(Sorry! I will take a new picture this weekend when we go back to the grocery store! It's a box of life cereal completely festooned with balloons and confetti.)
Party Cereal! He made that up himself. I was 50% pleased with how stinking adorable my son is and 50% pissed at Quaker. Why do they have to put two artificial colors in a grain-colored cereal? It isn't just the colors either, it's also the 18-ingredient-long-list on the side of the box. And you know they have a team holed up in an office somewhere who are paid to figure out exactly what box design is going to attract the greatest number of people, regardless of what's in the cereal or even what it tastes like.
M likes the taste of additive-free shredded wheat, puffed grains, and corn flakes. He isn't dissatisfied with his current breakfast cereal situation. But he sees this colorful, exciting box of Party Cereal and he wants it.
Instead of just saying, "No, that cereal has additives" and moving on (which thankfully M understands and accepts without complaint) I told him a little more. I told him that some people who make cereal are bad guys, and that the people who made this box of cereal were a tricky kind of bad guy. They made the cereal box look so fun to trick people into choosing it, even though it has additives.
M usually chooses not to eat additives without any prodding because he knows they make him miserable, and he didn't want it when he knew it had colors in it. But he was particularly interested in the cereal bad guys. Did I oversimplify? Yeah. But bad guys are important to M right now and I knew he'd understand it that way. I want him to feel like he's making choices about good, healthy food, not just being stuck with whatever foods are left after everything fun and exciting has been ruled out.