In the spirit of Mother’s Day, we asked Aramark employees to share how their parents impacted their healthy habits. We’ve shared just a few of their stories below in the hopes they will also inspire you to Feed Your Potential.
“My mom (Debby, in photo) completely impacted my childhood nutrition as well as my lifelong healthy eating habits. I mean, how could she not; she spent so much time sneaking kale into our tomato sauce to ensure we were getting just that much more nutrition every time we ate. My dad made food fun. I remember as a kid, we would spend early weekend mornings together making homemade bread. Our greatest invention was when we figured out how to make our own bread mold into a shape of a heart for Valentine’s Day.”
“I credit my mom for me wanting to become a chef. She was a great cook, but that, in and of itself, was not the drive behind my ambition. She made cooking fun! My mom (Carol, inset photo with Tom’s son, Aaron) used to babysit a group of pre-K and elementary aged kids after school, and I was the same age as those kids. In an effort to keep us occupied, she’d invite us all into the kitchen to help her bake. We’d all stand on chairs around her as she assembled the ingredients, and she would make up stories to keep us interested. As I grew older and wanted to ‘play’ in the kitchen, she had only one rule for me: Clean up your mess when you’re done. I made my share of mistakes, costing a bit of the family’s food budget, but she always encouraged me to experiment. Thanks, mom, for setting my course at an early age.”
“My mother (Harriett, pictured) was a strong advocate for a child trying things multiple times before they could decide that they didn’t like a particular food. We didn’t have a lot growing up, so the foods were never too extravagant. Her stock response when I said that I still didn’t like Brussels sprouts was, ‘You just haven’t tried them enough times yet.’ To be fair, they are some of my favorite foods now.”
Danielle Gehrke-Spering, RD, LDN – Health and Wellness Manager/Computrition Manager | Healthcare
“Growing up, my mom (Colleen, pictured) didn’t allow soda in our house due to it being a sugary drink. This was a great habit to start while we were young as soda is an empty calorie beverage, and it encouraged us to drink what was available: milk or water! To this day, I rarely drink soda, so thank you, mom, for starting me on this habit early!”
Gail A. Russell – Office Manager | Facilities
“As a mother and grandmother, I’ve always promoted healthy eating, exercise and fresh air. I also try to say ‘yes’ more often than ‘no’ to my daughter and three grandchildren (Kalia, Skye, and Riley with Gail’s dog Sugar in photo). When we experimented with concoctions to freeze in my new popsicle maker, one of our favorites was low fat vanilla yogurt mixed with orange juice. It’s creamy and yummy on a hot day, and the ingredients are almost always in the fridge. When the grandchildren wanted them early one morning, I was tempted to say ‘no,’ but realized yogurt and OJ were items on our breakfast table often – so why not?! Hence the BREAKFAST POPSICLE, which we claim as our invention, and which tastes somehow better because having a popsicle in the morning just feels naughty. What happens at Grammy’s house stays at Grammy’s, right?
Note: Since everyone’s health history and nutritional needs are so different, please make sure that you talk with your doctor and a registered dietitian to get advice about the diet and exercise plan that‘s right for you.