The Daily Feed: The Perpetual Kids' Snack Attack

Snacky snack snack snack, snack, snack.  Snacky snack snack SNACK!  SNACK! SNACK!  -- Yo Gabba Gabba

Yesterday, Jennifer Steinhauer gave voice to an entire generation of frustrated, snack-toting parents in the dining section of the New York Times.  As a parent, she’s fed up with the near-universal message that if we don’t feed kids every 10 minutes all hell will break loose and our children will spontaneously combust. Those are my words, not hers, but her point—that our culture has gone raving, snacking mad—struck a chord with many parents, myself included. 

I remember my reaction to Kate Reddy, the fictional protagonist in Allison Pearson’s 2002 novel I Don’t Know How She Does It. The book opens with these lines: “Monday, 1:37 a.m.  How did I get here?” Reddy refers, of course, to the fact that she’s up past midnight preparing the snacks she was asked to bring to her daughter’s school.

Today, requests for food come fast and furious from all sides. From the sports teams to the girl scout troops, from the class parents to the Sunday school teachers. We parents cart snacks everywhere, and are forever responding to outside requests, and guess what? Our kids have come to expect it. Ever hear of Pavlov?

I’m with Steinhauer. Enough is enough.

(Now pass the muffins.)


Cheryl Sternman Rule is a widely-published food writer and the voice behind the blog 5 Second Rule.

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