Mom Confessions: I Let My Toddler Eat Food Before Paying For It


hushIt's time for a Mom Confession -- because, let's face it, we're real mothers and sometimes it doesn't work the way the parenting books say it should.

This Week's Confession:

I let my son eat or drink food from the grocery store before actually buying it. I see nothing wrong with it. It keeps him content and I plan to pay for it, so what's the big deal? I've gotten dirty looks for it several times and can't understand why. --anonymous

I do it all the time! We will even go get our son a new train or something like that, and if he's good, he can even open it and play with it while we shop. I'm going to pay for it anyway, so what difference does it make? --anonymous



Should toddlers eat or drink grocery store merchandise before mom pays at the checkout?

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What type of message, if any, does this practice send? Should grocery stores be considered restaurants? What does it teach our children about self-control and instant gratification?

We all have secrets -- so thanks to these brave moms for sharing their honest thoughts, and thank you for keeping this conversation non-judgemental!


Past Confessions:

I Scold Other People's Kids

I'm on Vacation, But My Kid Is Still Going to Day Care

I Favor My Older Child



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Super... Superlurker

When I am doing my weekly grocery shopping with DS, he gets to pick out a snack and eat it while we are shopping.  It keeps him happy and makes the shopping trip more pleasant for everyone in the store.  The employees at my local grocery store know us by name and they have no problem with it.  I have been doing it since my oldest was a toddler. 

IceMi... IceMistress105

That annoys me to death! I worked at a grocery store and people would do this all the time. Several times, people have come up to pay for it and didn't have any money.  It is a problem! It isn't that hard to get the item and go to the counter to pay for that item. If I can do it. You can. I have three kids. If they want an apple ( btw, its a weighed item, they need to weigh it in order for you to pay for it properly), i pay for it, and eep the receipt with me.

arahzel arahzel

I think it's fine. I usually bring a snack/juice into the store with us, but there are times when we're running behind, or we're out of both. If my kid's hungry or thirsty, I'm going to get her something to eat or drink. If I'm shopping, it's convenient to just grab a juice and let her sip on it while we shop. I have yet to grab any food though. The cashier's never say anything, and no store manager has ever stopped me. They would probably rather have happy kids in their store than screaming and crying kids. :)

coutt... coutterhill

I used to work as a cashier in a grocery store; Eating food before you pay for it is stealing. If you want to keep your kid quiet, bring your own crackers in your purse. I can't believe so many people are for stealing. What kind of example is that? If I don't have crackers for my kid, I let him yell; he's a kid. I run the show, not him.

arahzel arahzel

oh, I forgot to add, that I will grab a soda for myself sometimes. Not because I'm thirsty though. I have sugar issues, and if get that weak feeling, I need sugar immediately or I'll start sweating, shaking, and I may pass out. Soda is the fastest thing to help that. I keep candy in my purse, too, but there are times I'm just running in and out so instead of grabbing my entire purse, I just grab my wallet and phone.

Of course, DH will call with a list of crap to get. UGH. So I "steal" a soda and pay for it when I leave.

madtan23 madtan23

When we go out the only place I do it is at Walmart, or the grocery store they get a cookie, but it's usually just a cup of popcorn chicken that they share..It's already priced, doesn't need to be weighed or they eat it and are happy and we pay...cold popcorn chicken is not good...LOL

mosar... mosarmywife

We always grab a drink to share right when we walk in the store. Sometimes I will open something for my youngest to munch on. I look at it this way my kids are pretty well behaved but my youngest is 20mo. old and as well behaved as he is I think sometimes its asking a little too much of him to be happy for an hour without being able to run around and while going past all his favorite foods.

yknot yknot

There have been many, many times when I go shopping with my 6 yr old & he gets thirsty.  I let him grab a drink, & drink it.  But I make sure to tell him that we have to pay for it when we go thru the line.  I think the cashiers are use to scanning an open drink, cause no one has ever said anything to me about it.  I don't remember if I had to open a small pack of crackers for him when he was smaller, I have given him a grape of one color or another to make sure he likes them before I bought it for him, but other than that, I don't do the fruit thing.

mommy... mommyof11050307

I have yet to do this. I always feed my kids before i go because i don't like giving into them if they are throwing a fit, I have more of a problem with my son wanting to throw everything in my cart then for him to want something to eat.

mamma84 mamma84

We used to do this, but our oldest soon thought he could eat everything that went into the cart!  (My num num, mememe!!)  So we just started getting a couple of hot wheels for him to play with, half the trip they stay in the package and the other half we open the toy for him and put the box in the cart.  Usually by time the cashier gets the box, it's demolished lol from ds trying to open it, but they know how much they cost so they just laugh and ask if we want the box or throw it away :-) 

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