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Do you let your kids choose their own cereal?

Posted by on Apr. 14, 2014 at 9:50 AM
  • 19 Replies

Beware: Your Family's Favorite Cereal Has a Sneaky Way of Making You Buy It

by Sunny Chanel

Cereal boxesHave you been to your local supermarket and had your child stop in her tracks to stare longingly at a box of her favorite cereal? Apparently, it's not a Pavlovian response to what's inside -- it's our kids being mesmerized by the characters on the package looking right into their eyes.

Conveniently, these tantalizing boxes of breakfast goodness just happen to be at eye level, begging our children to pay attention to them. This, according to a new study, is all on purpose.

Cornell University's Food and Brand Lab studied how cereal packaging is created to seduce both young and old. The researchers found that cereal box characters are frequently designed to make eye contract with kids, with many looking down from store shelves to engage the youngest of shoppers. Adult cereals have mascots too, but since the boxes are typically placed higher on shelves, they look straight ahead instead of down. Those stares don't just increase sales but also brand loyalty, according to the study.

You know what? I would never have noticed this marketing manipulation had it not been pointed out. It's subliminal, and that's the point: to subtly lure us into grabbing the product from the shelf and throwing into our basket.

But the thing that bothers me is that we are conditioning our kids to let these tactics influence their choices. My own daughter isn't into cereal, so this isn't an issue for us. But I remember when I was a kid spending way too much time gazing back at those enticing boxes of cereal staring at me and then begging my parents to buy the most sugary one of the bunch.

Do you let your kids choose their own cereal? Do they gravitate toward the boxes with characters that 'look at' them?

by on Apr. 14, 2014 at 9:50 AM
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Replies (1-10):
bakerytreatz16
by on Apr. 14, 2014 at 9:52 AM
My daughter isn't too big on cereal, but she loves honey bunches of oats. I don't think she's tried any with a cartoon character on it, but when we pick cereal she always picks honey hunched of oats or the generic equivalent.
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sissyboogs
by Katie on Apr. 14, 2014 at 9:52 AM

My almost 4 year old daughter has always preferred Honey Nut Cheerios. 

My almost 6 year old son prefers frosted mini wheats. 

Of the options, I don't think either of those is bad. 

They'll occasionally eat Reese's puffs cereal, but they don't generally care for the sugary cereals. 

Hottmomma607
by Trica on Apr. 14, 2014 at 10:50 AM
My kids eat it but not crazy over it. I let my daughter choose. She likes Shredded wheat. I usually pick out something?
ABCMomma0211
by on Apr. 14, 2014 at 11:13 AM

yes she chooses her own cereal........

she is her own person, so just because i like something, doesn't mean she has to like it, or be forced to eat it.

natural_s
by Bronze Member on Apr. 14, 2014 at 1:10 PM

No my children hate grocery shopping so we pick out the cereal and they pretty much will eat anything that we bring in. Even when the little ones come with us shopping sometimes they are not even interested in picking out cereal, even when we tell them, lol.

Right now we have Kix in our cabinets and oatmeal.

ame19
by Member on Apr. 14, 2014 at 1:58 PM

When I was younger my parents would let my brother and I choose any cereal we wanted. We just had to eat the entire box before asking for another type of cereal. My son isn't picky on cereal and doesn't really eat it that much. Half of the time I just buy the packs of the mixed tiny cereals or just get a big box of honey cheerios or Apple Jacks. 

auntangelofsix
by Silver Member on Apr. 14, 2014 at 2:03 PM
No we pick it out.
JoshRachelsMAMA
by JRM on Apr. 14, 2014 at 2:04 PM
They do not eat cereal.
emtgirl885
by Silver Member on Apr. 14, 2014 at 2:06 PM
Sometimes, just depends if I have a coupon...I will let him have a choice
beadingmom17
by Rachel on Apr. 14, 2014 at 2:07 PM
1 mom liked this
Same here.

My kids love oatmeal, so I let them pick out what they want in it (we don't buy the pre-packaged stuff), but we stopped buying cereal a while ago.


Quoting JoshRachelsMAMA: They do not eat cereal.
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