Spotted in the check-out lane at Target recently: Gerber brand “Graduates Lil’Crunchies”. Yes, a baby food company is packaging “mild cheddar” flavored snack food for TODDLERS.
Oh, isn’t that exactly what a new-to-solid-food child needs? A foodlike simulacrum identical to adult crappy snack foods. Nothing like getting ’em hooked early. And Gerber is absolutely shameless in pitching this shit to parents. From their website: “As your baby enters toddlerhood, 25% of his calories will come from snacks.” The website emphasizes the words all-natural (which means exactly what when applied to an extruded puff flavored with powdered cheese?), low(er) sodium than the “leading cheese snack”, and the whole grain (ie, corn) ingredients.
Look, I understand that toddlers don’t sit down for multicourse meals. They’re active, roaming around, often too busy or curious to do anything but graze. But whatever happened to real freaking food, cut into child-sized bits? Apparently, Gerber wants us to think it’s too difficult to cut food into bits for babies, and that the perfect alternative to real, homemade food is a factory-made, extruded cheese puff containing zinc sulfate and disodium phosphate.
Ugh. My head hurts. And now, despite it all, I want Cheetos.
Thank you for this. I shared it with eight women who have small kids.
Oh, I know it’s hard to parent little kids, but it’s just depressing to see junk food marketed to babies.