Snacking: We’re Not in France Anymore

We followed a fairly French attitude towards snacking even before visiting France. Since Theo left daycare, we’ve tried to give him just one snack a day, except for raw fruits and vegetables, which he can eat whenever he is hungry.

Trying to follow this snacking routine is immensely challenging in Turkey.

Situation 1: Playground Sharing

When other children get snacks on the playground, the parents generally distribute some to Theo. When I say no, they still give the snacks to Theo. I’m not sure whether this is:

  • because of the language barrier
  • because they think I’m just being polite
  • because clearly Theo wants the food (and he’s cuter/blonder than me)

Since I’m worried about appearing rude and/or paranoid, in the end, I usually let him keep the snack. (Yes, I’m a pushover.)

Situation 2: Begging

Even though we’ve been trying to discourage it, Theo has learned how to beg for food from random adults. He will walk up to people eating and stare at them with his big brown eyes, asking sweetly, “Can I have some please? Can I have some please?” Often, he’ll have the food in his hands (and a pat on the head) before I can run over to stop him from asking. Again, I generally don’t rip the snack out of his hands to avoid appearing rude. (Yes, I’m still a pushover.)

Situation 3: Candy Offered to the Shrine of Crying Theo

If Theo is crying in public, random people will hand him candy, pat him on the head, and walk away. In this situation, because I don’t want to reward crying, I do take away the candy. (Hah! I’m not always a pushover. Just mostly a pushover.)

Of course, once I take away the candy, Theo cries more. I now have a hidden collection of candy bars and gummy bears that I’m not quite sure what to do with, other than distribute to random children at a playground.