Friday, January 19, 2007

Eyes on the prize

Today we started on that most venerated of toddler staples: the Cheerio. For the first time since I was maybe 9, I opened the box to find... a prize! Our current cereals are generally prize-free, unless you count the occasional free ticket to Das Glutenfest, the annual German celebration of seitan.

The Cheerios prize is an odd music box that plays a nondescript ditty (maybe it's a salsa?) performed by penguins that have been frozen in an ice floe. Penguin pops, I guess. It's safe for "ages 3+plus" [sic] but interesting probably only to ages 2-minus. Fern, for example, seems perfectly content to use it as a percussion instrument and squish avocado into it. 

Cheerios, it turns out, are made with the much-maligned (and occasionally defended) high fructose corn syrup, presumably to shave a few cents off the price, so we're thinking about looking for an alternative. Something sweetened only with fruit juice and full of fiber and nutrients. A cereal we can feel good about serving our child and eating ourselves. A wholesome product that makes us feel that all is right with the world just because it produces such benevolent things. The perfect cereal.

But I bet it won't come with a prize inside.