation method begins:

 -- "Eat because the bogeyman will come,"
"Bogeyman? Really, Grandma!"
-- "Eat because you won't grow to be tall and strong"

"Heard that before! I have no strong feelings-one way or another!"
If all of these fail then the last resort is sweet corruption:

 -- "Eat all your of your food and I'll give you some chocolate".

"ALL of this for a tiny piece of chocolate? OMG!"

A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G to see the plate being emptied of food!
      It seems that today's grandparents suffer from what we call the WW2 Occupation Syndrome. I don't know if it is a valid scientific term but it's widely used and after 60-70 years, still continues to haunt us, carrying it from generation to generation until today.
      During the difficult years of WW2 occupation, our ancestors experienced great famine that killed hundreds of Greeks, leaving behind bad memories to our grandmothers and grandfathers. This resulted in the mentality that "when there is food, it should be consumed in abundance" and none of it must be thrown away and that the "extra" pounds mean strength and health.  This mentality was passed on to the next generations and even though these attitudes are fading anymore they have lead us today to the point of talking about obesity in young kids. 

      Childhood obesity is a growing concern, increasingly gaining epidemic trends worldwide. In Greece,  statistics say that almost 1 in 3 children today are obese.

 So, please Grandma when I say I'm full,
                       I really mean I'm full!!!


All photos are courtesy of Google images.

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  1. This is sooo true. Not to mention that Grandma's cooking is so much better than Mam's. (Sorry Mam, but it is true.) It must be the years of experience...

  2. My grandparents were the same! Grandpa was Polish and my Grandma is American Indian. There were all kinds of food and we were always encouraged to eat everything and more. Food=Love. Funny how that sticks with you. Your pictures with the posts are adorable. Happy Friday, Vicki :)

  3. Great post, again. I'm really enjoying learning about the greek life. You do a really nice job. I agree with the other commenter. The pictures with the sayings are perfect.

    1. Thanks, Virginia! I had fun looking for the photos!

  4. New Follower via GFC from Lovin the Weekend Blog Hop. :)

    1. Thanks for following, Diana. I'll be right over!

  5. Great pics, and LOADS OF LOVE!

  6. LOL that's excellent! a really fun way of making a very serious point

  7. Ok, this post is hilarious. Except, my Nana does it too except with Mexican food. One more tamale? Two? (they are definitely made with lard, not good for my bottom).

    Haha, gotta love our dear family members that make sure we get enough to eat.

    I'm a new follower on GFC from Friendly Friday!


  8. Looks like it's not a Greek thing!!! Thanks for following Tiffany! I'll be right over!

  9. We are not Greek and my grandmother did the same thing. I think it is a generational thing, since my grandparents grew up during the WW2/Great Depression here in America. I started following you last week, and you do not disappoint! Love reading your posts!

  10. haha this is a great post!! Found you through the Sunday Sync!
    Helene in Between

  11. I have one that eats just about anything, one that won't eat anything and one that eats "prechewed" food...agh. One of these days, I'll find something they will all eat!

    Thank you for linking up with Super Sunday Sync this week. Hope to see you next week!