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Why do people give their kids so much sugar?

My wife just called me during her stopover on a flight from the East Coast. She was horrified because she sat on the plane next to a mother and her toddler (one year and nine months old). It was breakfast time, and the mother gave her child the following:

1. Frosted Flakes cereal (which is 25% sugar)
2. A Pepsi
3. A bag of Oreo cookies
4. A can of fruit cocktail in high-fructose corn syrup
5. A bag of M&Ms

The question is, why would a mother do this to her child? It seems to me that a mother would have to be 1) spectacularly ignorant about sugar; 2) criminally neglectful; or 3) maliciously hateful toward her child.

Are there any other explanations?

( Pic props: )
Doc Canoro's profile photoKandie Kato's profile photoQueen B's profile photoSindy Richemond's profile photo
Nope - can't think of any other reason why a person would destroy their own child's future this way. See it all the time and have to fight the urge to slap the parents (with something heavy) :o(
My guess is the kid controls the parent and wont shut up unless given sweets and the parents desire to have a quiet plane ride was stronger than her desire to have a healthy child.
a little of number 1 with a lot of the keep the kid quiet on an airplane by giving them all sorts of things they don't normally get. we use the same tack, but with healthier food, but we do tend to buy french fries at the airport for takeoff, they take awhile for kids to eat and keep them occupied.
What he ^^ said. It also seems to align culturally.
They cycle.
Sugar company > Advertising > Consumer > ADD/Diabetes > Doctor > Pharmacy > Diet companies > Sugar company.
just wrong!!!!!!!!!
i have to say : 3) maliciously hateful toward her child.
That mother was most likely born in the 80s or 90s and may have grown up with the same type of "breakfast" as she fed her child.
My own wife (Hi, +Leah Klevar!) just sent our daycare a scathing email after discovering them setting up a morning snack of Cocoa Puffs for our 2.5-y-o son. Well, maybe not scathing. Still....
I don't buy the laziness reason, because sugared-up kids are much harder to manage. If parents were lazy, they'd give their kids healthy food so they'd be calm and low-maintenance.
Why are our K-12 schools arrayed with vending machines that dispense garbage to our kids? And if only it was pure sugar. It's usually corn syrup, which is worse, in my opinion.
I think for most people they don't know about nutrition facts or even the meaning behind servings etc. But I think the main issue is that in these tough economic times, quantity rather than quality of products is what matters.
But +Mike Elgan , these parents also fail to manage the children, and allow them to run beserk, after dosing them with a sugar high.
Maybe she likes her kid with a sugar high......
We just chloroform our kids pre flight. It's win-win.
Our K-12 schools are Government funded. Why would our government want vending machines in our schools? Hrm... draw your own conclusions... (flashback: 1984 Apple advertisement...)
Parenting licenses continue to be frighteningly easy to get.
plus rude for the passengers around here since the kid is going to be a mess on the flight all hopped up on sugar.
Lazy and taking the easy way out, trying to pacify the child
Now now, let's not conflate the dangers of HFCS with sugar. Pure cane sugar is a fine sweetener, and not nearly as bad for you. A little sugar on your honey nut cheerios in the morning is not a criminal act.

That said, we rarely give sweets to our kids, because they're already crazy, and for plane trips we pack raisins and pretzel sticks. It's not that hard.
+Mike Elgan Lazy, as in they are everywhere and easy to buy, carry, and dole out. Lazy as in it takes too much effort to do the research, and find healthy alternatives. Lazy as in, I'd they'd rather just give the kids what they want than teach them about this stuff by setting a good example. And for arguments' sake, to your point, I would also say that high kids don't need get as bored...they will just run around in circes or bang their heads together. (:
The fourth option is simply that she was a harried mother travelling alone with a child on a cross-country flight. While this is a particularly sugary meal, based on the context, most parents would be hard-pressed to be too critical of her. We feed our kids organics and balanced, nutritious meals and snacks at home but when we're flying, you better believe we've got candy and salty/fatty snacks on the plane.
Great post +Mike Elgan ! Many of these same type of parents have their children taking amphetamines for ADD treatment without making the painfully obvious connection. It's craziness...
.>>>> apples don't fall far from the tree!!!!!..number one answer=ignorant.....
I walk the line with trying not to shelter my child but not getting her started on the road to obesity and diabetes. It's difficult but doable. It's all about conditioning. My child still associates soda as being yucky because that is what we told her from day1. (well maybe not day 1 , maybe like day 366)
I stopped eating all processed foods over a year ago, mostly to avoid their added sugars. For some time longer I had already stopped drinking sodas, eating pastries, pastas, and breads At 65.5 years of age today, I only wish I had reduced sugar and carbohydrate consumption much sooner than I did. I feel and am much healthier.
+Leah Barr I'm less concerned about the diagnoses of things. But I know for a fact that my own kids reacted every single time to overloads of sugar with something that I would describe as hyperactivity and a deficit of attention.

That's why they hardly got much sugar, and the lack of sugar growing up is part of the reason why my sons are both athletic stud muffins with perfect teeth. : )
+Mike Elgan Actually, studies have shown that sugar doesn't cause hyperactivity. They gave half of the kids a sugary snack and half of the kids a regular snack then let them all play while parents (who didn't see which kid ate what) watched behind a one way mirror. All of the parents, regardless of what their kids ate, thought their kids were more hyperactive.

That said, that breakfast is insane. I'll admit that my youngest (4) isn't a good breakfast eater. (Or a good eater in general.) It's a constant fight to get him to eat anything healthy, but I'm going to keep fighting. (His older brother - 8 - loves healthy food now so I'm hoping he'll copy his brother one day.) We do give him "chocolate drink" for breakfast, but it's a protein drink with vitamins that happens to be chocolate flavored. Much better for him than Frosted flakes.

I'm also lucky in that soda is, as a general rule, non-existent in our house. I can't stand anything carbonated and neither can my kids. So we all drink water. (Occasionally juice or milk, but mostly water.) They'll also eat cookies and stuff, as any kid does, but it's viewed as a treat. Not an integral part of the meal.
+Leah Barr many ADD diagnoses are made in 5 minutes without exploring any causative factors. Many of the children are misdiagnosed because they are literally consuming high quantities of sugar (sometimes with caffeine). Of course I am not insinuating that all cases are related to diet. I was only referring to the ones that are related to diet where no one (including the MD) has thought to take the child off coco puffs and coke before putting them on Ritalin.

On another note, ADD/ADHD are symptom descriptions (they do not describe pathophysiology). Anything can cause the symptoms of ADD/ADHD (could be dysglycemia, could be hypthalamic-pituitary, could be sympathetic nerve dominance, could be emotional, could be disciplinary, etc). I agree with you that drugs are sometimes a much needed option when (perhaps in your child's case) the cause is just not clear and everyone is suffering.
That, in my opinion, is abuse. If she is doing that outside of the flight scenario, with the correct social services handling she should have her child taken off her for such abuse. All too often we see programs on the TV where the parents cant take the complaints from the kid and just give them what they want. Slowly starting to kill them at an early age. Makes me sick. Obviously we don't know the full story on this parent but it doesn't look good.
I have a hard time believing that a 21 month old could consume that much anything in one sitting... is this truly literal? Or was it spread out over, say a 6 hour flight? I guess I'm just not going to go straight for jumping on the judgmental band wagon because I wasn't there and am not sure I have all the facts...
I think +Ben Pingel and +James Noble made very good points, (which I agree with) - BUT there are 2 campaigns working here... The first is that most of the parents aren't well informed of all the behavior /health problems that sugar can cause. And second is that TV provides all the worthless commercials that fill our children's brains with the notion that they should be eating all those sugared cereals that are so popular today... The children see it, they tell their parents to buy it, and the cycle begins...
Greg M
Screaming nagging kids throwing a temper tantrum in a store perhaps until they get their way? Why do schools have drink and snack machines in some schools? Because of $$ from the big conglomerates and schools are short of cash these days.
lol at the pic! Good points - but I think sugar foods etc. are just so readily available and kids typically love it
What about a number 4 in your list? People who shouldn't have kids, but are blind enough to see that fact?
Ignorance. My parents fed me tons of that stuff :( and I didn't know any better either until I started reading articles about sugar/HFCS

I was on a Singapore Airlines flight recently, and I was offered kids meals for my 3 year old. I accepted but was quite horrified to see what she got:

chicken nuggets, juice, oreos, kitkat and gummy robots.

Before the food hit her tray table I'd swept everything but the nuggets under the seat in front of me :P

Thankfully, she doesn't even like nuggets because it looks nothing like real food (she's never eaten at McD's) so I gave her half of my own meal.
It has become an issue that people forget that sugar products are a snack, not a meal. I have known "mothers" that would give their babies Mtn Dew in a f'n bottle! My kids, when they do get a soda, is something that is caffeine free. Yes, still has sugar and high fructose corn syrup, but no caffeine. When they get a choice between healthy "snacks" versus candy, mine go for the carrots, apples, etc. I try to have fresh fruits and such around.

Growing up, I always fought with a little extra belly weight. Nothing outrageous, but I was the kid that had the bit of a gut. I don't want my kids to have to deal with that. Also, I don't want them hyper and out of control. They are kids, they are already hyper and "out of control".

I have to agree with a few earlier posts, to an extent. However, candy is NOT cheaper than a bag of baby carrots. about $2 gets me a good size bag of baby carrots the kids can share...where 80 cents is a small bag of M&M's. When it comes to fruit snack cups, I rather by a bag of grapes and some apples. I fail to see where it is still "cheaper". Shelf life? Sure, but my kids eat through the fruits and carrots faster than I can keep them stocked. Wanna "juice up" the carrots, celery, etc? Ranch Dressing!

I won't put the issue you stated as ignorance, or hate, or anything +Mike Elgan, but rather as simple laziness.
I think most people don't realize how bad High Fructose Corn Syrup really is for you. It is one of the worst things you can put in your body.
So horrible!!! My 3yr old loves healthy foods! She will snack on hummus, avocado, sea weed, etc. She requests that kind of foods I love it!!
+Jason Levine : I've read those studies, and I've seen my kids (10 & 12). They don't match up. We can tell when the kids have had a lot of sugar, even if they haven't realized they have.
It must me ignorance. I clearly recall my mom giving me black coffe with my breakfast when I was in grade school. And Yes, I was a handfull then.
I personally don't mind passing for an intrusive stranger who tells parents what I think they are doing wrong. Chances are, they will never see me again and perhaps the kid benefits from my actions.
I vote for 1. Youd' be amazed at how much helpful, convenient stuff is packaged up like this for kids.
Yes. Explanation 4#: Anything healthy (such as a banana) would not hold out well for a plane ride.
Sugar is a preservative too. That's why the twinkies can last 100 years. LOL
It could be none of the above. A plane ride is a terrible place to measure the parent. They are out of the ordinary meal setting, it's clearly a hectic day, and they just want to get through the flight. What where the able to pack, what was available to buy, etc are also factors. People need to chill on the judging of others.
i see kids coming to school eating bags of chips, and not the small ones. terrible.
Why not an Apple? A banana, chex and some water?
That seems good for me.
Some parents just can't stand to not give their kids whatever they want. And some parents just give the kids whatever is the easiest for them .
+Mike Elgan worry about your own kids and stop judging someone else's based on a phone call your wife did. How I know your wife didn't exaggerated.
I've been alive long enough to know a time when the supermarket didn't exist, and only the small grocery store did. When I walk into today's supermarket, I see how huge food business corporations have succeeded in producing and selling junk food, instead of real food, to American consumers. I feel the atmosphere of a toy store shelving colorful packages of junk toys when I walk into a modern-day supermarket--a fantasy of wishful, but non-lasting or deep-seated pleasures. The sugar-laden faux foodstuffs are advertisers confections; I grew my own vegetables for a number of years, and I'll take the efforts and pleasures and natural sugars of consuming my own garden harvests over any industrialized, sugary concoction.
+John Cassone, Ph.D. " many ADD diagnoses are made in 5 minutes without exploring any causative factors. Many of the children are misdiagnosed because they are literally consuming high quantities of sugar (sometimes with caffeine)." Those are bold statements. I'd love to see the journal/empirical support for those. Can you cite?
with all the TSA provisions and the limited selection from a short-medium length flight refreshment cart. I can see where this would be reason to get upset at the parent, but if you ARE a parent, and you NORMALLY feed your kids something healthy (my kids get watered-down juice, milk, and for breakfast usually dry cereal with no HFCS and/or graham crackers and fresh banana) then a potentially stressful situation is about to erupt; young kid on a plane. As a parent, I don't want my kid pitching a fit about having to stay in a seat for 3+hours, and I certainly don't want 200 other passengers sending me death threats by telepathy/dirty looks because 'i can't control my child'. That kid is getting whatever the hell he wants so long as it's not sharp or poisonous or will destroy my work data.
Well, y'all, I for one wasn't at all thinking about the so called sugar high / hyperactivity thing. TBH, I really don't see that clear a link between sugar and hyperactivity all that often. I do think there's quite a bit of problem with that much sugar consumption in regards to long term health. And starting that much that young isn't going to be at all good.

But you know what? It's probably about comparable to what many kids get at school (tho there's probably some unidentifiable meat product thrown in for lunch time). Between convenience, marketing, and ignorance, none of this surprises me.
I have allways been very careful to feed my child healthy food. She is now 15 years old and she is healthy and happy. With healthy skin and pretty white teeth.
+Chris Droste 'controlling' your kids starts LONG before you get on 'a' flight. it is a pattern of behavior, a social contract between you and your children. If you bring them up right (assuming there are no other 'issues') then it simply wont be a problem. I have had people remark to me (my kids being in the range of 6 mon. to 4 at the time of flight), "Your kids are so well behaved". It is because I dont treat them like animals, ignore them, or allow them to watch TV all day long, and actually interact with them.

I constantly see parents trying to 'control' their kids, and the reaction they get from the children, is like they are seeing this side of their parent for the first time. In some cases they are.


Bringing a banana s just as easy as bringing a bag of chips. With good fod and rest, you and your kids will all be a LOT happier!
lol.... who knew people cud like cerial so much?! :P
+John Cassone, Ph.D. no, just... no. ADD/ADHD are clearly separate styles of behaving and thinking, opposed to normal and healthy behavioural styles of children. An EEG would reveal that the brainwaves associated with attention are low in ADHD, and overall kids who have that exhibit lower brain activity than average, which causes them to seek activity from the outside in order to compensate for that - which is what causes the ADHD behaviour. It has literally nothing to do with nutrition, and everything to do with watching too much TV/playing video games and being used to gratuitous and fast stimulation, becoming desynthesised to the stimulation provided by every day life.

On that note, I consumed copious amounts of sugar as a child, and still do - right now there's a pot of chocolate charlotte with raisins cooking - and I was the calmest, most quiet child my parents could ask for. Children need sugar because of the brain development that they go through early on, and also because they might have a very high metabolism (like I do).
+Leah Barr I agree ("You are a bad parent if your laziness and indifference causes your child to be medicated so that you don't have to change your bad parenting habits.") and would go further, asserting that bad parenting also comprises not getting treatment for your child, whether for diabetes, ADD, or a broken arm when it's needed..
Jin Nam
+Mike Elgan We can easily jump to the possible conclusions you have drawn using incendiary adjectives if we only view others through the lens of our own knowledge, experience, social networks (real & virtual). Whether the ignorance is "spectacular", the mother "criminally neglectful" and/or "maliciously hateful" no one can know. Judging others' choices that is not followed through with fact finding and educating the offensive parent leads us where? Increased sense of our own more enlightened qualities? Those who are not spectacularly educated, honestly conscientiously, and/or compassionately loving deserve better, too. We all can.
Sometimes being on the run is difficult in finding the right nutrition foods. Many convenient stores sell what will go quickly, not what is nutritious.
+Chris Droste has a point that goes beyond whether the mother is a horribly irresponsible person who's destroying her kids, the future of America, and the environment. The TSA has a huge list of things you can't bring on a plane, and can and will confiscate a wide variety of items you'd mostly think were harmless. I do not put it past them to confiscate a banana, and they would certainly confiscate a juice box. Perhaps this mother had the individually packaged junk foods because food from home had been confiscated, or that was all she could get or afford in flight or at the terminal. Sometimes it's not really a matter of choice, it's a matter of what you can manage to get.
I guarantee at any US airport, you can get a banana, or some piece of fruit. they allow bananas, and do not confiscate juice boxes, or yogurt, or many other things +Morgan Copeland
It calms then down so they can enjoy that Ritalin rush.
We bring fruit (fresh or dried) and almonds with us on road trips / plane trips, doesn't cost much at all.
***Could be a great add about "Drowning your child in sugar?????--- Let's turn the wheels on this one!*********
Every kid on the plain was totally jealous.
I see this being a problem if the kid is already over-weight. Still that is more than I would eat for any of my meals in a day. But maybe that is why my kid is "skinny". He is the same build I was but by today's standards he is small. But we live an active lifestyle and don't do prepared foods aside from breakfast cereal. And the main problem with today's diet is salt.
Just a random note: If a child actually has ADD, the caffeine from a soda will have a sedative/depressant effect.
Forget about all the sugar, I am very disturbed by the fact that she gave a 1 year 9 months old a can of Pepsi !!!!
so what do you want to do ? Start the day with a rice-cake and then wonder why your metabolism has stalled?
You mentioned it was on a flight stop, how is this a normal day-to-day event? How do you propose getting a 3 course cooked meal through the farce called airport security.

Keep a perspective.
I'm alright with Fruit Loops and Frosted Flakes, or any of the other stuff, but not all of it at the same time, and certainly not for a kid under 4 years old. That is crazy! I remember when my wife's Grandma gave our 2 year old a Pepsi, my wife freaked out! Grandma! You can't give a baby soda. Her response: "You can't?"
Well, maybe the next meal for this kid is in 3 days. In that case it's justified :)
sugar has became an epidemic in this country.
Most likely reason: ignorance. But that ignorance has been helped along by the powerful food industry and its lobbying efforts. Take a look at the average grocery store cereal isle and see how many healthier options there are. The shelves of most stores are laden with over-processed crap that we've grown accustomed to because it is so prevalent. It doesn't matter if the quality of the food source is poor to begin with because enough layers of sweetener, salt, and fat in a product can make it taste appealing. After years of eating this way, healthy alternatives don't taste right; especially to kids.

As my own family became better educated about food sources and food quality/safety, we've made a series of improvements to our eating habits. I recall when we switched from the typical pancake syrups to real maple syrup. My daughter turned her nose up. For awhile. Today, she's unlikely to show up at a pancake breakfast without her own bottle of the real deal tucked away.

Good change comes at a cost. Knowledge is the first step, but then it takes time to read labels and research products, and the cost of better eating is much higher. Take maple syrup which may be about a $1.00 per ounce compared to a mere $0.14 per ounce for an imitation pancake syrup with high fructose corn syrup.
it's only wrong cuz she chose pepsi and not coca-cola
ps ive seen worse try cocaine
Because all her nutritious snacks were confiscated .... because she's been traveling for 3 days straight and hasn't been able to get to a grocers? I can't judge really without knowing the situation.
When my kids were toddlers, I used to dilute their juice with 90% water!
I try like heck to feed my kids the right foods now, but I can tell you that most that feed their kids sugary stuff do it for convenience's sake!
Laziness, like +Katherine Hogan said...
It's difficult to find healthy foods & read labels, so most don't bother.
I find that it's more expensive to eat healthy too.
+Ary Stocrat I know it was a joke, but even then the child would need protein, fresh fruit/veggies and water, not sugar with more sugar and perhaps some caffeine to boot.
I vote that she was trying to bribe her kid to keep quiet so that he judgemental assholes on the flight would stay out of it. Guess it didn't work.
Lack of knowledge and the inability to moderate consumption.

I had sweets and sugar growing up, but not all the time and it was in small quantities.
i'd say willfully ignorant. people deliberately ignore warnings from doctors and scientists about sugar (and fat, smoking, alcohol, drugs, etc.) because it would mean having to give up something that gives them instant gratification.
Looks like the mother covered all the food groups:
>Fruit drink = fruit group
>Frosted flakes = Grain/vegetable groups
>Oreos contain a milk derivative = dairy group

Throw a t-bone steak in the mix and she's got every group covered! What's the issue? :)
+Robert Huttinger I could argue that you are not only not 100% guaranteed to be allowed to take a juice box on a plane, but customs could confiscate your nice healthy fruit depending on the type of flight that you're having to take. You may just luck out on your TSA agent every time because containers of liquid more than 1.5oz are supposed to be taken away from you. Also, I agree with you on the whole interaction versus behavior thing, However, a plane is still a different ball game from, say, a restaurant. My son and daughter are 1 & 3y.o. and while my eldest would have no problem on a plane(well, maybe the ear popping) the youngest would be VERY upset having that pressure on their ears and not being allowed to exercise/run/climb for several hours. I'm just saying that little kid on a plane really shouldn't happen in the first place. It's a bad environment for them to be stuck in, but I recognize that not all of us have the luxury to leave them at home with a trusted caretaker. I, personally, could see it being acceptable for a kid to have treats/sweets on the infrequent occurrence of having to be stuffed onto a plane for a cross-country run. Different matter entirely if this is a frequent thing but that's usually another exception to the rule. I never took a single plane ride before i was almost 12 years old and I feel that is the most sane and mature way to deal with things. Is the diet listed, healthy? NO. but the situation should be put into perspective before we all start condemning a mother for giving a kid oreos and dried sugary cereal. Let's at least target the pop. Bad mom!
It sound excessive, and I really limit my kid's sugar, HOWEVER, on a flight, I will do just about anything to keep her from disturbing other people AND I have given her sugar at odd times to help deal with jet lag/ruined sleep schedules. If she fell asleep on the car ride from the plane to our destination at the wrong time, it could be disasterous and no, that is NOT an exaggeration. I've been in your wife's position on a long flight next to a young dad and his daughter the same age as mine, but since it wasn't my business and I didn't know the whole story, I just tried to help them and DIDN'T JUDGE him as though I were some holier-than-thou asshole.
Organic cassonade sugar is better and the food in which there is !
Ahh - giving sugar to a misbehaving child on a plane sounds like a great idea... sort of like giving porn to Tiger Woods to keep him from cheating or maybe giving steroids to a man who has anger management issues.
Yes, Caroline, best not to judge and best to assume the parent is doing the best they can with what they know. (In other words, I vote for "ignorance" -- the other two options aren't really viable.)
Let's not judge other parents so harshly or question their love for their kids. On an airplane, I would do whatever it takes to keep my kid happy and content.
TSA makes a special exception for liquids over 3oz. and food for small children. My 17 month old son has been on several flights and the worst we have had to do was open our container of water and had it checked with a chemical sensing tab that is waved over the open top of the container.
This is not a luck event either, it is a specific part of the policy. You just declare the items before entering the inspection area.
I'm all for healthy foods and good nutrition but who are you to get to judge what some stranger feeds her kid? I bet you like to watch what everyone else around you eats - kid or adult - and make judgements about their character based on that. Hope that makes you feel good about yourself.
Guys - the one thing people emphasize to parents who are traveling by air, is that your child should not cry, shout, or be unhappy on the plane. Its not a subtle message, and it carries a lot of hateful stares if your kid has an ear infection or a bad attitude. No, she doesn't hate her kid, and that you got there from here is just so privileged against a woman traveling alone with a toddler. I really don't like how people feel entitled to be so judgemental towards parents based on their public lives.
the best part of this is how many people still believe that giving a kid candy or a lot of sugar at once will cause a child to be hyperactive.
because they dont like to hear them cry or get mad
Haha the first thing I thought when I read this was Mike Elgan must not have kids >.>
It's probably a false story. Don't be so gullible.
I think people freak out too easy about what they see. You don't know their normal habits. You don't see what the child normally eats. Granted, I would SO not give a child under 8 any kind of pop, but it's not my kid. Don't judge people.
I haven't read all the comments, so this question may be redundant:
Is sugar generally viewed as harmful by most Americans? I wouldn't say people are "spectacularly ignorant," because I rarely see sugar presented in a negative light a kin to say fat or cholesterol. From casual observation, I see that 'fat-free', 'low-fat', and '0 cholesterol' are common phrases that resonate with people as necessary food descriptions. However, "Sugar-free" as in Diet Coke, doesn't seem to hold the same level of importance. If anything, a diabetic would take that seriously, but for those without that diagnoses, they're probably more concerned with fat content and looking 'fat.' Unfortunately, the connection of excess sugar being converted to fat is probably not common knowledge in the U.S.
A little too much sugar. Especially for breakfast. But what can you do? It's not like its your kid.
I haven't read all the comments (too many, too repetitive) but I'm a little surprised at how judgemental some of you are (maybe I shouldn't be) considering none of you including +Mike Elgan were even witnesses.

I say that to say this: Be very careful when you choose to judge someone's parenting, especially when you don't have all the facts

If those were the only items available to this mother, then she did what she had to do, and fed her child. None of us is in a place to judge her for that.

We have all traveled by plane and we know how expensive food can be. All the items mentioned can be said to be relatively cheap so one could infer that money was an issue.

Being a parent is not an easy thing. Let's try to always remember that.
I literally laughed when I saw a vacationing family here at disney open a coca cola and pour it into their baby's (between 1-2 yrs old) bottle. I see lots of parents on vacation resorting to anything just to pacify the tired and fussy child. I totally understand being a mom of four - but I'm not giving soda to anyone - I won't even drink it after watching it disolve a few things ;)
My generation was one that got Soda at a very young age. However to this day my daughter only gets Soda if there is no healthier alternative. At that point it is always caffeine free and clear if possible. Every once in a while on a special occasion she may get Soda, but she also knows it isn't healthy and water is the healthiest choice.
Since the child was under the age of two I can see where you would not get the child mixed nuts or anything like that. Not only could they choke but you never want to give children under 2 nuts because of possible allergies. So though there may be some airport alternatives, not all are ideal for the toddler. I see the fruit cocktail as the mother thinking it is healthy and not so much the hfcs. I know I personally don't think about the hfcs if I look at a can of fruit, I think, oh this is better than cookies. As for the cereal and cookies idk. When I think about toddler snacks I think about crackers, but some of them like goldfish have more salt that they should.

All in all, I think there is always that fine line between being the SNL HFCS sketch High Fructose Corn Syrup - A-Okay and someone really not knowing what they are doing to their child and/or not caring. It's hard to tell.
I've seen a 3-yr-old kid on a plane drink half a Coke, eat a bag of gummy "fruit snacks" and then take a 2-hour nap. The mom almost cried in relief. Since I AM a parent, even though I never drink soda and neither does my kid, I was impressed rather than considering calling CPS on her.
C Ames
There is a huge element of ignorant judgement here. At some point in everyone's life we could all be bad parents because for one out of the ordinary moment in our lives we made what wasn't the best choice. You make a judgement based on one moment in another person's life because you happened to be witness to it. I see many saying that it is abuse or the child should be removed, however, you have no legitimate idea what kind of parent she is outside of this one moment. I truly hope that you are all judged as harshly. Pause and think about the situations you comment on before you speak out. You may find in your assumption that you are the ass in the situation.
The best time to lean DRUMS is AFTER,2boxsCOCO PUFFS ,box of DING DONGS.Mother Inlay will LOVE to stayover for Easter!!!!!! SABLANSKY!!!!!!!!!!!!
That assessment is not only incredibly unfair and extremely misogynistic, it's also taken completely out of context. Like many have pointed out, a flight is not a good judge of a parent's regular child-rearing routine. Healthier options may have been too expensive, unavailable, or she may just want her child to behave during a stressful flight. You don't know. To posit that she must be ignorant, neglectful, or malicious based on one isolated instance demonstrates a pretty clear mistrust and hatred towards this woman who you don't know. And posting it on a public forum with such biased language seems like an attempt to draw up support for your own sexist beliefs. So, to be like you, I am going to base my opinion of your intellect on this one observation of your behavior. Tell me, are you 1) spectacularly ignorant of how terrible you are; 2) criminally rude; or 3) maliciously sexist?
yes , sugar is not good. However, you were not her. Her child may afraid of flight, so the child may need some comfort during the flight.
anyway, you will never know.
Yes, North-Americans love sugar. As a European, that was a total shock to me. Sugar in spaghetti sauce? Sugar in beans-in-tomato-sauce? Sugar in vinaigrette? Sugar in salami? Donuts that are so sweet they almost taste like nothing else but sugar? To me, as a European, it is nauseating.

But all that is not enough to ACCUSE people. People are very capable of doing what is wrong without the intention to harm. I know that's not how most Americans seem to think. But then, their heads are full of sugar. Who knows what they think, if they think at all.
We do not eat corn flakes frosted or not. Sodas are a rare treat in our house and when we do get them they are sugar cane sweetened not corn syrup, Oreos are good we have about 4 bags a year, fruit cocktail only if in `100% fruit juice, and honestly M&M's are very yummy but we get the peanut kind and when we do eat them they are gone quick and then we regret it cause we get sugar sick (or at least I and the kids do)! I eat whole grains loads of fresh fruit and veggies meat meat meat of all kinds and the leaner the better if it is fatty we generally pick around it or cut it out! I am well aware of the sugar in foods, as well as the other ingredients.... I am the woman everyone is annoyed with because she is reading all the ingredients in items in the store before putting in her cart and purchasing... I actually will not eat in a restaurant if they do not have on demand a caloric value and ingredients printout for prepared items like soup or casseroles. Sugar is not the only problem the issue is awareness of EVERYTHING we are consuming from Coffee to Tofu or Sports drinks to where did your milk come from? ASK QUESTIONS get informed on everything from FOOD to MEDICAL PROCEDURES do not assume THEY have your best interest in mind!

Oh and to answer your question the mom is IGNORANT and therefore BLISSFUL!
So the issue here is weather it's OK to cheat children health in certain situations. If a mother gave the child 3 days of sugar in 1 meal, should she be blamed.
Well I'm not an libertarian but I hear what your saying. Get the child high on some substance to keep them quiet. So if Children between the ages of 14 and 16 love marijuana we should give them marijuana to keep them happy. It's a fact. Have you ever watched TV geared for 14-16 year old's? You must be high or incredibly stupid to enjoy it. Children need hard drugs at all times to keep them happy. Normally you can get what you need from your doctor but if you don't live in CO or a state that allowed that you might need to get creative with other medication like mixing percocet and adderal. Grinding up the pills and consuming the drugs though the nostrils is a faster high and remember it's about keeping the kid happy during the cheat day, and not actually doing what is healthy for the child. Too extreme of an example? I'm just trying to follow the logic here.
I've got a 2 year old. When we go out, he gets mostly water. We may let him have a sip or two of coke at the end of the meal... beginning or the middle and he'll cry if he doesn't get more.

His other snacks consist of fresh fruit, crackers, or yogurt.

I can't stand seeing parents give their kids junk food.... I understand it's all around us, but at some point you have to say "i'm not going to let my child consume this crap".
As far as the sugar/hyperactivity link? Yeah, so sugar doesn't cause hyperactivity-- if you define hyperactivity as being, well, hyperactive, all the time. Which is how science defines it. When most people say that sugar causes hyperactivity, they mean simply, I give my kid sugar, and within 30 seconds he's jumping around like a kangaroo and shrieking like a lunatic. When the blood sugar crash sets in, no more lunatic behavior. Certainly true with my firstborn.
I have to agree with the statement, laziness breeds ignorance. Absolutely.
C Ames
Yes +Douglas Bryant because there is definitely a correlation between kids who's parents let them have sugar and those who give their children marijuana. Come on lets keep things in perspective and not lean over into dramatic fear mongering.
im a kid but seriously that is waayyy 2 much sugar
+Ellen Lichtenstein Thankyou so much for saying exactly what I was thinking, I no longer need to post what I was going to :) it's bizarre to me how people feel they have some divine right to instantly condemn based on this kind of thing. Live and let live and all that?
And +L. Gray Saying the kid will have health problems based on ONE observation is a bit extreme. For all you or I know it could be the first time she's ever fed her child Frosted Flakes etc, and one Pepsi and one pack of Oreos isn't an instant recipe for adult obesity/diabetes/heart disease or whatever you were thinking. I'd have moved the 'in my opinion' bit to after that line.
Hey Bart - this was a call during a stop over. Never said the woman was from North America or that the stop was in the North.
There is the Mid- Atlantic & the South. Don't generalize the Yanks & don't get me started on the European diet - starch, starch, starch oh yeah & fat. Sausage, meat, potatos, bread, cheese, blah, blah, blah. Notice I didn't generalize on Europeans & mention Hitler, haggis or booze. LOL
I think lazy and ignorant are to perfect explanations. It bugs me too when I see this. I sent my kid to the private preschool years ago and the first thing they gave him was Fruit Loops!
Give me more Sugar!!!!!!! I've almost stopped bouncing off the walls!!!??!
I have to go with the "just lazy" comment - it is impossible to be a parent in America and not know about fundamental nutrition required for serving a child's best health development unless you SIMPLY DON'T CARE.
+Jordan Clark Giving kids sugar does not mean they will go hyper, every kid handles it differently. Bad E number additives are more a culprit.
Why do people care what other people are doing! If you don't like sugar or any other things you feel are bad for you, then don't do them ,but don't judge other people for what they do as long as it is not harmful to you or other people!!
my guess, as a parent, She gave those to her child to help the other passengers have a nice flight.
Maybe she mistook her child for a hummingbird.
Seems to me the best thing to have done would've been to offer to share a healthier snack option. Lacking that, be advised: for every parent you've been sure you had good advice to offer, there have been a dozen who were sure they had good advice for you.
And then they put their kid on ADHD medicine because they're too hyper. facepalm
That kind of food is very portable and easy to hand out - imagine cutting up a pear or a hard boiled egg. I'm not defending this practice in ANY way - just saying that I know why people do it.
C Ames
1. Frosted Flakes cereal (which is 25% sugar)
2. A Pepsi
3. A bag of Oreo cookies
4. A can of fruit cocktail in high-fructose corn syrup
5. A bag of M&Ms

Do any of you parents know a 21 month old child who could actually eat this during one leg of a journey on a flight from the east coast? Please think and use a wee bit of common sense before you get so incensed over an obviously exaggerated situation.
But isn't all that sugar harmful to the child? And reason to care?
People who live in glass houses....

Perhaps all the "experts" commenting here would be okay if the mother had dosed the kids with Benadryl instead? It is a lot of sugar for kids that young but it's also none of your business. ^5 +Jennifer Anderson
A Pepsi!! There is no excuse I vote all three! 
Ok there +Rick McLernon. Actually the average American is not stupid, they're average. There sure do seem to be a lot of judgmental blow hards on G+ today.
+Mike Elgan cue the histrionic Uber parents yelling to the world how healthy their kids eat and touting their superior parenting skills (never EVER would i give my child a cookie..its okra and brown rice for MY healthy kids)
This is probably an over stressed mom keeping her child from pitching a fit during the flight with sugary treats (be truthful would YOU bitch about the kid if it had a tantrum (especially if you were sitting near)? Do you fools really think this is a typical meal for that child. Judge not lest you be judged..I just love people that can't wait to trumpet their moral/intellectual superiority
While I agree this is a problem, it's getting way too much attention now while other issues get completely ignored. For example, all the alcohol people are dumping into their system on a daily basis is causing a lot more harm (80k+ deaths in the US every year, not to mention the strain it puts on our law enforcement and justice system). Where's the outrage over that?
There's this thing called "the path of least resistance" - a horrifyingly large number of parents would give their kids EVERYTHING they want, rather than have to face the hardship of upbringing them and facing rivers of tears... That's just plain wrong. Irresponsible beyond comprehension, mine at least... Shamefull. Resentful.
hey, i hate kids too. (reasonable explanation) ..probably also gave them drinks from BPA bottles.
Wow, this topic is on fire. Anyway, I see parents stuff their kids with sweets and snacks all the time on the MTA subway... it's really depressing. On one particular half-hour ride, I saw a kid get fed five different kinds of candy and washed the whole thing down with a coke... it was a sight to behold.
You're kidding me right? She was just trying to give them "Treats" to keep them happy and occupied. There's no way she gives them Pepsi for breakfast.
That sounds like stuff readily available at the airport. She could have simply been unprepared and grabbed what she could. Traveling with kids can be overwhelming; I don't judge parents based on a single moment of time. 
I agree Tom, good point. I just took a cross country flight with my 18 month old son and it was a nightmare
While I'd love to give my kid a constant diet of things that would make a vegan orgasm in delight (whatever they do from sex, possibly shoot out bean sprouts like confetti), the thing is.. he won't actually eat them. Sometimes you end up making do with what is available just to jam food-things down his face hole -- especially if you're on a flight and worried about your young one crying constantly and annoying the other passengers.

People in my age bracket grew up on the things you listed, and hey.. we actually didn't explode. I'm a math geek for an R&D group so it didn't even cause my brain to atrophy -- and while I'm not forwarding the notion this is a healthy diet for everyday consumption, I would question the fact that your wife saw someone do something once on a flight (the items listed sounding suspiciously like the things you find in a vending machine if you're say.. traveling and/or light on cash) so you felt justified in your self-righteousness to write up something insanely judgemental about it (including but not limited to: criminal neglect).

It's one thing to muse about a rough diet if you're at a day care, it's entirely another to see someone once, via a proxy, on an airplane and question their commitment as a parent from it.
American parents really should care about instilling some care and guidence in there childrens are what you eat.chidren need to get rooted in piramid elemental foodology,wait,whaaa¿
Average can be stupid. It all depends on where you draw your lines. But you could say, for example: "Imagine how stupid the average person is. Then realize half of them are stupider than that", which I believe was George Carlin, not the most prominent philanthropist in the world.
Really, and all we get to choose from is the three "straw man"answers you provided? I have a more important question. Why is your wife meddling and gossiping in affairs that ain't her concern.
Not that I approprove, but its none of my damn business what you feed your kid. And abuse? Really? I'd of taken that over the actual abuse / rape I received from the lovely gentleman I had the pleasure of spending The summer of my 6th year of life with. This just doesn't stir a hint of outrage in me. There is some serious. S**t going on out there folks.... often closer than ya think.
Don't mean to sound pissy or offend, but for all of our unhealthy habits, aren't we living longer than ever?
im wondering.. just wondering, was this all provided by the airline or was she carrying ALL that in her bag?
This is the kind of uncaring guidence that happens in our world. We should stop all of this from happening. This is child obesity. It is not good at all. Next time you see someone do this make a comment, but not an offending one a simple comment. Like " Im not trying to be rude but that isn't right."
Judge not lest ye be judged... No one is perfect, or has the perfect method to raising kids. A child raised on fruits and vegetables is no more likely to be a morally upstanding citizen than a child on a sugar rush. We are taught to judge those who do not look or act like us. I have no doubt that every parent on here has some parenting trick or tip that would cause the rest of us to cringe. Raise your child as you wish them to be raised and stop worrying about the mom on the plane. The time you just wasted worrying about someone else's parenting skills, could have been spent with your own child.
To make their kids like them more. That's the simple blunt truth. Parents don't give a rat's ass about health, only about being loved by their brats. LOL
Amen Jason. It seems that a lot of folks on this story do not know what it is like to survive child abuse. I guess that's a good thing...It all sounds like "white people problems "to me
The answer would be 1, most people I have met in life are retards
The most important question here is did the child become unbearable because of the sugar high or was the child on a sugar high but behaving. As a mother I've had to choose my battles with my son depending on the situation. If giving my son Oreo, m&m (but no soda) means that he will stay quiet during a flight and not annoy other passengers (I've been there) then it is a sacrifice we have to make for that day. Please don't judge another mother, we are worse on yourselves wondering if we are making the best decisions for our children. That day could have been one of those where she did what she had to do and felt bad about it.
yes I have another expaination
it is what her child wants
and she wants to please her child
The better question is, why do parents give children milk from a entirely different species.
The burn of soda (Coke mainly) is declicious. But all of that food is way too sugary for a kid, yeah.
It's got to be ignorance. I bet that child was not great to be beside after that breakfast. A lot of people are unaware of the amounts of sugar and salt in processed foods. They don't bother to read food labels.
While i can see the main outline of the article, There are a few options to consider here along with a few items listed above that i can agree with.

A feed like that is in no way of any use or healthy for the kid, The most the kid is going to do is rage up and then crash and burn... Which this in itself explains a lot of the mood swings in kids with even good parenting..

There are also things like the available food vs what the kid will at least eat vs not eating anything. But even then i would still find a way to balance the food out away from junk..

Junk/Fat/Sugar food should be simple a treat for a normal meal and not the other way around.

As simply giving the kid what the kid wants and giving into the kid...
Most species that stay with their young will teach and train.... this is the same with food... know your prey/food and hunt it/find it..
Humans should have even a better control over this for the simple fact of the ability to choose..
Some of us choose to be extremely lazy while some may indulge and others believe temptation is a gateway.
Bri Fox
cause their dumb asses were raised in the 80s
T Brown
laziness and lack of compassion.
I guess sugar will keep kids calm and quite.
First thing I thought was that she was trying to keep the kids quiet on an airplane. How many of you commuters LOVE to hear whining children on an airplane.
I know trained nurses who've sworn there is no connection between sugar consumption and diabetes. People have no idea.
This post isn't about the one mother and child. It's about this kind of extreme diet, which actually exists out there. The amount of sugar people are eating is going up and up and up. And to give a two-year-old Pepsi, candy, cookies along with more sugar for breakfast under any circumstances seems very extreme. Those of you defending this "meal" are freaking me out.
I think all of the above! And we wonder why obesity and diabetes is on the increase with our children.
In England ( U.K.) they will not sell chips (crisps) to any child under six years old
That is sooo not right! Well, surely she meant no harm, I think she just wanted to make her kid happy, but well it's definitely a wrong way.
have you not noticed that the majority of americans eat horribly and are kind of grossly out of shape? what makes you think theyd treat their kids any different.
all I have to add to this is Easter, Halloween, Birthdays, Christmas ------ one flight with sugary food doesn't even equal the amount of sugar they will consume on those days ---- and how much did you have growing up? don't know? because they didn't label the percentages of things when you were a kid! lighten up and you'll live longer.
I see a lot of brain washed people like her. My advice is to watch less tv and read more books. Too bad a government does not provide a proper education for our kids. Big corporations promote low fat, high carbs, processed foods as healthy. It is a crime.
i have a similar story. on a drive back to the bay area from LA a "woman"( i use the term loosely) gave her one year old daughter cheetos candy and juice at 9 o clock at night. theres something wrong with not only the way we are raising kids but how kids are raising kids.
I think the government should take that kid away and send that mom to the gulag. What a dumb ignorant fool that mother is. she should be sterilized for being so ignorant. I hate people that are that dumb. dumb people shouldn't exist. What a lazy, ignorant fool. We need more laws to control such asinine actions. What a mean hateful mom. I hate her. I wish all people could be as smart and educated as I am.

Seriously, relax. Really? Hateful? Neglectful? lack of compassion? why the hate? I agree, it wasn't the best breakfast, but who are you to judge? How do you know that wasn't just a treat to keep the child quiet as not to disturb your judgmental wife? or maybe she serves the child broccoli and tofu on a regular basis and it was a treat for a special occasion like being on vacation? My advice is to butt out and check your own self.
Wow, where to start...
I grew up on sugary cereal and unlimited access to sweets (my parents still live that way) and somehow survived (good genes?). But my kids are definitely not in that boat -- they probably have less sugar in a week than I used to have in a day.

It baffles me to see how other people feed their kids. "We know she won't eat the chicken, so she's getting Fruit Loops for dinner." When my wife teaches the co-op preschool, snacks include things like hummus, snap peas, and grapes. The other parents? Oreos.

And yes, a 21-month old can eat that much. When my kids are growing, they usually out-eat me at breakfast. Six pancakes (when I'm full on 4), a cup of yogurt, an apple, and they still want more!
ohhh tell me about it what are people thinking
a five year old kid would have trouable eating all that food I think this post is a bunch of shit. am I the only one that thinks this?
Left to her own Devises my kid could eat that in a matter of minutes. I have seen it happen, when she gets up before me on the weekends. However, while sugar in excess isn't a good thing, as a mother of a 5 year old, it is also a useful tool to get them to comply on long flights, in church or as a bribe to behave in general. Skittles got my daughter to potty train.
Not my 5 yr old grandson. He would eat that and more...
woah this is one bad mom. you can rot your kids teeth out with that. no wonder obesity is getting more common in america
I have a daughter who eats at least that much (without all that sugar!) and she's only 2 so I can see how this could happen but I don't think it's fair to judge. Yes it is a lot of sugar but maybe she doesn't know better or maybe she was just giving the child what she KNOWS that kid likes to keep him/her quiet so she wouldn't be getting dirty looks on the plane from having a screaming child. Maybe everyone should be less quick to judge and more apt to help us mothers...we're trying our best in most cases. I'm heading across the states in a few months with my two year old you can bet your ass I'll have at LEAST a bag of M&M's and if any of you are on that plane, you can thank me for a pleasant trip! It's not an every day thing but in public places things like this help a lot when you have no choice but to just sit and deal.
Why don't you mind your own damn business?
That's disgusting. Im glad I was raised better
Why? Ignorance. We didn't have home economics in our school, yet I heard about such a class from my parents. And no - more labels on food is not the answer. While I agree that woman should have equal rights, I feel that the problem's all started when woman wanted to get out of the kitchen and in to the workforce. Among other things, such as driving up the cost of everything because now families have multiple incomes so stores charge more because families can afford to, but I digress. One of the big problems is that "mom" is no longer caring for the children and us stupid men. With nobody giving a damn in the kitchen any more families are left to convenience meals either because nobody is home to cook it or the man has decided on what we eat. Not sure about you, but before I got married.. I ate horribly... cans of potted meat and crackers - I ate because I had to and didn't care what it was as long as I thought it would stop the hunger so I could keep going. Tie in the bad food habits with evolution (teaching our habits to our kids and them to their kids) and, well, welcome to America :)
I be noticed that parents often put their good and bad eating habits on their children. If mom doesn't like veggies, then she won't give them to her kids. The mother you mentioned above might think she is treating her child in a manner she might find appealing herself. 
I agree with you to a point but criminal negligence that's a bit much don't you think. Americans are ignorant to the harm sugar and caffeine has all together. Caffeine is proven to be highly addictive and sugar well is not an addictive item but the taste alone makes you want it again and again. I give my kids soda but its usually Sprite or 7 up which is caffeine free. I'm 32 highly addicted to soda and obese i've tried unsuccessfully for years to quite with no success. I don't allow my kids to drink a lot of soda because I don't want them turning out like me. An occasional soda is ok like once a week but 5 or 6 a day will kill you. Parents fall into the category of either forcing healthy food into there child or giving them what they know they will eat. I've tried to give my kids a large variety of food only to have them shun the food on appearance or smell alone. Being a parent is exhausting as it is and yes you find your self doing "easier meals" or just giving into what they like. Burgers, Fries, Pizza etc. Vegetables have to be smothered in butter or salt to hide the bland flavor from the child. Corn Flakes have to either already have sugar on it or you add a spoon full to get them to eat. The alternative is they don't eat enough to stay healthy. To get children to eat as they should and the food they should you would have to get them to the point of starvation before they would just eat whats in front of them. Then you would face criminal charges for neglect. But giving them what you know they will eat, even bad for them is not a crime. There is no easy solution for anyone, being a parent I had delusions of raising my kids to eat right and excersize daily only to find my self barely having the energy to keep up with them everyday. I can barely manage to have the energy to work, take care of the house cook and care for my kids everyday. My 3 year old could definitively eat everything you described and more and he's a little guy.
Remember when Frosted Flakes were Sugar Frosted Flakes? And Sugar Pops became Corn Pops?
+Brittany R So you would destroy your child's health as to not get dirty looks on an airplane? Interesting logic. CPS might want to come chat with you.
What's next! And age limit on eating sugar! You have to be 21! Please! Pretty soon I'm going to be monitored and told what I can eat and not eat!! And the comment that you will have to pay for the health care of these people.I'm sure you have done something in your life that I have had to pay for !I'm just saying we shouldn't judge other people's lives!!
Not only is she doing serious damage to the health of her child, but society is and will be continue paying a huge price for the obesity and diabetics epidemic.
EAT HEALThY FOR CRYIN' OUT LOUD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hey Tim you are so right. Some parents do nt know the problems that they are making
Thats embarassing for the mother to be seen giving your child a ton of sugur like it's unhealthy is a bad example for children
Wow! That is a lot of sugar. A bit of poor planning is my guess.
Yup... that's ruthless. I'm so glad I learned to enjoy healthy food as snacks. Don't get me wrong, I love an oreo cookie just as much as the next guy. But not for breakfast. #COMEON
Other explanations? Judgement of another's parenting abilities is best left to when you are actually in their shoes. And I do not mean in their shoes as you - which is how we best like to judge, I mean actually in their shoes.
This thought leads me to the following question: What makes us think we are valuable enough to reproduct ourselves?
Healthy choices ARE available at the airport. Even if you didn't bring anything. And yes, they do allow you to take kid food through security. When we fly, we do buy our children treats... but usually it's not just sugar, it's mostly crackers and juice. This sounds like a habit to me... I seriously doubt a mother that puts thought into how balanced the meals are for her children would consider a breakfast like that anyway!

On a slightly unrelated note, I did spend several lunches with my son at school. The school lunch is provided by a company called Revolution Foods, and are actually decent. I was blown away, absolutely shocked, when I observed that the school-provided lunches were the healthiest there. The stuff in those kids' lunchboxes were unbe-LIEV-able. I asked one little girl, "Did you know that everything in your lunchbox is made of mostly corn?" I don't remember the full meal but I do remember the cheetos, HFCS drink, and the fruit snacks. Ugh.
+Adam Olsen * * * Why don't you mind your own damn business? * * *

Figuring out what motivates people to eat well or badly literally is my business: +The Spartan Diet
+Brian Johnson The woman on the airplane was just an example and trigger of this conversation. You'll note that 1) my headline says "why do people..."; 2) the woman was unnamed and unidentified in every respect; and 3) my final question was 3) "why would a mother..." not "why would THIS mother.

Who cares about one case. The whole culture is drowning in sugar, and that's what I'm concerned about.
Because all of that food is delicious. Duh?
Why are we growing so much corn that can only be made into corn syrup?
Laziness, ignorance, and/or low socioeconomic status.

I hope everyone critical on this thread don't feed juices to their children. Most juices per cup contain more sugar than typical sodas.
problem is it is easy and convenient to ignore good eating habits. It's harder to maintain good habits.
benefit of the doubt, maybe the woman was stuck travelling, and didn't have the best selection at hand.

that being said, there are indeed people who are too quick to give sugary food to children. but as adults we also do the same, so it isn't that surprising.
I couldn't agree with you more! It's a crime that people don't really understand about the importance of great nutrition. We are doing such an injustice to our kids. Thanks for the post!
+Carl M. Gregory You know what, my child will be perfectly fine having a few M&M's in her life...probably more adjusted in the real world for having a little of both sides. I'm more than willing to bet you didn't grow up on strictly organic, "healthy" food and I know I didn't but my mother tried her best and I am a lot more educated than she was and I do my research. I figure When You're so perfect that you can tell me how to do my job then fine maybe I'll accept your criticism, until then - Worry and work on perfecting YOU before moving onto Me. My little girl has never had soda, she loves real food and she's a great eater but on a plane where she won't get to do what she wants and is in the midst of showing everyone how independent she is....those M&M's are going to be all of our best friends.
Pepsi...she want to create a superhero I guess.
+Mike Elgan Judging other people's parenting tactics is not your business. Get off your high horse.
#4 - She's on a plane in public where she feels empowered to further abdicated her parental role and inflict her 'little darling' on everyone else while they run amok and God help anyone who dares to confront her or the undisciplined child. We see it in restaurants all the time and piss people off all the time by asking them to please control their children and teach them to behave like human beings rather than how they apparently do at home.
Yeah... they were on an airplane, that wasn't a regular everyday morning, maybe they just got to have special treats for fun and to encourage them to be good on the plane.
Amazing how many are willing to judge based on the perception of one meal. There could be so many reasons she did what she did. Are we all so perfect that we can sit in judgement of this one mother without any knowledge or background beyond one meal on a plane? I find that the older I get, the less I truly know, and have a difficult time sitting in judgement of anyone, lest I judge myself first.
+Adam Olsen the problem here is... this is a social media website. And freedom of speech does exist in social media. You're right. It is not his place to judge. But what is your definition of "judge"? Are you not also judging him for making his opinion known?

Now, in answer to the original post... yes +Mike Elgan it IS ridiculous. As a mother I don't understand why anyone would do that. My toddler having that much sugar is like my worst nightmare. Not really for the health reasons, but then I'd have to deal with a hyped up child who (as toddlers should do) already wants to see, touch and experience EVERYTHING. Adding a sugar high to that insanity gives me a headache and makes my knees hurt just thinking about it. The ONLY thing my limited imagination can come up with is pure, untempered laziness.
As one commentor pointed, it could be a vending machine buy. I'd forgotten no food is allowed after a certain point. But... are there no vending machines with WATER and baked chips?
FYI Frosted Flakes has 11gms of sugar that's less than a bowl of instant oatmeal.
ignorant of the affect of sugar on the ability of a child to remain quiet, and not be hyper in a confined for all sitting nearby I'm sure.
That's just sad. I mean, who gives a KID a whole BAG of Oreos, let alone a Pepsi?
+Brad Gummer Sugar actually has not been linked to hyper activity in children. I know my child is much quieter when she's eating too so maybe that's all the mother was thinking about.
not all of us do. my kids are allowed one sweet snack per day, and we avoid drinks with high fructose corn syrup like the plague!
myself always try to avoid sweet snack but allow them to enjoy it once in a while..sweet and sugar are loved by kids till they reach teenage years
So what does a diet of vitamins do for you!
Sugar is found to wreak havoc on our bodies in new ways every day. It really should be very closely monitored in a child's diet, and I'm really talking about all the juices and cereals and snacks that have more sugar than meets the eye. I find it quite difficult to be a sugar-conscious shopper.
The reason is laziness.
Well, its not just sugar, its artificial sugar that lead towards all probable health issues....
May be that mother love to take all these (and can't due to obesity/diabetic) but now feel good be giving them to the child.
whoa i dont even eat those
Most Americans are ignorant about what they eat and subsequently what they feed to their children. It is not necessarily their fault because the government backs a pretty convincing system of marketing these products and producing them as cheaply as they are. 
maybe she just doesnt listen to all the ratbags in the world (like most people do) graham rowe
I feel so lucky....I have hypoglycemia so I can't have a ton of sugar....which means I eat pretty healthy.
My parents did the best they can.. Working two jobs to raise us.. Me and my brother.. We ate what was around... Now, being a single mom.. Working 60hrs to support my child.. I also failed as mother and give him sweets.. Just to c him smiling
Dylan g
who eats that for breakfast that is disgusting you're supposed to have skittles and coke zero instead
Nailed it, Mike. There are no other explanations.
Maybe she was shooting for a sugar coma to knock the kid out for the flight :-)
We give our kid sugar free M&M's. I think they're called peanuts.
Because she wanted to make her happy so she wouldn't be the spoiled brat she normally is while around strangers. Americans don't believe in spanking and other effective forms of child-rearing anymore so this is what happens!!
Most adults when they go on vacation, like to have their kids have a good time because they like to see them happy. So the mother giving the child sweets was just a form of making the child happy. Was the kid sad that he had sugar? No. Was he being forced to eat it? No.

Did you guys think of that? BING BANG BOOM I JUST MADE A POINT. :D
This is awful. I used to go to a summer camp (somewhat recently) where we brought our own lunches. The rule was that sugar couldn't be in the first three ingredients, and they enforced it. If only the rest of America valued nutrition like that.
I think it's easy to find. Beware, Sugar is no good for health if u eat to much. It will make you fat in no time.
Holy crapsnacks... those are a lot of comments. I'm going with option 1. I live in Texas, with a lot of spectacularly ignorant people. It's a pride thing.

And while I'm all for doing what it takes to keep your child quiet and happy on a flight (father of two young children here) I'm totally against everything fed to the kid in your original post. Except the M&M's. I'm for them as a special treat during rare holidays and special events. (I accept "being good for Mommy while shopping" as a special event... so I guess I'm not immune).

As a meal, however, if the kid is accustomed to a healthy meal then he/she will expect one. He/she will never expect a sugary snack if the parent never offers them. I allow exceptions for Halloween, Easter and as a reward for exceptionally good behavior during events where I might expect them to loose their inhibitions... like a play, or a boring movie, or trip to the museum. Let's face it, those places are boring. Motivation is needed.
Here's an idea... Maybe the mom would rather occupy her child with sugar allowing her, and other riders, to enjoy periods of silence, and maybe have her be hyper, giggly, etc. rather than pissy, frigidity, crying and screaming in your wife's ear. In the mother's defense, that much sugar was most likely not an every day thing. What do you expect when traveling; fresh veggies and peanut butter, maybe some raisins and celery that kids will surely be throwing on the floor? Further, a flight is probably not a usual occurrence for the child, and mothers sometimes have to go to great means to ensure young children behave as well as possible in situations such as the one described (which is an airplane usually filled with older people without kids, who don't want to hear the annoying sounds they usually make). Now granted, hyper and amp'd up is not ideal, but when choosing between that and a pissy meltdown, I too would shove sugar in their face to avoid all the gawks, sighs, and stares that toddler-meltdown-scenes warrant from a group of serious, unsympathetic, cold-hearted, stone-faced passengers... And this I'd do out of respect. So try to tell me on an airplane that I'm giving my notoriously loud and angry toddler too much sugar and I'll start giving you the same speech. At least the mother is kind enough to care about what those tightwads think; I wouldn't be, especially if my child was allowed to, and paid for to be riding the craft.
+zachary hollopeter - You said "Mother is likely not highly educated," - dude - this has bugger all to do with it. Parents these days are lazy, the inability of people to give their kids a smack when they need it, and the general 'lawlessness' of children these days are the problem. (and that is a whole other topic) I has phuggall to do with level of education.
I just read some of the comments to this post and they seriously make me want to kick some ass. You people should be ashamed of yourself for the way you speak about parents. Do you know hard it is to be a parents these days? You think a little bit of sugar makes your kid unhealthy? Kids should be able to enjoy sugar and a lot of other things adults deem as annoying (in healthy amounts of course) because they are KIDS and we can't do the same when we're adults. What will make kids unhealthy is having old, know-it-all, conservative parents who think that if their kid doesn't act like a medicated zombie and excel in education that they aren't good kids and clearly don't have parents that can "keep them in control". ugh Makes me sick. Discipline and rearing are the most important factors when parenting, but what good are they if we don't do them with compassion for others and acceptance for all things good and bad in life. Raising kids with these viscous, vindictive theories behind your methods makes me wonder about what type of people you're producing into this world. I've seen uneducated women in the past be wonderful mothers and take EXTRAORDINARY care of their homes so insinuating that women that didn't go to college or graduate high school, who CHOSE to be mothers instead, aren't smart ones is just stupid on your part. People fail to realize what a beautiful, vital role that plays to a child's upbringing, and I wish I could provide the same to my children. And I bet your house is nasty as hell.
upto certain age child required sugar. but giving pepsi is not that good i suggest.
+Carri Ames Carri, this is not exaggerated. My wife sat right next to this kid, with his mom next to him, and watched him eat literally all of this.
thats soooooo cute :'(
Ignorant and/or lazy. However, none of my business. Or any bodies but the mother's. Provide public education, yes; but not much else strangers and especially governments should do.
I don't buy they 'laziness' idea. It's deeper. She likes the 'idea' of a child, but not the reality of a child and what they require to grow in a healthy way. This is fundamental parenting that isn't happening. When mothers start to skimp on doing the basic things for children to be healthy we are in trouble. I say WE because this kind of thing is delectable to far-left progressives who will see the rest of us as needing to fix the situation by way of taxes and government intervention.
I'm definitely not defending the meal. In fact, I'm not 'defending' anything, just pointing out that you don't have all the information. You and your wife have no right to be so judgmental. 
Corynn: And I guess you aren't judging Mike? Stop with the political correctness people. You guys are killing America.
It's nothing criminal or negligent. It's just a different way of life. You look at kids in my rural school today, 95% of them are bowling balls with legs. They'll have all kinds of health problems and whatever, but they seem happy.

They are probably one of the last generations that gets to do whatever it wants before the US government formally assumes the cost of paying for all of their medical expenses and starts telling them what to eat and how to exercise.

Some people can be convinced to change, others can have all the information they need and still choose to live for instant gratification. They still have the right to decide that for their children as well, until the kids grow up and decide for themselves. Why not just let them be?
I had to laugh at the comment up there somewhere that in the UK kids under 6 aren't allowed to buy 'chips'.... an American, I think, because in the UK they're crisps, chips are what you would call french fries..... I apologise if you're not American, just an observation on my part. I'd love to know where that gem of information came from? I am English, have lived in England all my life, and have watched a hell of a lot of kids buy crisps in a shop.......

That aside, I was on a plane with my 23 month old son 6 weeks or so ago, and I let him have a small bar of chocolate AND a packet of crisps (shock horror) because he asked me for them. If I'd have been at home, I'd have said no. But I wasn't, I was on a plane. On a plane, I agreed, whilst pointing out it was a one off. Should I have said no and put up with judgemental stares of other passengers who immediately presume I'm a terrible parent who can't control my child on a 4 hour flight when he (inevitably) starts complaining loudly about being bored or throwing a tantrum because he can't run up and down the aisle? I decided not to...... instead I let him have what he asked for whilst putting up with the judgemental stares of other passengers who immediately presume I'm a terrible parent because I let him eat chocolate and crisps. Would he have thrown a tantrum because I don't know how to deal with my child, or because he's not quite 2 years old and wants to run up and down for pretty much the entire 4 hours because that's just what 2 year olds do? At home, my son eats breadsticks, carrot sticks, hummus, raisins, grapes, melon, rice cakes.... I could go on. At home he can run up and down, climb, jump and scream whenever the mood takes him, as there aren't dozens of commuters packed in like sardines to get annoyed with him for being a 2 year old. BUT I WASN'T AT HOME, I WAS ON A PLANE. Oddly enough, I don't live on a plane, don't spend vast amounts of time on a plane, my son is not used to being on a plane and as such I don't deal with a situation in the same way due to those facts.

I'd just like to know how any mother in this sort of situation can possibly come out on top, regardless of what decision they make.
+Adam Starrh There's a factual error that invalidates your logic. You wrote: "US government formally assumes the cost of paying for all of their medical expenses."

The US government doesn't earn money. They take my money. It's you and me who have to pay for the healthcare of people who grow up on sugar. I'm not imposing on them. They're imposing on me.
+Mike Elgan Yeah, I agree. Which is where we find ourselves now that we have taken it upon ourselves to pay for people's medical costs.

Now, these are people who will complain up and down that no one is taking care of their health insurance, but it is going to be a different tune when we are telling them how to eat.
My proposal is this: Invent food insurance, where every American can be covered to have all their food costs taken care of. But ban health insurance, and make people pay the cost of their own healthcare. That way, people would choose the highest quality health food (because somebody else is paying for it) in order to save money on healthcare.

I'm kidding, of course. But makes you think, doesn't it?
Haha. Food insurance. I like that idea. I still think alot of my neighbors would stock up on beer and hot pockets and suffer the medical reprocussions.
I'm getting to if I have that color (fabrics) see, bah! And in the title which you write about what your wife saw the unhealthy food and drink that mother gave to her child. A child needs you to me from an early age to educate, there is a component of the diet. What I really think that government, aspartame, sugars and name on the list but all permits. Animals with hormones, antibiotics and on long journeys. If the government or the 'aging' to prevent. If the economy but runs. Unhealthy development that lasts for decades.
My grade 6 teacher once told our class "All processed foods contain salt and sugar. Even pizza."

And if you think about it, he's right. In the 21st century, everything contains too much sugar. It's amazing how much sugar is dissolved in a can of pop. This is exactly why I eat Kellogg's cereals and try to avoid General Mills at all costs.

God forbid, that kid on the plane is gonna get diabetes, if the mom doesn't smarten up.
Would your wife have preferred if the child was screaming, crying or kicking her chair the entire flight. As a mother to a 2 year old, I sometimes do things I do not do on a regular basis to make sure that my child is not annoying other people who are in the same space as me. At church, I sometimes bring snacks, yes around 11am, because I can't bring a full lunch to church but while he is eating his cookies and drinking his juicy juice, I have the time to concentrate at mass and others are not bothered.  Plus at the end when my son is on a sugar high who has to deal with him, me, so why should it bother anybody.
Maybe the parents should quit dinking beer/liqour and smoking/drugs so they can afford to feed their children healthy nutritious food. 
its perfectly legal to give those products to a child. the child is allowed to eat them. we do some things to kids that we think is right and to others is not, like damaging them psychologically with religion, should all religion be prohibited because it damages the child, or should the parent decide what to give to her child even if other people think its damaging?
For those of you that think sugar is just fine, I've got a bridge I'll gladly sell you!  Blood sugar, hormones, (yes children have them), all bodily functions  are affected by sugar!  Sugar feeds cancer! Continual toxin build-up and trouble with digestion leads to inflamation, which is the precurser to all disease.  If you can eat a steady diet of sugary foods and feel happy and energetic, free of health problems, then by all means go ahead. However, if not don't start your child down a path of addiction to sugar.  Nutrition is so important, particularly in children.
Queen B
Sounds like the mother is number one...sugar eats away at the body.
You know whats funny though, I'm sure that mother did not ask anybody to watch her so closely on that plane, like you don't have a life, enough to judge her or post about her. Anybody who will criticize someone from one incident without knowing the full picture is in my opinion, the ignorant one. What do you know about her or the day she was having to post about then comment about her like she is ignorant to sugar or she is a drug user/alcoholic. How dare any of you. So as a parent you are so perfect that you have never, ever, given your kids what you consider to be bad snacks. 
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