Monday, January 30, 2012

It's just a free cookie, right?

While I was getting some things from the deli counter over the weekend, I heard a mom arguing with her child about whether or not she could have a free cookie. The mom must have said no to the kid at one point, but the "debate" was ongoing. I didn't think much of it until I heard the little girl say to her mom, "But I always have one when I come to the store."

Now that got me thinking. Not about this mom and her little girl, but whether or not that free cookie is potentially creating a long term association (trigger) that each time a kid enters the store that a cookie or some sort of "goody" should be eaten?

I don't think every kid that has a cookie every time s/he goes to the store is at risk, but I do think that there are likely some. And, sure, I'm putting my own frame of reference on this, but if I put myself in the place of one of these kids, I could see it happening to me. Heck, there are places that I go to today as an adult and I sometimes have the same urge to order what I always did years ago.

Sure it's balance and it's only a cookie and all that sorta stuff, but I try to imagine myself as a parent and think about how challenging it would be now with all the fast food and free cookies out there to help guide and teach children good choices and balance. Personally, I'd like to see the store stop the free cookie entirely or replace it with something healthy. My hat is off to parents that have figured this out!

On the band front - maintenance just continues. I had mentioned that my crap intake had gone up during the holidays while my husband was gone and my jeans were feeling a little snug, but after I gave myself a good swift kick I pulled back on my crap mix to about 90/10 and am plugging along with boot camp and running and feeling much better.


Lap Band Gal said...

I think that this is how life-long food associations are created. Just like going to the movies=eating popcorn, etc.

I used to struggle with the "free" food concept. Now? Not so much.

Great post! :)

Kristin50 said...

Great post, just because it is there doesn't mean we should consume it!

Chris said...

I *was* that child.
Corner store? penny candy!
Gramma's house? homemade bread and homemade jelly and homemade cookies!!

Heck, I can remember reading a fable in 4th grade about a kid who knowingly turned in a flour sack with a hole in it just so he could earn the nickel for the lemonade and chocolate bar - the kid jsut loved those flavors together on a hot summer day, etc etc....and to this day that combination of lemon and chocolate makes my mouth water. Associations can be powerful things.

Miss April said...

Food is such a huge part of our lives, and not all associations are healthy. Some of these do become life long struggles.

Laura Belle said...

Interesting. Kinda like the free cheese in the deli dept. Always looks soooo yummy. Or the 'samples' at our warehouse store. Damn devil samples.

Anyway, glad you're back in the game!

Sam said...

Free cookies? I'm glad they don't do that is Australia :o) that must be hard on the parents that do want to stop their kids eating junk all the time!

Ronnie said...

I'm with you, I don't want my kiddos learning those bad habits. I don't want them to associate foods with EVERY experience. :/ It's hard!

Robyn's Nest said...

That kid is still me. Going to the movies means I HAVE to have popcorn, even is I am not hungry. Just this week I forbade myself the popcorn because I knew I was not really hungry and it was HARD. Imagine how hard it would be for a kid that is most likely not even overweight yet.
I have places I used to eat at regularly that avoid because I associate them with something like coke and it would be too hard to resist.

MandaPanda said...

OK. I see your point here. I have a couple things with this one. First, maybe the kid doesn't ALWAYS have one when they go. I gave my youngest oatmeal the other day and she said, "But Mommy..we ALWAYS have oatmeal." I hadn't even BOUGHT oatmeal in 3 months. LOL. Second, those types of associations DEFINITELY exist. For instance, when I got to a movie theater, I buy popcorn. EVERY TIME. Am I always hungry when I go to the movies? No but it feels like I SHOULD have popcorn because I always have.