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Fruity Cheerios-- thanks guys

I'm pretty much done with the "all personal responsibility all the time" crowd. Yes, I am a parent, I take care of my kids. But there is a ton of time that I have no control over my kids.

Fruity Cheerios is the kind of product tailor made to undermine my ability to keep my kids sugar intake to a safe level. I stock regular Cheerios (1 gram of sugar per serving) and have since my kids could pick them up. The are a staple, for car rides, walks- the ever convenient ziploc bag of Cheerios- always comes through. Those of you who are parents know exactly what I am talking about.

Now comes this product, that is an obvious rip off of Fruit Loops. Fruit Loops are something no parent in my affluent NJ suburb would keep in the kitchen or anywhere near the kids. They would be stoned to death, reported to the ACLU etc etc. But Fruity Cheerios carry NONE of the stigma associated with Fruit Loops. Cheerios are good healthy, all american, a utlitarian minimalist masterpiece.

Apparently Fruity Cheerios are riding some very long coattails. My 3 year old came bounding into the house last evening, and I asked my nanny what the f she did. In the nicest tone of course, because you can't piss off a nanny in these parts. They talk. Anyway, after some very delicate questioning, I find out that my very good friends had served the kids Fruity Cheerios. w.t.f.

I went to the website where they proudly exclaim that Fruity Cheerios only have 25% less sugar! Gee thanks guys. I am a responsible parent, I bleed for my kids, and you undermine me with manipulative product crap like this?

And the worst of it is that I now have to raise a very uncomfortable issue with a friend and nieghbor I rely on. I guess this is all part of my "personal responsibility"!

Thu. Sep 14, 1:41pm

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25% less sugar than fruit loops.

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 1:43 PM

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Tell you three-year-old to hold out for the REAL Froot Loops and not fall for those fake Fruity Cheerios!!

Seriously, I'm sure your neighbors didn't read the label too carefully, just saw the "Cheerios" part.

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 1:48 PM

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I completely agree!!!! I bought a box of fruity cheerios once, and of course my kids loved them. But when I realized how much sugar is in them, they are now in the same classification as co co puffs or count chocola. They are only for special occassions, like maybe a birthday breakfast, christmas, or vacation. Honey nut cheerios are the same - my kids love them.

It cracks me up that the commercials for honey nut cheerios harp on the fact that it reduces cholesterol, but yet they have like 12-13 grams of sugar per serving or something like that.

I stock up on regular cheerios in the yellow box, and multigrain cheerios.

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 1:48 PM

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maybe this just isn't clear with your post but your kid came home happy and it's because she had cereal and now you're pissed?

are you kidding me? get over it!

now if it's the fact that they're sugar laden and your kid has special dietary needs that you had spoken to your friends and nanny about already, then yes they should be sternly reminded, but I wouldn't go sabotaging your nanny or friendship over one bowl of sugary cereal. There's nothing more honest than a child, so you should teach your child early to stay away from the food... imagine the look on your friends face next time when your child says

"My mommy says I'm not allowed to eat that". Now that's gonna do the trick.

Maybe you can make a lighthearted attempt to be like "oh my goodness what the heck did you feed little timmy? He was off the wall last night?" and when they tell you just go "oh my god that stuff is horrible for the kids, i really try and keep him away from it" Just a slight remark like that will work wonders, not picking up the phone and lecturing your neighbors. Don't become self righteous just because they have a box of cereal that you find abominable.

Or without even saying anything, just have prepackaged baggies for your kid to take elsewhere. One or two visits with their own snacks will really drive the point home to your neigbor, but I really think your best option is passive aggression... if nothing else but to maintain your childs friendships and that with your nanny.

I do praise you for teaching your children healthy lifestyle habits. We could all learn at least that lesson from you. Kudos. (or whatever granola bar of choice you prefer)

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 1:54 PM

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Are you kidding me? All this over fruity cherrios? How about letting your kids have a little fun sometime? One bowl is not going to hurt them, is it?

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 1:58 PM

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do you allow your child to eat ice cream-ever? if so, just chalk this sugary-cereal episode up as one of "those rare occassions" that she had a sugary treat. if not-maybe make it a point to the other primary caregiver of your child-presumably the nanny-that you do not want your child to ever have these types of treats and hold her accountable. if you can trust her with your child, don't you think you should be able to trust her with your child's food intake? and who cares about your reputation with other nannies if your point is valid-and your goal is your child's protection/well-being?

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 2:03 PM

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seriously. maybe you should lighten up or start saving for your childs therapy. the more you hold them back, the harder there going to fight. i can't imagine the issues you'll have when they're ready to drive, or date, or go out late.

the one time isn't going to hurt them. just be tactful if you really feel you need to say something. Diets are like the new religion, nobody is going to want you to force yours on them so just play nice when you talk to them

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 2:04 PM

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I'd like someone to criticize me who is actually a parent. You have no time for this stuff. This stuff is sabotage and makes my life more difficult. Period. I feel as if General Mills is as much of a pain to me as my mother in law!

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 2:04 PM

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we're criticizing the freak out over a single episode because that's what you posted about. If this is a regular issue then maybe phrase it differently, as in "any mom's out there as frustrated as I am with how your children eat when they're over at a friends house?" now that is a legit issue, but you were complaining literally, about a single serving if cereal, so please don't be suprised that people are criticizing the freak out.

I do, however admire the fact that you care that much about your childs diets. More american mothers should be like you in that sense, or else we wouldn't have such obese children.

to whoever called the other posters on here fat moms. please. bring a little more class to a weight loss forum. you're obviously not perfect yourself or else you wouldn't be here. We're giving some stern but constructive criticism, not name calling.

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 2:13 PM

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what do you mean by "this stuff"?

and It looks like the fat comment was taken off. good call.

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 2:21 PM

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this is not a freak out over an isolated incident. I should be more clear. I just spoke to a friend over IM who said they had the same experience with Cheerios version of apple jacks. My point is that I do everything in my power to provide good food, to teach good habits. My nanny is great. But when your kid is on a playdate or at a birthday party etc, you have no power. And if you happen to be there, and say no to whatever bad food is there, you are the jerk. It just seems like there is a lot more junk out there, and much of it packaged in a really deceptive way. Remember when we were kids. On the one side there was Corn Flakes, Raisin Bran and Cheerios and on the other, Fruit Loops, Lucky Charms, Frosted Flakes and Cap'n Crunch. (Kix inhabited the middle ground!) But it was clear. My parents did not stock the sugary cereals. They did not stock soda. The food companies are disguising the products that we were raised on, to trick us. I know I am the parent, but this only serves to make more work for me.

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 2:25 PM

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exactly, i just think the original post was written in a fit of sugary rage :) I am entirely disgusted with the amount of horrible food available in this country.

I'm not even a parent but I can totally feel your pain. As a nanny it just drove me nuts to feed the kids what some of these people kept in their pantries.

My advice is just to be tactful about refusing treats for your child, and listen if your child feels embarrassed about your guidelines in front of their friends.

I had a friend who couldn't have sugar as a child and we always felt so painfully aware of how he had a stash of sugar free popsicles at the school for birthdays and thats all he could have, and he couldn't help it... so just be careful about isolating your child. I know you're doing your best, but there's always exercise for the sugar and nothing for being the odd one out at the table. Good luck in finding that balance, I know it won't be easy.

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 2:36 PM

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I'm a mom and I understand the frustration of the op. Cheerios are a staple everywhere. Children understand that ice cream is a special treat; cheerios are regarded as something you can eat every day, and the makers of cheerios know that. Try telling your child that "cheerios" are now a treat. It's not easy and they knew it. My guess is they saw that Fruit loops are very profitable and wanted some of the $$$

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 2:45 PM

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right on OP

I think the OP's post was pretty damn funny, and well-written.
Holy shit, Froot Loops make people call the ACLU on you?
Stand on the offending neighbor's lawn, wait for them to come out, and throw Fruity Cheerios on them as they pass (PETA style).

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 2:48 PM

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why not try to find other mothers in your neighborhood or social circle who feel the same way and start a letter-writing campaign to the manufacturers, the stores that carry the cereals, the fda, the pta, etc. this way you can try to elicit some change instead of just being frustrated and having people agree with your complaints. if you have time to write on pt about it, you probably have time to type out a quick letter, im it to your friends and whoever else...

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 3:07 PM

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2:48 pm poster

that's funny! : )

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 3:24 PM

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First 2:04 poster:

I am a parent and you are correct. Kids need a little freedom. They also need to learn to exercise. I know parents that preach the "eat healthy" but then they let their child sit in front of the tv all afternoon.

OP why don't you take your kid for a walk instead of compaining about General Mills?

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 3:44 PM

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OMG is this for real??? over cereal?? come on. my kid eats sugar cereal since he was 3 and is now 14 5'3 and 114 lbs..its not the cereal thats a problem LOL. when you deprve your child they will grow up with an eating disorder for sure

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 3:49 PM

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not giving your child sugar cereal is depriving them? alllllriiiggghty then!

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 4:16 PM

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i would guess that its more than just sugar cereal that the OP's child dosnt get...if that was such a huge issue

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 4:50 PM

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I personally think the sugar cereals contribute to ADD/ADHD in children. I know I can't function when I have a bunch of sugar. No scientific data to back it up, just something I think. Note, I don't say it CAUSES it, it acts as a contributing factor.

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 4:58 PM

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the 4:50 pm poster- I am trying to understand your logic. Because a mom wants to prevent her child from eating Fruit Loops, that is an indication of other problems? Like what- no fluffernutter sandwiches? no Twinkies? Someone needs to call Child Protective Services!!

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 5:06 PM

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not the 450 poster, but in that poster's defense, i read the remark to mean that the op is upset about fruity cheerios and so probably would not allow other sugary treats-in response to the 416 poster's comment. i did not read it as snide or see it as implying that "problems" exist.

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 5:17 PM

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uh, Cherrios are not a "treat"-- ice cream is a treat that every now and then is great. Cake is a treat. Chocolate is a treat. Cherrios are an every day thing- that the jerks at General Mills have turned into dessert.

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 5:24 PM

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OP Mom, can you buy both and give a handful of fruity ones to mix with a bowl (or baggie) of regular...might make both you and the kiddies happy. (And Im sorry if this was already suggested, I merely skimmed over the fight!) :)

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 5:34 PM

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uh, yeah, REGULAR cheerios are not a treat. we're discussing fruity cheerios.

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 5:36 PM

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Is there anyone here that honestly thinks a bowl of fruity cherrios is going to hurt the kid or make him/her ADD??

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 5:44 PM

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i agree that it's a rather ridiculous effort to give to something so seemingly silly as a bowl of cereal, however parents get a lot of flack for the choices their children make-especially food choices. it shows at least some concern and responsibility for those choices. i do think, however, that the op ought to be more constructive with her energy and try to make a difference rather than just complain. in addition to some of the ideas already suggested, she could opt to write to the channels that show commercials for these products and "threaten" to boycott the channel/shows if they continue to run these ads. and i'll bet she could muster up other parents who would do the same.

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 5:51 PM

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check out the thread on kids and obesity for more discussion on this subject of what parents should feed their children or allow their children to eat when not at home.

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 5:59 PM

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1:48 poster, here

OMG, I can't believe you idjits are laying on the OP!

It's not about one kid having ONE bowl of cereal. It's about General Mills using an established brand name, which people have come to trust, to sell a completely different and harmful product! I'm sure the other parents -- and thousands of other parents - are not intending to serve junk food to their kids. It says "Cheerios" so it must be good, right?

Unfortunately, General Mills does not hold its own brand in such high esteem. It sees the popular "Cheerios" brand as a cash cow. They could compete with Froot Loops and call the product something else, after all. Considering the growing problem of childhood obesity (see link to article) what the company is doing is immoral, although not illegal.

Maybe in an ideal world we would not be feeding our children processed foods at all. If we make it, we know what goes into it. Okay, maybe some of us have the time to make homemade granola -- but not all of us do.


Thursday, September 14, 2006, 7:00 PM

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LOL - I just made some homemade granola yesterday! It doesn't take long at all! : )
My kids are still young, so Cheerios (as breakfast or a snack) are still loved in our house. But when we visit Nanny and Papa, they are allowed to have "rainbow breakfast" (Lucky Charms) as a treat. The kids know that sugar is yummy, but not good for you so it's best not to eat too much.
These are basic principles. I hope that knowledge doesn't fly out the window when they're school age.

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 9:16 PM

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to the 1:48 poster's second post...

General Mills isn't doing anything immoral. It's not their fault that America isn't choosing to read the nutrition information on their box and blindly going "oooh cheerios so they must be healthy". seriously? you're saying that it's their fault people aren't making their own decisions to look before they leap?

As a matter of fact, I bet their R&D (that's research and developement for those of you who forgot to read the nutrition label) took surveys and many people responded to the fact that they like Cheerios but want a variety, or saw how successful the other brands were, and hopped on an already lucrative bandwagon. i highly freaking doubt they were sitting there going "sugar, yes, more sugar' and devilishly rubbing their hands together.

get your panties out of a wad everyone, the original cheerios still exist so I don't see what the whole conspiracy theory is about. They saw something successful and went for it. That's their job, and yours as keepers of your own bodies and as consumers is to do your own darn research. General Mills isn't going to hand you all the answers. It's not any different than looking both ways before crossing a street.

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 9:27 PM

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Why is it that you are just now realizing that General Mills is trying to make a buck? Duh.

They already have Frosted cherrios (13 g sugar) mulitgrain cherrios (6 g sugar) Honey Nut Cherrios (9 g sugar), Berry Burst (11g sugar) Apple Cinnamon (13 g sugar) Yogurt Burst (11 g sugar). Now they have Fruity Cherrios which only had 9 g sugar which is far better than many of the other Cherrio options.

If you have a problem why not contact the company? There are a million bad things out there for our kids..maybe stop worrying about the cereal and worry about drugs and violence.

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 9:28 PM

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I am a Mother and a Nanny

I have to watch my son's food intake because of different reasons but what I do and this would also help you and your nanny is,, aways make a dish or put together approved foods for your child to share. I would then allow the child one item of the offered foods then tell your child if he/she was still hurgery or wanted more he/she could have what we brought to share. Always have back up snacks on hand at all times. I have done this for my sons speical diet and also for the children I have cared for over the years. If your Nanny cooks for your family ask her to make some approved foods for you child to take on there outings or you will need to provide them for her. You should not give your Nanny a hard time for what happened if you do not provide her with alternatives. Its very hard caring for someone else's child, If you what your child to only have approved foods then you need to provide these foods for her to take to play dates and so on.

Thursday, September 14, 2006, 9:37 PM

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hmmmm-i would avoid the passive aggressive route w/ the friend/neighbor as someone suggested earlier in the thread. if these neighbors are really your friends, i would suggest a visit or a phone call and gently say:

"little suzie came home from your house today and told me she had fruity cheerios. Now i know it's just cereal, but we are really trying to limitt the amount of sugar in her diet. i would really appreciate it if you could help me with this when she is visiting at your house. i will make sure she has some snacks of her own to bring over in the future. and i apologize, i probably should have been really clear about our dietary choices beforehand."

your neighbor probably thought cereal was cereal and may not think of it as junk food. definitely be clear w/ her so that in the future you don't have any more problems like this.

and yes you are right-good parent can't be in control of their children 100% of the time, but if you talk to your child repeatedly about sugar, food coloring, preservatives etc (and show them what to look for on food labels) then as they grow up they will be able to make these choices and distinguish the good from the bad themselves.

Friday, September 15, 2006, 12:15 AM

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we are not idiots because we don't agree with your opinion (or the op's). why would you start your post with that?

Friday, September 15, 2006, 9:32 AM

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practice for real-life?

Not a parent (yet), but it occurs to me that this type of situation is practice for a lots of other real-life challenges out there -- ie, you won't let your underage kid drink, but she will be exposed to it in high school ... plus drugs, sex, etc. In college, she won't have you around to tell her what to eat or not. So how to start teaching good choices and preferences? Perhaps something more diplomatic than saying the other parents are trying to kill their children with cereal, perhaps something less restrictive than saying she has to say no to it... maybe just "Ick, don't you hate that stuff? I think it's WAY too sweet -- yuck!" and "Let's send something with you to share with your friends that's more hearty." (or whatever adjective one can apply to eating milder tasting but more satisfying foods...) What do you parents out there do in these situations?
Also, maybe mention to the other parents you're trying to teach your daughter healthy food choices, and give the kids obviously healthy foods at your house, so their parents get the idea...? Maybe they're well-meaning but don't think about it.

Friday, September 15, 2006, 11:00 AM

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why not write to the dept. of health and human services and request some literature that explains the downsides of eating a lot of sugar. then distribute them to other parents or ask the school to hold a fundraiser to benefit your cause and use the proceeds/donations to purchase books on the subject to pass out locally. become proactive not just reactive.

Friday, September 15, 2006, 11:07 AM

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I am also a parent to a 3 year old boy. While most of the time he eats healthy, I have been known to let him have treats. Even the food pyramid shows sweets at the top! Everyone deserves a little sugar once in a while.

Friday, September 15, 2006, 3:12 PM

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I am not a parent, but:

I don't disagree with the OP being upset that their children were fed somthing that is not allowed. The neighbor should have asked if it was ok to feed something to them.

OP: Have you tried packaging extra cherios in case they visit people? For a treat every once in a while .. if child isn't allergic to nuts, have you thought of mixing a little granola with the cherios? I am sure if you spoke to the person and politely asked to not give him/her those kinds of treats, they would understand.

Good luck!

Friday, September 15, 2006, 5:25 PM

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not marketed as a treat - store display

Okay, so as a crunchy-granola type, I haven't paid much attention to Cheerios recently. But yesterday I was in the store and it was impossible to miss the big display of NEW! FRUITY CHEERIOS! with the slogan, "MOMS (and kids) LOVE THEM!" Looking over the display touting nutrition vs the actual nutritional information, I think this is exactly as deceptive as Starbuck's "Oat Nut Grain Muffin" discussed earlier in the week: it's being made to sound healthy, but it's a sugar bomb.

Now, does everyone have the time to read every nutrition label in the supermarket? Of course not -- especially not a Mom w/ a couple of restless kids in tow. I imagine she's in there and sees this huge display about how healthy these are and how they are more palatable to kids and just scoops them up. That's how the marketing is supposed to work, anyway.

And yes, I do think false advertising is immoral, and that advertising TO young children is immoral, particularly if it is advertising for something unhealthy.

Saturday, September 16, 2006, 3:33 PM

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you need to MAKE time to read the labels, just like you need to make time to monitor what your children watch on tv, who they talk with on the phone, how they spend their money, who their friends are, where they hang out. these are necessary things to protect the health and welfare of our children. if they see you reading labels and deciding to purchase something based on the nutritional values, they will LEARN to shop that way, too. it may seem burdeonsome, but raising children is a huge responsibility and requires all of the (extra) effoet we, as parents, can provide. did you ever hear anyone claim that walking another 20 feet down the block to a cross-walk for crossing the street took too much time? in my opinion, raising children is not about finding the most convenient route or the quickest way to shop.

Thursday, September 28, 2006, 10:00 AM

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As a very busy Mom of four - no, I don't have time to read every label of everything in the store. I do, however, know a fruit loop when I see one, regardless of what name they put on the box. I don't care if they're called "Healthy-O's" - it's still obvious to those of us with eyes (and taste buds, I guess) that it's junk cereal.

Thursday, September 28, 2006, 2:22 PM

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