Daphne’s hack struck a nerve, because sugar cereal happens to be one of my hot-button issues. I like to think I’m pretty moderate and open-minded about most things — including junk food — but sugar cereal sends me straight to the soapbox. How corporations can market that stuff to children as breakfast…grrrr.
BUT. Have I ever been at the grocery store with my kids and been convinced to buy a box of Halloween-themed Froot Loops with eyeball-shaped marshmallows? Just this once? YES I HAVE. So I appreciate Daphne’s situation, and her creative way past it.
I also recognize that there are few absolutes in parenting. Even the most health-conscious among us grab some Cap’n Crunch on the way to the checkout every now and then.
Whenever I bring my two five-year old boys to the market, I always seem to return with a new and alarming box of sugary cereal. A few weeks ago, it was a box of Cocoa Krispies, which I had real problems even pouring into a bowl for their breakfast!
At the last minute, I noticed a lonely, untouched box of regular Rice Krispies and inspiration struck. "Boys, do you want to have some new Chocolate and Vanilla Krispies?" (ding ding ding) Or, just plain Cocoa Krispies?" (wah wah wah) Of course, they were wildly excited to try the Chocolate and Vanilla option–and it was a hit!
Since then, I’ve been shamelessly mixing their sugary cereals with a plainer, generic version. We have Frosted Flakes + Corn Flakes, Apple Jacks/Froot Loops + plain Cheerios, Gorilla Munch + Kix. I also mix in one packet of flavored oatmeal with a half cup of plain oatmeal. At this point, my kids are well aware of what I’m doing, and it’s perfectly normal for them. In fact, I ran out of plain Rice Krispies this week and had to serve the chocolately version alone. A few minutes later, the soggy brown cereal was almost untouched in their bowls. When I asked what was wrong, their answer warmed my heart: "I don’t want to eat it. It’s too sweet!"