As soon as television made its way into American homes with programs designed just for children on Saturday mornings(allowing parents to “sleep in”) advertisers saw their opportunity. And they rushed in with appeals to kids. One of the first was the introduction of “Tony the Tiger” with his gr-r-reat endorsement of Sugar Frosted Flakes. Interestingly after a while Kellogg’s dropped the Sugar from the name and just went with Frosted Flakes.
Not to be outdone, General Mills created a rabbit for its brightly colored Trix cereal. He was repeatedly told, “silly rabbit, Trix are for kids.” Of course Rice Krispies had their own trio of Snap, Crackle and Pop. And for many years when I was a kid toys and prizes came at the bottom of the cereal box. There was only one toy to a package, forcing some major negotiations when there was more than one child in the family. The best solution we offered our mother was to buy more packages.
I don’t remember any particular concern about feeding kids sugar in the morning. Certainly no one was worried about the burst of energy it gave since it would be used up on the walk to school. And once a kid tasted sugar cereal it would take an act of Congress to get her back to plain old corn flakes. Fortunately Congress wasn’t taking up the topic of childhood obesity. Not then.