9 (Thu) November 2017
(International School Manila – Bearcat Cantina)
-BGC, Taguig, Manila, Philippines-
I had to pick up the boys from school. While waiting for the older one to finish, the younger one and I got snacks in the middle/high school cafeteria.
I’d noticed that DJ was putting on weight.
Then, I discovered in his ID wallet – the one that he wears on a lanyard around his neck all day – a loyalty card from Chihuahua that had him collecting stamps for purchased burritoes towards getting the 20th free. I tore it up. “But Dad, I only needed 6 more!!” I tried to explain to him about food marketing tactics and how kids are most vulnerable. Students aren’t allowed to pay directly for their food – the IDs work as a debit cards that parents top up – so the only point of the incentive scheme is to make eating feel like an achievement. “You can have a burrito whenever you want, but never because you’re trying to win a bogus award.”
Still in kIndergarten, IZ doesn’t have access to the cafeteria – the only thing that he wanted was a frozen yogurt with strawberries.