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: http://www.seriousplayforseriousgirls.com/?p=601 )
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