“Foster behavioral changes …”
The Obama Administration’s Department of Agriculture (USDA) is now utilizing its resources and taxpayer dollars to, among other things, extol the virtues of government-sanctioned bedtime stories to any granny or grampie who would listen, as reported by Elizabeth Harrington of the Washington Free Beacon on March 31, 2014.
Other than listing certain bedtime stories they deem appropriate for grandparents to read to the little ones as they turn in for the night, the USDA is also urging grandparents to reward the wee ones with “hugs” instead of the usual list of suspect treats grandparents live for, such as homemade chocolate chip cookies.
As cited by Harrington, the USDA’s official blog site has a post titled “Grandparents Help Kids Develop Good Eating Habits” in which the department is now in the business of instructing grandparents how to be grandparents:
Take time to share and listen to your grandchild — the time you spend together offers wonderful opportunities to understand one another.
High on the department’s list of recommended readings is the page-turner “The Two Bite Club,” available online in both English and Spanish. It is described as “a USDA ‘educational storybook’ about a family of cats that uses government charts to determine its food intake. The story encourages children to try two bites of foods in the USDA’s ‘My Plate’ food diagram. After trying broccoli, yellow apples, low-fat yogurt, and ‘hard-cooked’ eggs, the children in the story get certificates of participation.”
With a 2013 budget of $8.7 million, the USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) is charged with “cutting-edge web-based systems designed to empower consumers.” Its executive director, Rajen Anand, also promises that the CNPP will “foster behavioral changes toward positive dietary practices and active lifestyle.”