My three year old had written a thank you letter to his Grandma. He added his latest masterpiece; lovingly decorated the envelope and we were queuing in line to post the letter. We had a lively discussion about how the letter would travel via plane to Sydney where a post person would pick it up and (carefully) deliver it to Grandma the very next day.
It was great fun and I had congratulated myself on passing on the importance of letter writing when it all started to unravel. Three year old had queued for all of one minute before he spotted the lolly display, conveniently placed at his eye level! By this time, we were in the middle of a queue and I immediately started trotting out my tried and trusted distraction techniques. ‘I spy’ just didn’t cut it against jelly snakes and chocolate bars and he loudly protested when I reminded him that lollies are sometimes foods and he wouldn’t be getting any that particular time.
Now, I am well used to saying no. I think it’s very important that kids know about food and that they understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy foods. However, I like to do this in my time and when I feel it is appropriate. I do not want my child to be continually tempted with sweets and sugary drinks when we’re at the post office, paying for petrol, paying for our groceries, queuing at Target and most definitely not at the pharmacy. When did sweets start to appear at almost every checkout? It feels like we’re being bombarded and I can’t remember the last time I paid for petrol without being prompted to purchase special offer lollies or chocolate.
Supermarkets led the way with their strategically placed sweet and drink displays at checkouts and unfortunately it’s a money spinner, so other outlets have followed suit. That’s why I filled in The Parents’ Jury Survey As parents, we can make sure our voices are heard so that retailers know we are opposed to this type of unhealthy food marketing. The Parents’ Jury Healthy Checkouts campaignaims to canvas the opinion of Australian parents and it will take the results to retailers. If we don’t want sweets and sugary drinks at all types of checkouts then we can do something about it. There are healthy and non-food alternatives, it just takes some initiative and doesn’t have to impact on their profits.
Healthier checkouts could have a positive impact on the health of our kids. Just think about the number of times you’ve given in to pester power while you’re queuing to pay, or when you’re on your own and you’ve relented to the sneaky chocolate bar just because it was there, in front of you!
Have your say, fill in The Parents’ Jury Healthy Checkout Survey and let’s tell retailers to keep sweets, chocolate and sugary drinks away from checkouts.