“Into The Mouths of Babes”

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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.

10 thoughts on ““Into The Mouths of Babes”

    1. Yes. Once a year my mom bought these little boxes of cereal in a set which you could tear open and add milk and eat out of hand. We took those camping. Every three years I got the sugar puffs.

  1. As a kid, I don’t remember getting a sugar rush from cereals. I wonder if I was oblivious or if a child’s metabolism can handle more than an adult’s?

  2. I remember the toys in cereal packets. I would get my Mum to empty the contents into a Tupperware box, so I could have the toy, or cut out the mask or game printed on the box. The TV advertising was similar of course, and we could save up tokens printed on the boxes to get a free toy of Tony The Tiger, or cereal bowls with characters on them. Even when I had unsweetened cornflakes before that, my Mum was putting sugar on them before giving them to me. So I thought all cereal was sweetened, from a young age.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  3. And then there’s the sign that greets my husband and I as we drive home from our exercise class. It’s a billboard advertising an orthopedic center, and it says, “When the snap, crackle and pop you hear are not coming from your breakfast cereal.” LOL

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