Do You Give Your Child Animal Crackers?

Mason had a doctor’s appointment downtown this morning. It took us an hour to get there (da*n bus), and we had to wait an hour and a half to see the doctor. Mason’s been seeing Dr. O, a pediatric orthopaedic specialist whom we think is ah-mazing, since he was six-weeks-old. (He was born with slightly curved feet–a result of how he was positioned en utereo–and he wears braces at night.) There were about 10 other children waiting to be seen by Dr. O as well, so a staff member brought around a “goodie chart.” Each child was allowed to choose one snack and one toy for free. How generous. I was grateful for this service since I had forgotten to bring a snack with us. I chose animal crackers for Mason and the mom next to us loudly declared that her daughter only ate broccoli for snacks. Of course, I immediately felt like a rotten mom. I had this powerful urge to justify my decision, as in “Mason’s being really patient and really good and he normally eats very healthfully, but I think it’s absolutely fine for him to have a few animal crackers in this case,” but I just smiled and kept my mouth shut and prayed the nurse would call us back. What would you have done in my situation? Would you have given your kid the animal crackers, or just skipped the snack?

Photo: Shutterstock, BV Folsom

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  1. by Nissa

    On February 13, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    I would have given my child the animal crackers. I mean we’re not talking about giving the kid french fries in the waiting room. I try to give healthy snacks when I can, but in that situation I would have let him/her have an animal cracker. I feel bad for the other child who had to watch everyone eat other snacks though.

  2. by Jennifer

    On February 13, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Give the kid the crackers!
    Your not giving him alcohol or drugs. It’s an innocent animal cracker. The other mother needs to lighten up. Wait until that child goes to school! She will wish she would eat animal crackers instead of burgers and pizza all the time.

  3. by Kerry

    On February 13, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    oh my god, animal crackers all the way. What is wrong with people? That poor little broccoli girl. Mason definitely deserved animal crackers after all of that travel and waiting. You are the best mom!

  4. by carrie

    On February 13, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    i would have made a comment about how gassy poor lil’ broccoli girl must be!

  5. by Jen

    On February 13, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    I was immediately reminded of your post about the different kinds of moms. This one is critical or has something to prove or wants to be liked or wants everybody to think she’s supermom or something. Did you smile and nod? Was there broccoli in the snack basket? ;o)

  6. by liz

    On February 13, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    animal crackers are not bacon double cheeseburgers for pete’s sake….i see nothing wrong with them. that mom needs to get off her high horse.

  7. by Kristin

    On February 13, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    What a b#*$@! Yes, I’d give him the crackers.
    Good grief it wasn’t like they were offering candy bars.

  8. by Melanie

    On February 14, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Absolutely I give my son animal crackers! And guess what? I give him french fries at McDonalds too! Not that McDonalds is a habit of ours, so a couple of french fries every few months is not going to kill him. He is 27 months old, eats very well at all of his meals and has never met a vegetable he didn’t like, from artichoke all the way to zucchini.

    Yes, there is an obesity epidemic in this country, and it amazes me that when I was little there was “the fat kid” in school, and now they’re the norm. Promote rambunctiousness and any physical activity you can possibly think of, but don’t take away the animal crackers!

  9. by Ann

    On February 14, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    I would have taken the animal crackers and given her daughter one!

  10. by Leslie

    On February 14, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    It’s sad that that mother had to make a comment in the first place. I really think its because they are insecure is why some parents have to put others down. Honestly, unless you are eating fast food, candy and soda every meal, of every day….. Then we should give all parents the benefit of the doubt with what they are feeding their children. Not all parents can be perfect

  11. by rebecca

    On February 16, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Was it not the DOCTORS staff that brought around the goodies for the kids???

    If the medical professional was providing this, he clearly viewed this as a fine choice for the children’s health… I don’t think he would be giving his patients something he thought was bad for them.

    Also, giving your child a treat is not the same as only feeding a child junk food. Its important to teach kids moderation of the ‘fun’ foods…
    You did the right thing and I feel bad for the other mother’s child.

  12. by VanessaJi

    On February 17, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Enjoy the damn animal cracker!!! When I have forgotten a snack while at the grocery store I often grab the small circus box of animal crackers to entertain my son. I do have to admit that I have caught myself sometimes reacting the way broccoli girl’s mother did when people offer my 2yo candy, especially before he went to daycare, granted an animal cracker isn’t candy. Daycare introduced a whole new level of food that I just wasn’t prepared for. Babies would be brought in with Pop-Tarts and powdered or chocolate covered donuts. I made a horrified comment about it to the care worker who said much of that is on their FDA approved meals!!! Like many others have said, we go the moderation route. To totally deny something is to create a desire for it, especially if they have to sit there and watch others enjoy it. That poor little girl is going to end up hoarding candy and crap because she was denied it totally as a child.

  13. by Jodi S.

    On February 23, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Forget about what the other mom said, you did the right thing. That mom will need to square with her kid soon enough. My daughter is 3 and knows the difference between a junky snack (chips, cookies, etc) or a healthy snack. She chooses appropiately most all the time. (she is 3, so). I believe as long as you give your kids the tools to make decisions about food, they’ll make the right ones. Plus, the animal crackers can be great a teaching tool to help pass the time in the waiting room, or just giggle at every head she bites off!

  14. by Stacy

    On February 25, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Crackers!!

  15. by Tracy

    On March 2, 2012 at 9:48 am

    I would have said “Normally he eats a bacon cheeseburger with chili fries, but they didn’t have that” (LOL)

  16. by Heather Morgan Shott

    On March 2, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Love it, Tracy!!