Snack food nation

American kids snack a lot and some parents are finding this to be a big problem. Snacks seem de rigeur whenever more than two children gather for… pretty much anything.
A recent story in the NY Times questioned the need for snacks at kid events that only last an hour and a half, or events that happen shortly before a standard mealtime. The story partially puts the blame on a society that seemingly pushes snacks on us from every angle.

Maybe because we do have the opportunity to eat pretty much whenever we please, the thought of NOT being able to eat for a couple of hours makes people feel as though they’re planning for end times.

Take for instance the really annoying thread that pops up from time-to-time on the sometimes infantile Craigslist Food Forum: Someone posts that they’re getting ready to take a flight and they want advice on recipes for airplane friendly food that they can pack and take with them to consume on their 4 hour flight from San Francisco (or New York) to Peoria, Illinois. They don’t want to subject themselves to the horrors of airplane food (that they now have to pay for), or what they deem as the unpalatable options at the airport. Apparently, a small bag of trail mix just isn’t good enough. They have to prove to the people in the seats around them that they are so culinarily evolved that even a simple snack food is beneath them.

God forbid they go more than 4 hours without shoving something into their gobs. They might starve up there in the thin air! They act as if there might not be food where they land.

And the author of the NY Times piece wonders why there have to be snacks at every event. The kids don’t demand it; it’s the spoiled parents projecting their infantile desires on their kids.

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5 responses to “Snack food nation

  1. Even when food was included in ticket prices, some people opted for bringing their own. I did, but seldom for a 4 or 5 hour flight. Even on long flights I still pack my own food as I find eating carbs lulls me to sleep on a long flight and eating protein keeps me awake longer at my final destination. The airlines still feed you proteins at night and carbs in the morning.

    In all fairness, if your 5 hour flight was in the middle of your normal dinner time would trail mix do it for you? CL posts, that’s another story!

    • Honestly, if I had a 5 hour cross country flight that occured on my normal dinner hour, I’d probably just grab a pizza from the airport pizza hut. And typically, when I’ve gotten off a flight in Australia or Europe, I’m stuffed to the gills from all the food they put in front of me. I’ll eat pretty much anything at least once, and when it comes right down to it, I’ll eat anything if I’m hungry enough, so in that instance, I look at airline food as mere sustenance — not gastronomic pleasure. Really, I guess that’s my overall point. Eating in midair, when you need or have to, is really about sustenance rather than deliciousness.
      Maybe I’ll try your protein in the morning thing next time I fly to Oz (although I seem to recall almost always eating eggs and sausages just before I land) and see if that keeps me awake, but after 16+ hours in the air/at airports, I don’t think even speed could keep me up!

  2. Hey now, why so angry at parents? I am totally guilty of packing snacks for plane rides– but I do it as a courtesy to other passengers, though I expect my boys to behave, just in case meltdown mode begins, I can whip out snacks to shut them up.

    I would almost say it would be irresponsible not to pack snacks– what if there was a major delay? What if I have a cranky lady in front of me who doesn’t want to hear my kid whining about being hungry because we had to leave for the airport 4 hours before the plane actually departed?

    Oh, and we have a nut allergy.

    So hey there, ease up– we parents are just doing the best we can to get by– every damn day.
    xoxo

  3. Hey, Florida Girl,

    We’re totally cool. Although I should point out I was specifically addressing my commentary to adults who get all uptight about plane snacks. (And you know I know flying internationally is another thing entirely. Of course I’ve never gotten off that Sydney-LA flight feeling hungry.)
    Taking care of your kids is one thing. Being a finicky 40 year old who can’t bear the thought of flying for 4 hours from SF to STL without a meticulously thought out recipe is another. To them I say grab a granola bar and get over yourself. And if they think the food in St Louis is so abominable, they should do everyone there a favor and keep their food snobbery at home. That’s all 🙂

  4. American parents are the best parents in the world.

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