Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cereal debate, fail.

Did anyone see this about the cartoon characters on cereal boxes? There was a proposal to ban them, but, the government has dropped it.

I wish they hadn't. I wish the ban had happened. I don't understand why we need to entice kids to eat food with cartoon characters. Why can the food not speak for itself? Will kids really NOT want to eat frosted marshmallow cereal if you take the leprechaun away? Or the tiger? Will they suddenly want nothing but All Bran if you do that? Oh! Geez. Would THAT be so bad?

At this point, we don't eat much breakfast cereal. We do eat some, mostly as a snack. And we buy it at our natural food store or at Trader Joe's when we make it there. Almost none of the cereal at Trader Joe's has cartoon characters on the packaging, and there's certainly no commercials for it. The one exception on the characters is this brand, Nature's Path Envirokidz. And you know what? My kids ALWAYS ask for those ones. I don't buy them because they're more expensive and they're gluten free, and we don't have gluten issues so I don't see the point in paying more. But once I tell my kids 'no,' they're more than happy to pick out Strawberry Yogurt Os or Crisp Rice.

I guess that's where I fall on this. Parents should be able to say no, and they should say no. But why not make that easier for them? And make it easier on the kids to make good decisions.


  1. Yes, my kids ALWAYS notice the pretty pictures. Panda Puffs are exciting stuff in this house. A rare treat & usually cut with "normal" cereal.

  2. I hear you. I much prefer to buy boring cereals and add fruit to them. Not just for health reasons, but because I think they taste better that way.

  3. My husband has Celiac Disease so we actually mostly buy Envirokids... but I am always frustrated by the price and I sometimes feel like we're paying for a panda/koala bar cartoon!!
    I definitely agree with you. Yes, parents should exercise their right to say no... but at the same time, did we not all grow up secretly wanting what we couldn't have? I wasn't allowed to watch a certain TV channel at my house so what do you think I did EVERY TIME I went to a friend's house after school?
    Kids, of all people, should be able to walk down a grocery store aisle and not be tricked into wanting something!

  4. You're definitely right. What I was allowed to watch on tv was also restricted, but the second my parents went upstairs I was turning down the volume and changing the channel anyway. I guess I'm no worse for the wear, but it's quite telling, isn't it?

    And that really is the significant part of the issue.... We're talking about children. What our kids eat now is forming their bodies and minds for their entire life. And kids don't have the judgement or the reasoning abilities to be able to filter out all of these stimuli and all of this information to know what's best for them in the long run.

  5. I guess I've never understood why parents don't just say no to stuff like that. (full disclosure: my hubby works for a big cereal maker) Once in a while I buy the "junky" cereal for the kids and it's such a treat that they don't beg for it all of the time. They know it's a "sometimes" food even if Dad makes it, kwim? When it comes down to it, I think parents have to ultimately be "the boss" when it comes to things like this and concede a bit with some things that in moderation aren't going to harm them.

    1. Oh, I think a lot of parents do. I know I do. But I guess I'm not fortunate enough to have kids that will ever let it go. They are persistent!

      I guess I still don't understand why the cereals, or any other products, NEED the cartoon characters if they're selling a good, desirable product. Won't the product speak for itself?