Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Status Snackers

Status Snackers are on the rise. Is one of them yours?

Allow me to reminisce about my own childhood power cravings (read: sugar cravings). Raised in a house of brown rice, peas and potatos, sweets were exotic, bordering on erotic. Junk food had that other-worldly magic aura shared by the Easter Bunny and Santa. So, when I entered the real world of Kindergarton and saw how the other half lived, mega watt bulbs no less than exploded in my head.

I don’t remember her name, I don’t even remember her face, but I will never forget what she looked like from behind sitting in the lunchroom. Two perfectly coifed, ringlet pony tails, parted with razor sharp precision - the kind of perfection that must of hurt like a mofo to install. And beyond the back of her pretty little head, was her sandwich. Nutella… on Wonderbread. (Don’t tell me you’ve never tried Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread. Think Purdy’s hedgehogs.)

Next to this vision of beauty, I would sit and crack my wax paper to reveal a dark husk of a peanut butter sandwich. (Remember when we ate peanut butter at school?) This girl was timid under all other circumstances, but she soon discovered her power, at least over me. I don’t remember Ringlets being mean about it, but for a shy girl, Nutella sandwiches were a way of making friends.

With Halloween still rearing it’s ugly head out of our highest cupboards, Status Snacking is rampant right now. It’s all about who has candy and how they work it. There are those that lord it over others and those that give it over for brownie points (so to speak). There’s even status in being a recipient. After all, there isn’t always enough for everyone.

Should I somehow try to strategize against this? Should I make sure I pack a yummy enough lunch that she isn’t deemed powerless and yet not so yummy that she's corrupted by the power? Do I have too much time on my hands??




  1. Great post!

    This brings back a few memories... I remember being a kid and trading my "Oh Henry" chocolate bar for the homemade baked goods my German friends mom made for him! We always sat next to each other at lunch, and bartered for treats. Amazing home baked strudel for a store bought chocolate bar. It always seemed that he was getting the short end of it, but he gladly handed over his goodies for the junk food!

    I'm not at the stage where I need to pack a lunch for my daughter yet, she's only 14 months old, but I do understand what you are saying. Do we pack a lunch with good healthy foods and snacks only to find out later that our kids have traded them for a chocolate bar or to give some other child power over ours? Seems tricky.

    Sorry I don't have any insight for you, I'm just not at that point yet, but your post made me remember what lunch was all about when I was a school kid, and the power of "the snack" or "the treat" was a big part of the lunch hour ritual. Let us know how it works out for you! I'll need all the advice I can get when it's my turn!


  2. Camille, I remember that little girl. And her name was ANGELA. She was legend with those sandwiches. I remember running home and telling mom there's a girl with curly ponytails who has CHOCOLATE SANDWICHES! Wonder if she still eats them.

  3. You DO have insight into this, Kirk! You've taught me that it won't matter how much I cave to her 20-ingredients-or-more cravings, the grass is always greener. My mission is to not overdo it on any of her favorite lunch/snack items no matter how healthy they are. Gotta keep the magic alive!

  4. Thanks Camille! I didn't realize I was so insightful!

    P.S. I had never even heard of Nutella until I moved to Vancouver! I thought I'd gone to heaven! I found an organic version of it. (Somehow I can justify that...)

  5. Thanks to this post, I just called my best friend whom I've known since Grade 1, and asked her what her dad used to stuff those pita pockets with! It's was creamy and had spices and was so foreign to me, that it was something I longed for.
    The grass IS always greener on the other side. Kinda like how a coffee is so much better when someone else makes it for you...


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