Comment 37425

By highwater (registered) | Posted January 26, 2010 at 09:57:14

Came across this in the NYT, in which the author makes the point that an attitude has evolved that snacks need to accompany every childhood activity.

And toys, sadly. It's hard to go anywhere without someone shoving little bits of plastic into your kids' hands either.

As for the snacks, I blame the Parenting Industrial Complex that has given us the Helicopter Parent as the sine qua non of parenting. I remember the parenting books and magazines (before I burned them all) always reminding parents to haul drinks and snacks with them every time they left the house. This was presumably to ward off low blood sugar induced tantrums, boredom, etc. etc. I was always the only parent in church who didn't bring along an insulated bag full of snacks and juice boxes to amuse the little darlings and keep them occupied. I figured if they ate before they left the house, they could last an hour without more food and drinks, but you're made to feel like a bad parent if you don't always have something on hand to shove into your kid's mouth at the first sign of distress. Nevermind that the distress may have nothing whatsoever to do with hunger, administering food is an easy way to feel like a responsible parent.

This may be the ugly flip side of the notion of food as cure. When diet is touted as the cure for everything from ADHD to autism, it's too easy to slip into the idea that even fleeting grumpiness and ennui must be 'solved' with a dose of juice and Cheerios, and voila, we perpetuate the cycle of teens and adults who self-medicate with food, caffeine, alcohol, etc.

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