Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Negotiator

Scene: the snack aisle of a big box store (not THAT big box store, but a big box none the less)

This week is our turn to provide snacks for Ladybug's preschool class. We have to bring in juice boxes and prepackaged individual snacks so the teachers can allow the kids to help themselves, encouring them to be more independent. If you've read this blog for any amount of time, you know that we try to limit processed foods.

My preferred snack
 And this is reflected in my choices for the class snack. I would prefer to buy bananas, grapes, or dried fruit and nuts, but they require a little too much effort (refrigeration & washing the grapes, avoiding bruises on the bananas, possible nut allergies, etc). So I usually opt for individual boxes of raisins and some type of whole wheat cracker. (Versus a non whole wheat product that would have even less nutritional value.)

I do not believe that cookies, Cheetos, or other such snacks make an appropriate mid morning snack for children who need brain power to learn and energy to play. I definitely do not think that "fruit snacks" are healthy in way. However, my daughter, as a typical four year old, thinks they are awesome.

Photo credit: stock.xchng
So, we are in the snack aisle, and I am trying to remember how many snacks I need to buy and peruse what is available. LB sees the "fruit snacks." (I use quotation marks because there is precious little actual real fruit in them.) She is fixated and starts to ask if they can be the snack we bring to school.

Absolutely not. Over my dead body, I think to myself. But I say, no, they are not real food, and Mama wants to buy real food for your snack. LB counters with, but you don't have to eat them Mama. They are for my friends, and they like these. We go back and forth like this for a minute or two. Thankfully, the store wasn't busy and there were no other customers nearby to hear me explain (for the thousandth time) that Mama likes to provide snacks that are healthy and good for growing boys and girls.

My child is quite the negotiator. She came up with several good arguments why I should buy them. Finally, I found enough better quality prepackaged snacks and we were able to move on. But not before she tried to sneak a box into the cart. I have made certain decisions about what snacks I will and will not allow in my home. Fruit snacks are NOT acceptable.

Do we eat processed snacks? Yes, because I do not have the time or energy to make crackers every week. (Homemade crackers are awesome, but time consuming.) However, I opt for the best quality I can find. I read labels. If the ingredient list is short, it's on the good list. If the first ingredient is enriched flour, it's out. If there is HFCS, it's out. If there are artificial dyes, it's out.

I'm not trying to sound holier than thou and say that our food choices are better. What I am trying to say is that I have certain food priorities and I try my hardest to stick to them. Even if my four year old has learned some great debating skills.

Do you have food priorities?


  1. Oh the negotiating!! I used to by Stretch Leather at Costco by the bucket full. All ingredients I could pronounce and they seemed to quench my kid's desire for fruit snacks. And then like Costco does, they stopped carrying them. Blerg.

  2. Great job being tough Mama! I started laughing at the part when she tried to sneak the fruit snacks into the cart.

  3. Oh it's a constant challenge, isn't it? You're doing great, Momma! Keep it up. :-)

  4. I applaud you for taking a stand on snacks. There is so much cr@p marketed to kids. I can't believe I gave mine Kool-Aid. I plead ignorance, since I grew up on it too!