When I was a kid, my mom bought my brother and I all of the most healthy cereals. You know what I’d do those healthy Cheerios and Rice Krispies? I’d pour tablespoons of sugar over them so they’d be palatable to my young sweet tooth. So did my brother. I have the cavities to prove it!
I have no idea if she realized I was doing that, but I did.
Once in blue moon, we’d get a box of Lucky Charms. We’d sneak the gross little marshmallows throughout the day, and by the end of day one, there’d be none left.
Coco Puffs lasted about a day longer. Froot Loops? Cookie Crisp, Fruity Pebbles, just as long. That’s probably why they were a rare treat rather than regular features in our cupboard.
"Good moms" buy healthy cereal! Who should start their day with sugary crap?
“I’ll never buy my children such nutrition-less garbage!” I said pre-kids. But just like “My kids will never sleep in my bed,” and “My kids will adjust to my life, not the other way around!” -pre-parenthood promises, turns out, I was totally full of shit.
Currently in my cupboard? Froot Loops and Cookie Crisp.
Yep, I buy my kids the fun cereal.
Here’s the thing: you’re only a kid once. And fun cereals are, well, fun!
Maybe it’s because they were a rarity in my house growing up that I feel a bit more like I want my kids to always have a fun option among the healthy ones. Because we always have some, it’s not a gorge fest whenever they see it. They’ll pick other things some mornings and some mornings, it’s two bowls of Froot Loops.
Fun cereal, like all things, are all about moderation for me. It’s why Lucky Charms didn’t last a day in my house growing up but lasts a week in my house now. It’s not a fight to the death among my kids to see how much one can stuff in their own face before it’s all gone.
Now, I’m not gonna lie; my husband and I enjoy some crap cereal every now and again, so having it in the house is not entirely selfless and ‘for the kids.’ Age is just a number, right?
I put fun cereal on par with any other treat. It’s a treat but not a ‘once in a blue moon’ treat. It’s more like an ‘enjoy this in moderation,’ treat. Kinda like wine for adults! Have in the house, have some as you feel for it, but probably don’t finish it all in one day!
I know that obesity is a real problem and cavities suck. But I figure, as long as I encourage healthy dental hygiene, and as long as it’s monitored, who gives a shit if my kids had two bowls of Froot Loops for breakfast, once in a while? They start their day with healthy milk accompanied by crunchy crap once in a while. They do. I own it. I’m not going to pretend it’s healthy. It’s not.
Does everything have to be boring and healthy all the time? Being a kid is supposed to be fun. They’re supposed to get to do things and eat things we folks in our advanced age can’t do due to our ever-decreasing metabolisms.
My kids will run off that sugar while chasing each other around the house. So I let them enjoy the crap sometimes. I have it in the house. I don’t overly regulate it or make it a huge deal. Life is too short to not get to enjoy a bowl filled with tiny chocolate chip cookies once in a while, especially when you’re a kid and think you’re getting away with having cookies for breakfast.
My pantry will have a treasure trove of super healthy things. But there, on the shelf beside the Harvest Crunch and Cheerios, is a fun box of cereal they can pick from time to time. Because it’s fun. And I see nothing wrong with starting their days with a bowl of fun. Life is like a bowl of cereal – sometimes throwing some childish fun in it is just what the doctor ordered.