Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cookies at the grocery store

Today I went grocery shopping with my kids. The store I normally shop at doesn't give out cookies to kids, but I couldn't get everything I needed there, so I stopped off at one of the other stores in town.

Generally speaking, when I go a grocery store that does it, I get cookies for the kids. Today I did the same thing. I picked up the couple things I needed and stopped by the bakery to get them cookies before we went and paid.

This time, I thought about it. What am I teaching my children when I shove a cookie in their mouth to make them wait and be patient? Is this just another example of how we use food for something other then it's purpose?

On the other hand, I'm not against occasional treats. I honestly believe you have to strike a balance when it comes to teaching children about nutrition. Feed them sweets all the time and it's obviously a problem. If they never have them though, I can't help but think they will gorge themselves when they become old enough to buy their own.

So, for now, I've concluded that they can still have cookies at the grocery store. They eat fairly well most of the time. Our house has very limited snack foods because I control the environment for myself. I don't think it harms them to not have a lot of treats in the house; more likely it's good for them. The grocery store cookie will just be one of the occasional treats they can have.

I have concluded another thing though. When my son doesn't want to eat his cookie, I will no longer finish it off for him.

What do you think? Are grocery store cookies for kids just feeding the obesity epidemic, or are they a harmless treat?


  1. None of the stores that I shop in routinely give children cookies, but as a parent, if they did offer them, I might not be so happy. I suppose they think the kids will talk mom into buying a dozen or two.

    Why not offer them a balloon or some other trinket if they want to give the kids a treat. It seems like our kids are offered treats every time you turn around.

  2. I remember as a kid getting cookies at the bakery when my parents went grocery shopping... it made it worth while for me to behave while I was there!!! And I don't think that doing that contributed in anyway to my weight. For me it was a harmless treat, and I feel the same way when I offer it to my children. Also, just because a store offers it, doesn't mean you have to stop by and get one... I would prefer a cookie, though, over a balloon or a trinket that is just going to add to all the "junk" I have at home.

  3. There is something about "free samples" that is so alluring to kids, I would not want to take that fun away from them. It's a memory they will have of their childhood. "Remember when mom took us to that store and we would get a free cookie....." It's the funny little things that they remember.

    When my son was 8 or 9, he was fascinated with the free samples of pretty much anything at the grocery store. If he wanted something, he had to step forward and politely ask the demonstrator while I stood in the background and nodded my head to approve. He tried things that I don't believe he would have tried for me at home because he thought he was being adventurous.

    He's 16 now, and he will actually appear in public with me at Costco for the samples! I'll take what I can get from a teenager.

    Bottom line is that it sounds like you have a good handle on the junk food in their lives, and I don't think lightening up on this issue will harm them.

  4. Karen, I totally see your point about the trinket and it may be something to consider as my kids get older. My son doesn't even eat the cookie half the time, but my daughter does. They haven't yet realized that they could try to get mommy to buy a dozen.

    Shawna, you got cookies at the grocery store?! I never did. I just assumed they didn't do it back then, but you grew up at the same time in the same city. Hey Mom! You reading? How come I never got cookies at the grocery store?