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Snack time

(article, Culinate staff)

Very occasionally, the New York Times runs a one-off food column called De Gustibus, letting writers sound off on food-related topics ranging from truffles and truffle oil to, lately, the strange American insistence on feeding kids snacks all the time. As the author, Jennifer Steinhauer, noted:

bq. The obligations to bring a little something to eat extend to the adult world, too — I’ve baked for PTA meetings and child-rearing seminars that I didn’t even attend. But when it comes to American boys and girls, snacks seem both mandatory and constant.

Steinhauer calls not just for a reduction in snack frequency but an improvement in their overall quality:

bq. What is especially baffling where I live, in Los Angeles, is how often the kind of parental paranoia that obsesses about school ratings, vaccines, and myriad imagined plagues is matched by utter disregard for the nutritional downsides of mowing down Fruit by the Foot every afternoon at 4.

Or even, as Steinhauer suggests, eating no snacks at all.