The Rules of Feeding Your Kid's Friends Junk Food at the Movies

After a morning at the movies, I received a text from a close friend, whose son I had taken to the flick. It said, “Jack had a great time, but, ‘the movie would have been better with a box of candy and some popcorn.’” Sure, my friend’s message was laced with sarcasm, and it gave me a chuckle, but the bottom line was that her son expected Movie Theater treats. At 10AM? At that hour, I was barely willing to buy sodas. However, to my friend, popcorn and candy was a given – an inclusive, all- important staple of the movie-going experience. The interesting thing is that certain parents would appreciate my kibosh on the sweets, and would actually be upset that I permitted the breakfast-time sodas.

Here’s the question: Are there rules to giving kids junk food at the movies, when those kids aren’t your own? I hadn’t really considered the question before. Personally, I banned Movie Theater popcorn after an exposé revealed the ridiculously high fat content of the tasty treat. Can I tell my kids they can’t eat popcorn when another mother provides it for them and their friends? Worse yet, can I tell another mother what they can or can’t buy my children, when they are graciously taking them to a movie? I think the answer is no. I shouldn’t stop my children from eating popcorn if the chaperone provides it, and I certainly shouldn’t tell someone how to spend their money. To me, the parents who accompany the children make the rules, and the moms left home should hope their kids have the good manners to accept those rules.

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