to give dd food before paying for it?

(736 Posts)
cantsleep Mon 29-Jul-13 22:20:29

Went to shops today with dcs. Dd was a bit tired and hungry and I wanted to get in and out quickly and home.

She was very hungry and has health issues and needed to eat that minute so I picked something up and let her have it. I have not done this before but couldn't have gone and paid then given it to her and continued shopping as she needed to eat straight away. Usually I have a snack in my bag for her but she had already had that one and I was going to buy more snack bits for her from the shops to replenish the ones I carry for her.

I noticed that a shop assistant was watching us intently and kept seeing her as we went round the shop.

When we got to the till I took the packet off dd for the man to scan and gave it back to her. As we were leaving the member of staff who had been watching approached us with a security guard and asked had we paid for what dd had eaten round the shop. I replied yes we had but she asked to check the receipt which obviously was fine.

She then told me that in future we HAD to pay for food before consuming it. I explained to her that it was a one off as I had run out of snacks I usually carry and dd needed to eat immediately but the security guard said food has to be paid for first.

It wasn't like I do this all the time and tbh as long as the food is paid for does it really matter?

WIBU to have let dd eat her snack before we had paid for it?

Amber76 Mon 29-Jul-13 22:23:56

I do this all the time in Tesco and its never been a problem.

SantanaLopez Mon 29-Jul-13 22:25:10

As long as it doesn't need weighed.

HarderToKidnap Mon 29-Jul-13 22:25:20

No, it's fine. I'm sure a lot of people will pile in and tell you off, but if you pay for it what on earth could the possible harm be? You're a paying customer, shopping with children is awful and whatever gets you through, really.

I'd probably write quite a shitty letter to them and then take my business elsewhere.

OwlinaTree Mon 29-Jul-13 22:26:05

I've often drunk a bottle of pop and just paid for the empty bottle at the end.

Bit difficult if it was something like grapes or an apple that has to be weighed tho!

cantsleep Mon 29-Jul-13 22:26:33

I have seen people do it before as well, I really didn't expect to be challenged about it.

Sirzy Mon 29-Jul-13 22:26:33

Asking as it wasn't something that would need weighing at the till I don't see a problem with it. Although in a smaller shop I would probably go and pay for it before starting the rest.

Fanjango Mon 29-Jul-13 22:27:56

My partner has diabetes and does this often. We've never had a problem, as pp says as long as its not a weighed item it is fine smile

cantsleep Mon 29-Jul-13 22:29:01

No it wasn't anything that needed to be weighed. It was a packet of crisps, dd was grumpy, screaming and having a tantrum and shouting she was hungry.

She has diabetes and her blood sugar was on the low side so I quickly gave her a snack to prevent it becoming a hypo. Usually I have a snack for her but she had had it already.

intheshed Mon 29-Jul-13 22:29:20

My DC won't let me put a baguette in the trolley without ripping off the end for them to eat around the shop! With young children sometimes it's just easier. I guess if it was a smaller store it might be different?

arethereanyleftatall Mon 29-Jul-13 22:29:57

Every single time I go shopping, the girls get a fruit box at the beginning which they eat whilst I shop, I pay for the empty cartons at the till. I have never had anyone take any notice of it. Also the Cashieres are never surprised so I assumed it happens all the time.

I had an extraordinary situation with a lovely cashier in Tesco today. DD dropped her melon slices on the floor, so I picked them up and put them back in the open pack and then asked cashier to discard them. She said, but it's almost full, do you want a replacement? I said it was my fault so no, not expecting that. She rang her bell and someone got me a new one free. Very impressed.

tiredmummy33 Mon 29-Jul-13 22:30:11

i do this all the time i give my kids those little 50p pre packaged kids grapes. Or crisps. Food shopping with kids is hellish enough!

Doodlez Mon 29-Jul-13 22:30:51

Many supermarkets know shoppers do this. I think they call it "aisle grazing" or summat like that.

If you give her something like grapes that should be weighed then you really are out of order. If you give her a packet of crisps which is just a packet label scan, then not much harm done.

Two things though:

1) I've done it myself so I ain't claiming to be a saint but...

2) It isn't the right thing to do. You should really pay first - that's the deal with shops and it's fair enough if security pulled you up for it. You were in the wrong - that's the bottom line. So, over all YABU.

soverylucky Mon 29-Jul-13 22:31:22

This is one of those that people are split on - personally I think unless there is a medical need (diabetic, feeling faint, needing water etc) I just don't think it is necessary. As you will see from previous comments many disagree with me. I would take your custom elsewhere if the shop assistants don't like it at the shop you were in. Other assistants/shop managers don't mind so shop there.

Floralnomad Mon 29-Jul-13 22:31:25

As long as its something that doesn't need weighing I can't see the problem .My mum is diabetic and has other health issues and she very often has to have something before we have paid when we are out ( usually a bottle of coke) ,its either that or have her collapsed in an aisle ! In your position I think I would write to head office and explain the circumstances ,stress how embarrassing it was being stopped ,and complain about your treatment .

frogspoon Mon 29-Jul-13 22:31:50

Well, it's not really ok.

As you know she has a medical condition, and she was hungry when you went into the shop, you should have quickly bought an item and paid for it and given it to your daughter before starting the full shop.

The shop security would not recognise you, and therefore would not know that this was a one-off occurrence, for all they know this is routine shopping behaviour for you.

Ilovemyself Mon 29-Jul-13 22:32:16

No problem at all as it wasn't an item that had to be weighed. Name and shame please.

And was it a manager or a shop assistant with a jumped of sense of authority?

cantsleep Mon 29-Jul-13 22:33:03

I just think they went a bit over the top, it was quite busy and they were quite loud when asking me.

Ilovemyself Mon 29-Jul-13 22:33:30

Frogspoon. Why is it not ok? It isn't theft, and the goods have been paid for.

soverylucky Mon 29-Jul-13 22:33:36

sorry - I missed the bit about health issues - I don't see a problem with what you did as there was a proper reason for it.

tabulahrasa Mon 29-Jul-13 22:34:39

It's theirs until you pay for it - what if you get to the till and you've list your purse or your card doesn't work or something else prevents you from paying?

I know people do it, but I don't like it - if they're that desperate to eat, why not just go and pay for that item and then carry on shopping?

piratecat Mon 29-Jul-13 22:35:26

yes ywbu.

annoys the hell out of me. it's not yours till paid for.

Bowlersarm Mon 29-Jul-13 22:35:48

Most people, including me, have done this. It doesn't make it right though!

Technically it's stealing as it's goods consumed that you haven't paid for. Supposing you had forgotten your purse?

So as you have posted in AIBU I would have to say YABU ( but only a bit as everyone has done it)

I've never seen anyone do this! I must go round the supermarket in a trance.

I think YABU - it would have taken a couple of minutes to pay for it before you gave it to your DC. I don't like the idea of people eating food they've not paid for, although I can't articulate why. It just doesn't sit right with me, although I appreciate I am in a minority.

MalcolmTuckersMum Mon 29-Jul-13 22:36:40

Was it Asda?

morethanpotatoprints Mon 29-Jul-13 22:37:19

I have never done this with any child, but your child has a health issue and they should have listened.
I'd have been tempted to tell them you'll shop at x because they let you do this, etc.
What bloody jobs worth.

frogspoon Mon 29-Jul-13 22:37:35


No, it's not theft, but as I said the security had no idea of whether or not the OP was going to pay.

For all they knew she could have been intending to steal the food.

So whilst technically probably not illegal, still not a good idea.

BrianTheMole Mon 29-Jul-13 22:38:00

I don't see theres a problem as long as you have intention to pay, which you did. I do this all the time, the cashiers never seem surprised when I pass them the empty packaging.

Floralnomad Mon 29-Jul-13 22:38:28

TBH I think its safer to do what the OP did than to get food out of your bag ,how would you then prove that the pack of crisps that your daughter ate had been taken in with you ? That's the way I look at it with my mum anyway . I can't understand why they waited until after you paid to say something ,why not tell you at the time or approach you at the till which would have been more private ? That's what I would be complaining about .

Doodlez Mon 29-Jul-13 22:39:58

I think it is classed as theft frogspoon.

"Technically it's stealing as it's goods consumed that you haven't paid for. Supposing you had forgotten your purse?"

How is that different to ordering in a pub and finding you've forgotten your wallet when it comes to settling the bill? never done that, oh no

It feels like a breach of proper manners to me, but I do it all the time with my two because 2yo's don't really understand etiquette, but have got a pretty good grip on screaming at loud volume.

To me, producing food I brought from home, and probably bought in the same shop the week before, seems more fraught with issues - how do you prove it was yours?

sweetiepie1979 Mon 29-Jul-13 22:40:34

My dd always always has a pear and an orange in sainsburys while we go round with the trolley. If she spies Ella's kitchen in waitrose i will allow her to have it I always pay so I don't see the problem. Sometimes if she is walking with me and it's sweets she wants I'll let her hold them bit explain she can't open them until she pays the man/woman. Im always glad to see her eat fruit so she can go right ahead and eat. In fact in morrisons the shop assistants give her apples! Someone did say to me once when I opened a packet of something and ate some of it before unpaid for it, I replied very curtly that I was pregnant. But I don't think it should matter I will continue to do it.

Ilovemyself Mon 29-Jul-13 22:42:17

Bowlersarm. It is not stealing or theft, as you never intend to permanently deprive the owner (the store) of the item.

noseymcposey Mon 29-Jul-13 22:43:44

Sounds like they really overreacted as it's a pretty common occurrence. Although I too generally don't like it except in the kind of circumstance you have described above.

Sunnysummer Mon 29-Jul-13 22:44:04

In the circumstances it does sound necessary, but as a general rule I think it is unnecessary and teaches kids confusing lessons about taking things without paying and mindless eating while preoccupied with other things.

In most countries you don't see it, it's not usually so hard to give a snack beforehand, and if you know that you or a dc has an issue, to travel with a stash of snacks.

AnythingNotEverything Mon 29-Jul-13 22:44:09

I see no problem with this in a large supermarket, and think they massively overreacted. It's quite normal to see small children chewing on a baguette in our local asda.

Also, I believe that technically you haven't stolen anything until you leave the premises without paying.

hadababygirl Mon 29-Jul-13 22:44:12

No, I just take something, usually a banana, quickly through the self service checkout and then let DD have a nibble as we go round. I'm not a massive fan of this - just don't have the nerve to do it myself.

TarkaTheOtter Mon 29-Jul-13 22:45:09

I'd have nipped over to customer services to explain and pay (unless it was an absolute emergency). Stores lose a lot of money through shop lifting so they will watch people who they see doing this. That costs them in manpower hence they ban it.
It's not the end of the world, but not unexpected that the security guard pulled you up on it.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 29-Jul-13 22:45:55

I think it is classed as theft frogspoon

No its not, theft is to permanently deprive and is not physically possible until you have exited the shop.

If you have lost your purse its still not permanently depriving unless you do not return and pay.

With an intention to pay and a unexpected occurrence preventing you from doing so straight away you have not stolen anything.

ChippingInHopHopHop Mon 29-Jul-13 22:46:31

What shop was it?

NapaCab Mon 29-Jul-13 22:47:38

It's not ideal but it's not the end of the world either. You did pay for what you had consumed so you were honest. Watching your DD like a hawk like that over a packet of crisps (50p?) is just ridiculous. It's presuming an intent to steal on your behalf.

Did you tell them your DD has diabetes?

I did this a couple of times with my DS who once grabbed a couple of strawberries from an open box and so I bought the box even though we didn't need any strawberries. The staff were very nice though and said I shouldn't feel obliged to buy something just because he had a couple from the box. Another time he screamed the place down because I made the stupid decision to buy loose raisins instead of the usual boxes and of course he wanted some. I gave him a few but felt embarrassed about it.

Anyway, I shop there all the time and spend a lot of money so if the staff had made an issue of it, challenging me with a security guard etc I would be reconsidering my choice of supermarket. I think most sensible businesses know that and try not to treat their customers aggressively, assuming some intent to steal.

Talkinpeace Mon 29-Jul-13 22:47:43

I self scan at Waitrose - so once the bag of grapes has been scanned I am free to eat from it.
You cannot get the scanner without swiping a credit card
therefore no chance of not paying
therefore no guilt at all

ilovesooty Mon 29-Jul-13 22:47:58

Now do you pay for a single piece of fruit when you've eaten it?

Doodlez Mon 29-Jul-13 22:48:15

Sock, is that your interpretation or is that actually the law? I ask because these threads come up quite a bit on MN and I'm sure we had a solicitor on once telling us is was theft.

Only asking - as I said further down thread, I've done it myself so i ain't claiming sainthood here!

aufaniae Mon 29-Jul-13 22:49:27

I often do this in the supermarket. It keeps DS happy while we shop. We present the empty packets at the till. I have no shame grin

aufaniae Mon 29-Jul-13 22:49:58

It's not theft unless you walk out with it. That's my understanding anyway!

Cherriesarelovely Mon 29-Jul-13 22:50:32

It does sound like an over reaction on behalf of the staff in this instance, as soon as you had explained about your dd I would've thought they would've backed off. In general though, no, I don't think this is ok. You are eating something that you haven't paid for yet. I agree with SunnySummer. I've never done this. I don't think it's the end of the world but I would never do it or encourage my Dd to think this was the right way round to go about shopping for food!

flipchart Mon 29-Jul-13 22:51:02

I have never done this but MIL used to allow my children to do this when they were little.
I've always been uncomfortable with it and found it completely unnecessary.

ilovesooty Mon 29-Jul-13 22:51:04

I meant how do you pay for a single item of loose fruit if you've already eaten it?

Cravingdairy Mon 29-Jul-13 22:51:51

I don't think it's very considerate to the staff to hand over what is effectively a piece of litter and ask them to handle it. If you need something urgently pay for it upfront before you do the rest of the shop. I was dragged round supermarkets approximately a million times when I was small and my mum would never have let us eat something before it was paid for.

Bowlersarm Mon 29-Jul-13 22:52:07

ilovemyself the intention may be to pay for the item consumed, but it is not normally accepable to help yourself to products on the way round. What's to stop someone shoving a packet of biscuits down their throat and pocketing the rubbish or binning it? Why is the shopkeeper obliged to work out whether the intent of the customer is to pay for it or not?

It's accepted that you pay for the product at the till before helping yourself to it.

Talkinpeace Mon 29-Jul-13 22:52:16

in a normal supermarket you cant.
in Waitrose you put it on the scales, get the price sticker, scan that and can then eat the fruit.

Ilovemyself Mon 29-Jul-13 22:53:11

I can guarantee that sock is right, after trying to get the police to deal with someone who had taken goods from where I was working as they wanted a refund on something.

The police said that they could not deal with it is a name and address had been left and that the legal definition of theft was to permanently deprive ( or ave the intention to).

I did ask them if this would work in a shop and they said yes.

2rebecca Mon 29-Jul-13 22:53:23

I've never done this, although generally tried to avoid supermarket shopping with small kids and have their dad look after them where possible. I also go with the don't go shopping when you are hungry philosophy and usually try and go just after a meal. If I go on the way home from work I buy too much crap, so i only buy a few essentials then. If I did have a hungry child I'd buy whatever i was feeding them, feed them it outside the shop and then go back in to do the shopping having cleaned them up.

marriedinwhiteisback Mon 29-Jul-13 22:53:30

When mine were tiny I used to factor in lunch during the supermarket shop. Once or twice I waved an empty packet at an assistant with a "not a problem I hope - I'll be paying at the till". Was never every questioned - in fact the lady on the deli counter used to give them little chicken on stick things and wink at me shock.

Had I been confronted with security I think I'd have quite enjoyed it. "Here's my nectar/clubcard - now take it to the manager, check what I spend in here every week and now start telling me I've done something wrong by letting my children eat one packet of crisps from a six pack that I have just paid for - in fact no, don't bother, because I'll return the card to head office and they can check it out - what did you say your name ws btw". As you were.

needaholidaynow Mon 29-Jul-13 22:54:14

Oh I bet she felt all high and mighty telling you off like that.

YANBU. You paid for it so no need for the lecture from a jobs worth is there?

I can imagine the gob full my DP would have given back to her if it had been him.

SunnyIntervals Mon 29-Jul-13 22:54:54

Do this at waitrose - always make sure I pay for everything and they have never even looked surprised.

Ilovemyself Mon 29-Jul-13 22:55:29

Bowlersarm. You are describing theft when someone throws the packaging away which s totally unacceptable. If you intend to pay for the goods I cannot see any issue at all.

holidaysarenice Mon 29-Jul-13 22:56:28

Having worked in asda you'd be surprised at the number of people who can munch a loaf of bread whilst shopping....

Or a multipack of crisps...all 6 bags!!

ilovesooty Mon 29-Jul-13 22:56:38

Thanks Talkinpeace

In that case:

My dd always always has a pear and an orange in sainsburys while we go round with the trolley

I don't see how this gets paid for.

Bowlersarm Mon 29-Jul-13 22:57:40

Ilovemyself but why should the shopkeeper have to determine whether there was an intention to pay or not? If everyone waited the few minutes until they got to the checkout then it wouldn't be a problem.

daddoinghisbest Mon 29-Jul-13 22:59:44

I'm amazed that so many people think this is ok. If the child has a medical condition and needs food that instant, then tell customer services before eating their stock, or quickly buy something and then do the shopping. The supmarkets don't have the staff to monitor the grazers. Regularly I see parents in my local sainsbury's unable to say no to their offspring's demand for food, giving them what they want, then just discarding the wrapping and not paying for it. It teaches children that theft is ok, and the supermarket is a place to eat. (Possibly might change my name to Victor Meldrew)

marriedinwhiteisback Mon 29-Jul-13 22:59:48

Because if you buy two pears and two oranges - you ask for them to be put through twice at the counter or you buy them in bags for a set price for four or six etc.

Caboodle Mon 29-Jul-13 23:00:33

Uh oh, I have done this on a number of occasions.....I have always paid, never seen it as a problem and never been confronted by a member of staff either. (I have always given my DCs something from a packet though...)
Litter, however, does come home with my in my handbag.
Is it theft? But I always pay. If I forgot my purse I would return and pay.
I'm thinking maybe it's a good job most of my shopping is now done online wink

maddy68 Mon 29-Jul-13 23:00:45

I wouldn't give mine any until they were paid for. Surely it's theft until payment?

Cherriesarelovely Mon 29-Jul-13 23:01:58

Presumably some people graze on the way around and then don't pay. It must be hard for the staff to determine who intends to and who doesn't I guess.

arethereanyleftatall Mon 29-Jul-13 23:02:16

I had no idea it upset people that I do this.
In fact, I pretty much ensure the dds are hungry when we go shopping. They get their 5 a day, maybe 10, they keep quiet all the,way round, I buy our weekly shop, plus their empty packets. Surely, everyone wins.

tabulahrasa Mon 29-Jul-13 23:02:59

How can it not be theft until you leave the store? It's gone, you can't give it back if you find yourself unable to pay...hmm

Intending to do something doesn't change what you've actually done - it's not about intent, but actions otherwise you couldn't be convicted of any crime that it would be possible to intend to do something else.

ZingWidge Mon 29-Jul-13 23:03:02

I once asked a shop assistant to open a bottle of coke for me. I had no strength I was pg and suddenly felt very sick and dizzy and as it was the norm for me I knew something fizzy would help.

he started arguing that I had to pay first.
I told him ok but I'm pg and about to vomit - is he happy to clean up my sick then?
he handed me the open bottle.
I had a few gulps and stared at the shelves. he left

I regularly give my kids a piece of baguette or a rice cake out of a bag while walking round the aisles and I don't care what anyone thinks.
if it was a crime they should arrest me.
not happened yet, so I will continue to do so if needed as I can't always be super organized.
I always pay for everything.

I do understand why a shop insists on paying first and they are right to ask the customers to do so, but I think if a bag or such is opened and kept in full sight and only a small portion of the contents is used as a quick (emergency) remedy the intention of paying is clear.

Caboodle Mon 29-Jul-13 23:03:08

And as for telling customer services first...really? I would think the very busy staff have better things to think about. Do people really go ask check with Customer services first? Who has actually done this? I am genuinely interested.

needaholidaynow Mon 29-Jul-13 23:03:25

It's not theft until you've dumped the packaging and left the store.

Eating it and putting the packaging in the trolley so you can pay for what you've already eaten is not theft.

megsmouse Mon 29-Jul-13 23:03:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Actually Waitrose now do that free coffee for card holders thing, which they're obviously expecting you to drink on the way round the shop, and they're always next to a big rack of biscuits and snacks for sale.

Vijac Mon 29-Jul-13 23:04:44

I do this though I am embarrassed by it when I get to the checkout. It sometimes just gets you though the shop! Do really think being diabetic/pregnant etc is an excuse as supermarkets are responsible for our planning. Nonetheless I would be annoyed if I was taken to task as everyone knows that lots of people do it and it is at least partly to save their staff screaming all day.

ilovesooty Mon 29-Jul-13 23:04:51

Because if you buy two pears and two oranges - you ask for them to be put through twice at the counter or you buy them in bags for a set price for four or six etc

The bag thing I can understand, but I don't see why the staff should have to monitor putting the correct items of loose fruit through the tills.

Kaekae Mon 29-Jul-13 23:05:00

I've done it when I have had the children with me, I try not to make a habit of it as my children are five and three now so don't want them thinking it is an ok thing to do.

daddoinghisbest Mon 29-Jul-13 23:06:37

Shops budget for it!? You mean we all pay for it.

thornrose Mon 29-Jul-13 23:07:45

OP could you not have picked up snacks and paid at self serve checkout then carried on shopping in peace knowing your dc was fed and happy?

I've never done this myself. I wouldn't dream of picking up food and eating whilst shopping so I wouldn't do the same for my dd.

My dd has Aspergers and has always been a nightmare to shop with but I've never needed to feed her before paying at the checkout.

Ilovemyself Mon 29-Jul-13 23:08:37

Bowlersarm. The shopkeeper doesn't have to determine anything as you will,pay before you leave the shop. Those that suggest taking in food and eating that are far more of an issue as they have no proof they didn't take it from the shop and were never going to pay for it.

I think you are really making a mountain out of a molehill ( or are the the shopkeeper concerned lol)

primarymonkeyhanger Mon 29-Jul-13 23:08:57

I often see empty packets discarded around the supermarket and often wonder if they were dropped by 'grazers' I don't think everyone one has the intention to pay. So tbh I think the store security were in the right.

soverylucky Mon 29-Jul-13 23:09:35

The more I think about this the more I realise that my own problem with this isn't the potential to steal or commit fraud etc - for me I can't understand/appreciate my children asking for food in the shop and just being given it or them needing to eat whilst they went round the shop. It clearly isn't an issue for many but it just doesn't sit right with me. Sure my kids have asked for stuff but I don't let them. I don't like them walking round with food at home so it just doesn't seem right in the supermarket.

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 29-Jul-13 23:09:37

She is incorrect. Unless the item you gave your daughters price was related to how much it weighed. In which case, she is correct.

ilovesooty Mon 29-Jul-13 23:10:22

The shopkeeper doesn't have to determine anything as you will,pay before you leave the shop

Yes, but not everyone does. There is manpower and cost involved in monitoring it.

TarkaTheOtter Mon 29-Jul-13 23:10:38

It may not be theft but if the shop doesn't want you to do they have every right to ban it. It's not a basic human right to consume food you haven't paid for. Why should they allow it if it costs then money in losses/monitoring.

Caboodle Mon 29-Jul-13 23:10:46

Anyhow OP, YWNBU.....your DC had to eat. DC ate, you paid.

waterlego Mon 29-Jul-13 23:10:56

I've never done this. I think it's bad manners, personally. (Urgent medical need aside). My DCs have managed to get though hundreds of supermarket trips without having to eat on the way round, or eating something from a Tupperware container which has fairly obviously been brought from home.

LadyBeagleEyes Mon 29-Jul-13 23:11:40

Everybody does it and it has produced many a contentious thread on here.
Some people think it's akin to mugging an OAP, the supermarkets don't care or there would be signs all over the place and they'd have to double security.
The assistant that watched you sounds like a total jobsworth.
As long as it's paid for at the till it's all fine.
Actually the most fighty thread I've ever been on involved eating good before paying, with multi deletions and some very angry people.
I look forward to how this one will go grin

GreatSoprendo Mon 29-Jul-13 23:11:56

Last week I saw a woman with a screaming baby literally sprint into the baby aisle in Tesco, grab a pack of dummies, rip them open and give one straight to her LO.....!

EarthtoMajorTom Mon 29-Jul-13 23:15:04

Diabetes aside, why do so many children have food while in supermarkets now? Nobody did this when I was a kid. I don't see why kids can't learn to deal with boring stuff when they're kids. It prepares you for boredom when an adult!

daddoinghisbest Mon 29-Jul-13 23:16:08

Is the fact that it's a supermarket a factor? If you owned a small farm shop or grocer's, would you be happy to see people eating your stock? Would you not worry that the food would not be paid for? And without being too much of a dinosaur, why teach children to see a shopping trip as a mealtime?

Ilovemyself Mon 29-Jul-13 23:16:19

Waterlego. Why is it obvious the contents of your Tupperware container was brought from home? It could be that you took the contents from packed products ( not you personally of course)

EarthtoMajorTom Mon 29-Jul-13 23:17:32

Or they can just chew on their amber teething necklaces...

ddubsgirl Mon 29-Jul-13 23:17:45

Sadly it happens all the time sad we see it and we can't say anything often packets found stuffed on shelves etc where people have scoffed the food and don't bother to pay and no it's not budgeted for sad on counters theft goes against our budget and we can't account for theft sad which means we have our hours cut sad

Ilovemyself Mon 29-Jul-13 23:17:56

I wonder how many saying this is wrong will also complain about screaming children when shopping lol

possum18 Mon 29-Jul-13 23:18:23

I work as a manager in a supermarket and our company rules are that it is not allowed. Having said that, I see it happen all the time and have never and would never say anything to anyone doing it with a child.
Occasionally I've given the odd adult a funny look tucking into a packet of crisps, but as long as the empty packet goes through the till its no harm done!!!

waterlego Mon 29-Jul-13 23:19:10

Well it could be, but I would think that shop staff would consider it less likely. That would involve a certain amount of subtle faffery just to steal items of low value. If a person is buying a trolley full of shopping, would they bother to surreptitiously dispense a packet of rice cakes into a Tupperware container?

thornrose Mon 29-Jul-13 23:19:29

So, is it acceptable for adults to munch food as they shop or just children?

waterlego Mon 29-Jul-13 23:19:35

(My previous post in answer to ILM

ilovesooty Mon 29-Jul-13 23:20:21

ddubgirl I doubt if many even consider the impact of theft and the monitoring of potential theft on the livelihoods of the staff.

Tuppenceinred Mon 29-Jul-13 23:21:17

"Everyone does this..." No - they don't. I've never done it and I think it's a relatively new development.

daddoinghisbest Mon 29-Jul-13 23:21:49

Ahh - screaming children! I'd rather see a child screaming through learning the meaning of no, than seeing the parent stuffing it's face with the shops stock. :-)

ilovesooty Mon 29-Jul-13 23:22:40

I suspect the "recently new development" has its roots in instant gratification.

Nanny0gg Mon 29-Jul-13 23:23:00

I think it's wrong, since you ask.

It's not yours till you've paid for it. (And I wonder how many people don't...)

Would you do it in a corner shop? Or is it ok because it's a faceless supermarket.

And I agree with EarthtoMajorTom. I didn't feed my children when shopping (30 years ago). They got something afterwards as a treat for good behaviour sometimes. If your DD has health issues, what would have happened if you ran out of snack in a non-food store? You should surely have back-up.

I've been thirsty when I've started shopping before, so I went and bought a drink (really easy with self-service tills now) and then continued to shop.

Don't do it.

popserinis Mon 29-Jul-13 23:24:33

Oh my word, it was a packet of crisps for a diabetic child! My child has no such illness yet when she was younger I would think nothing of handing the multipack for scanning with one missing. In my view, supermarkets get 7k of our hard earned wages per year and their tollerance of this is displayed by great customer service seen in most case. If you spent that amount of money on a holiday and were treated like that once a year, you wouldn't be too pleased. Perspective please people.

justanuthermanicmumsday Mon 29-Jul-13 23:24:44

i must be blind because I've never seen shoppers do this, but then I'm too busy reading ingredient lists on packs. i don't think its right since its not paid for. Bt that assistant was stupid in watching, why didnt she say "can i quickly run that through the till for you then you can carry on shopping". Or "can you please pay for the item before consuming it please" at which point she would have heard your explanation. There was no need for her to get security i suspect she was too scared to approach you that's why she waited just before you left and got security as back up lool

since you say you never do it and it was an emergency i don't think you're unreasonable, but it is reasonable that they question whether you paid for it, try and see it from their point of view. but unreasonable that they question you in public loudly why not take you aside. They could see you did a big shop so why would you not pay for one measly item, sadly common sense is lacking greatly in society.

usualsuspect Mon 29-Jul-13 23:25:05

I've been doing it for years.

Meh, as long as you pay for it , it's no biggie.

ddubsgirl Mon 29-Jul-13 23:25:17

Your right they don't sad I have said before at work we should have tills at counters and make people pay for their stuff ESP as its chickens etc often whole chicken is found on shelve or in the fridges etc as they change their mind and can't be bothered to bring it back so it's wasted and goes against us sad

Ilovemyself Mon 29-Jul-13 23:26:28

No problem with security checking but the approach used was wrong

AnnaFiveTowns Mon 29-Jul-13 23:26:55

It's not theft. It's neither illegal nor immoral.

Tweasels Mon 29-Jul-13 23:28:18

People eat whole chickens on the way round the supermarket?

I can hand on heart say neither myself or the children have done that grin

daddoinghisbest Mon 29-Jul-13 23:31:41

People eat whole chickens? I wonder if they fire up a microwave in general goods and pop in a bird from the poultry section. Maybe crack a bottle of vino collapso too?

ddubsgirl Mon 29-Jul-13 23:31:44

Not whole chicken lol but the drumsticks sausages etc they do! Even stood there in front of me and stuff it shock but we have a whole chickens come back after found on a shelf etc and gone cold so we have to waste them that's over £5 worth of stock add that up over a week it adds up sad empty packets found with item gone or half eaten chicken legs and its not paid for

5madthings Mon 29-Jul-13 23:32:12

I have done it and I sometimes do it with my kids, thge supermarkets don't care.

I was on the last thread about this with ladybeagle and mrsdevere was on it as well, there were deletions and it all got rather heated!

Meh its no big deal but some get their budget pants in a right wedgey about it.

usualsuspect Mon 29-Jul-13 23:32:26

I'd rather see a happy child with a bag of crisps than a screaming child and its po faced parent.

complexnumber Mon 29-Jul-13 23:32:33

"Everyone does this..." No - they don't. I've never done it and I think it's a relatively new development

I've been doing it for decades in 3 different continents

I don't do it. Enough people "aisle graze" and discard the wrapper in another aisle that a store detective would have to assume you were a baddy.

I have grabbed, paid, taken wailing child outside to eat, and come back to locate trolley five minutes later. Pain in the arse but so is sprinting to the loo when your preschooler suddenly wants a poo when you're the furthest away from the door angry

I agree that aside from the potential theft issue it is a more social lesson of waiting until you've paid and left the shop. Children aren't thick, by and large: they can learn rules about How Things Work in various places.

tittytittyhanghang Mon 29-Jul-13 23:33:21

meh, I do it, or actually ds does it. Its not theft till you leave the shop without paying.

Do lots of people eat food and not pay? I dont think ive ever seen empty food packets discarded in my tescos. But ive see the local junkies and general good for nowts come in and nonchalantly try and steal a 50 inch tv amongst other things (usually vodka). I think thats who the security guard also keeps an eye out for!

Jan49 Mon 29-Jul-13 23:34:23

I'm amazed to hear that people do this. I've never done it for myself or my dc. Very occasionally I've felt faint with hunger when about to do supermarket shopping and I've gone in and bought one item, gone outside and eaten it, and then returned to do the shopping. I've never eaten in a supermarket or let a child do that.

Most supermarkets have a till where you can pay quickly or customer services so you can deal with it quickly. OP, you could have let her dd eat some of the crisps whilst walking to a self service till or customer services and paid for the crisps. She'd have got the food just as quickly but you'd have paid as soon as possible too.

thornrose Mon 29-Jul-13 23:34:32

What are budget pants??

5madthings Mon 29-Jul-13 23:37:46

Judgey pants but autocorrect prefers budget pants and I bet some judgey pants are indeed wearing budget judgey pants! grin

daddoinghisbest Mon 29-Jul-13 23:37:56

Is it just food that's an issue? I must admit the other day I found myself busting for a shag, and I happened to be next to the durex display. Thankfully I resisted breaking open a pack and taking my partner up the aisle grin

Caboodle Mon 29-Jul-13 23:38:22

Reading this thread has reminded me about the many times DS2 (when much younger) would reach into the trolley and eat the loaf through the plastic wrapper....theft AND poor parenting.

fuckwittery Mon 29-Jul-13 23:39:10

^How can it not be theft until you leave the store? It's gone, you can't give it back if you find yourself unable to pay...

Intending to do something doesn't change what you've actually done - it's not about intent, but actions otherwise you couldn't be convicted of any crime that it would be possible to intend to do something else.^

Err, proving intent is an essential part of many criminal acts, including theft. You can't be convicted of theft unless an intent to permanent deprive is pronounced proved. Google mens rea.

thornrose Mon 29-Jul-13 23:39:11

Oh yes, I should've guessed it was the dreaded autocorrect, duh.

ZingWidge Mon 29-Jul-13 23:40:45


I never go to a corner shop.

it takes me 1-2 hours to get the shopping done, including the driving.
if I go straight after the school run that could be a 3 hour round trip on a Monday morning.

so if I forget the bloody rice cakes for my 15 month old DD I'm not going to let her scream.
she doesn't understand no.
or yes. or wait.

again, if what I do is against the law they should arrest me., but I won't punish her for my forgetfulness!

usualsuspect Mon 29-Jul-13 23:40:56

Lol at budget judgey pants

tabulahrasa Mon 29-Jul-13 23:41:17

How can it not be theft until you leave the shop when it's gone with no way of returning it.

Not leaving the shop is because until that point you can either pay for it or give it back and you haven't permanently deprived the owner of it...that doesn't work with food that has been eaten, it's already permanently gone and you haven't paid for it.

ZingWidge Mon 29-Jul-13 23:42:21

caboodle mine did that with plastic wrapped cucumbers. they weren't even organic sad

whois Mon 29-Jul-13 23:43:26

I actually think its wrong to do this. Most supermarkets have a kiosk now so you can easily pay for a snack item then carry on with your shooing. Not a major deal though.

ilovesooty Mon 29-Jul-13 23:43:26

If you discard the wrapper on your way round it certainly looks as though you have no intention of paying. The same applies if you eat loose fruit from display.

WestieMamma Mon 29-Jul-13 23:44:32

I used to work for Sainsbury's. They covered this as part of their shop-lifting awareness training for staff. They were pretty clear that it is not acceptable because very few people actually pay for what they've eaten. We taught to report all cases to security, although I don't think anyone ever bothered.

Caboodle Mon 29-Jul-13 23:44:43

grin ZingWidge

thornrose Mon 29-Jul-13 23:48:02

I just don't get it. My dd is 13 and I've shopped before school, after school and in many different scenarios over the years. I've never had to give her a packet of crisps, or any other food, to stop her from starving or screaming.

Viviennemary Mon 29-Jul-13 23:48:10

I think you should pay for food before eating it in a supermarket. I did not realise that many people think it's quite acceptable not to. What is the problem with paying for something first. Just because you run out of snacks doesn't mean you can eat a snack before you have paid for it.

tittytittyhanghang Mon 29-Jul-13 23:51:16

But until you leave the shop without paying for it, its still not theft. You may have permanently deprived the owner of it but no shop can take you to court for that especially if your intentions were to pay for it at checkouts.

tittytittyhanghang Mon 29-Jul-13 23:53:15

Id imagine its perhaps a loose company policy but certainly in my local Tesco it has never been displayed or enforced.

daddoinghisbest Tue 30-Jul-13 00:00:52

I'm more pissed off when I'm on a mission to get in and out of Sainsbury's ASAP only to find the self serve tills clogged up by people doing their monthly shop - often one handed as they chat on their phone at the same time. The supervisor says they're supposed to be basket only, but they don't want the Agro of enforcing it.

rainbowsparkles Tue 30-Jul-13 00:01:29

It's theft via consumption and you can be prosecuted for it though it costs alot to do that so most places don't bother. Most retailers don't bat an eyelid when parents give their child something going round a shop because 99% pay at the till, I suspect the employee has just under gone some training and was simply doing her job, security wouldn't have been doing theirs if they hadn't have told you to pay first next time. I don't think YWBU to do it tho your dc health comes first

bordellosboheme Tue 30-Jul-13 00:08:40

Yanbu I do it all the time.

LadyBeagleEyes Tue 30-Jul-13 00:09:29

You remember that too 5madthings grin
That was a humdinger of a thread.
The rage. The drama.
I even got deleted.
I'm looking forward to how this one goes, I'm off to bed so please don't let it kick off till tomorrow.

lottieandmia Tue 30-Jul-13 00:14:12

Ah, the infamous grape thread grin

Which shop was it OP? Well it's not theft because theft only occurs when you leave the shop and you didn't pay. I try to encourage my kids to wait until I've paid but your situation was totally reasonable imo and what you did was fine. I have certainly done this in Tescos and nobody bats an eyelid.

After all in a restaurant you don't pay until after you consumed the food...

chattychattyboomba Tue 30-Jul-13 00:15:49

If I didn't let my 2 year old munch away on something I chuck in the trolley i would never ever get any shopping done... And I have never, not even once been questioned about it. We shop at Asda, the co-op, stainsbury, whole foods, waitrose... Never ever had an issue. If they ever said anything I would probably say- you'll lose customers treating people with such suspicion! (In my head because I am a wimp and wouldn't actually go back because I would be scared they would remember me as the almost thief) lol

tittytittyhanghang Tue 30-Jul-13 00:20:22

I thought legally it could only be theft by consumption once you left the store. Until that point technically its only consumption. Consumption (before payment) may be against company policy and definitely not illegal but it can't be classed as theft until you leave the premises.

BuildMeUpButtercup Tue 30-Jul-13 00:23:45

I commented on this very topic on here under a previous user name and got shouted down! grin
Yes, you should pay before actually eating the stuff. How is it any different from setting up in the middle of aisle 4 with a hot rotisserie chicken in your chops while you sit on your fold up camping chair?! Why is one acceptable but the other isn't?!

ilovesooty Tue 30-Jul-13 00:24:14

If I didn't let my 2 year old munch away on something I chuck in the trolley i would never ever get any shopping done

So if it's necessary for your child to graze why can't you buy the item first?

BuildMeUpButtercup Tue 30-Jul-13 00:25:10

Oh my word, it was a packet of crisps for a diabetic child!

So why not take some food WITH you then?!

LackaDAISYcal Tue 30-Jul-13 00:25:21

As you know she has a medical condition, and she was hungry when you went into the shop, you should have quickly bought an item and paid for it and given it to your daughter before starting the full shop

How would this have helped? unless the shop assistant/security guard had witnessed this act of buying it before starting the full shop and if the Dd was grazing as the shop commenced, the OP would probably still have been subjected to the stop and search. Or should the OP have quickly bought something, gone out of the shop and waited for her DD to eat it before commencing the shop?

I suspect that the shop have maybe had recent issues with people not paying and are clamping down on it.

I do this myself with prepacked stuff and have never had an issue with it, apart from one cashier who wanted to get me a new packet of something as "this one is open and I think there are some missing" grin

chattychattyboomba Tue 30-Jul-13 00:25:42

Because it would mean queuing... With a 2 year old...twice...

ilovesooty Tue 30-Jul-13 00:27:33

Well if your child needs to graze and you can't cope with a minimal wait at a SS checkout why don't you take a snack with you?

LackaDAISYcal Tue 30-Jul-13 00:27:54

Buildmeup, the OP has explained that her DD had already eaten the snack that she usually has to hand, but needed something else, diabetes being an unpredictable kind of illness.

chattychattyboomba Tue 30-Jul-13 00:28:44

Meh... Because as I say... It's never ever been an issue...

LackaDAISYcal Tue 30-Jul-13 00:29:02

oops assuming diabetes, don't think op said what illness is!

BuildMeUpButtercup Tue 30-Jul-13 00:35:14

Buildmeup, the OP has explained that her DD had already eaten the snack that she usually has to hand, but needed something else, diabetes being an unpredictable kind of illness.

I appreciate it can be an unpredictable illness. If you're not taking enough food out with you though, surely that's something that needs looking at? What happens if you AREN'T in the middle of Tesco's or whatever and just out and about?! Would they become ill? Yes, most likely.
You wouldn't run the risk, would you if it was a serious outcome? So why run the risk if you are going near a supermarket?!
Or is it a case of I'm going to a supermarket so I don't need to take much, I can just eat as I go round there?!

MamaChubbyLegs Tue 30-Jul-13 00:36:11

YANBU. Your child is diabetic. That trumps manners.
What would they expect you to do if she had had a proper hypo. Expect you to queue at pharmacy so you can buy some bleeding hypostop (or whatever they call it these days)?

The staff were not BU to ask you, because I'm sure some people do just nick stuff, but they didn't handle it brilliantly, did they?

If you're still upset, maybe complain to the manager. I wouldn't bother tbh, but it might make you feel better?

ilovesooty Tue 30-Jul-13 00:37:05

Meh... Because as I say... It's never ever been an issue...

Oh. So it's the expected thing for the supermarket to accommodate your child grazing on demand then.

thornrose Tue 30-Jul-13 00:37:08

I think it says a lot about current eating habits that children (health issues aside of course) can't get through a weekly shop without being fed.

midori1999 Tue 30-Jul-13 00:38:04

It never even occurred to me not to do this, I do it most supermarket trips with my 2 year old. It would never cross my mind not to pay and the checkout assistant/staff always act like its the most normal thing ever, so i assumed the supermarkets didn't mind. It means I don't have to rush my shop with a screaming toddler, so spend more and sometimes the 'snack' is something I wouldn't have bought otherwise, so the supermarket profits from it too.

ilovesooty Tue 30-Jul-13 00:39:27

Or is it a case of I'm going to a supermarket so I don't need to take much, I can just eat as I go round there?

That seems to be the case for a number of posters, even those who don't necessarily have children with disabilities.

ilovesooty Tue 30-Jul-13 00:40:18

I agree with that, thornrose

ZingWidge Tue 30-Jul-13 00:41:18

ilovesooty why don't you take a snack with you what a clever and useful tip, thanks! that is a brand new suggestion!hmm

OP said she did, but her DD had eaten it and it wasn't enough.

for me - I tend to, but sometimes I forget in the morning rush trying to get to school on time.

there are such things as making mistakes or being forgetful or being disorganized, you know! or have you never been caught out and needed a quick -albeit imperfect- solution?
you might think you are perfect, but I'm not, nor do I strive to be.

shit happens and we all try to make the best of it. little kids being given a bite to eat is no big deal, if the parent pays for it.

(all this talking about food made me hungry. hamwidge time!grin)

Goooooooooooooooooooooood Tue 30-Jul-13 00:42:12

Oh dear you do need to be careful if your DD is diabetic. I guess it's extremely rare for you not to have sweets/glucose on you. sad

I think it is ok to occasionally give little DCs food when you are in super market but I would always give something like the end of a French loaf or a few strawberries from a punnet. Something where it was obvious I still had the product to pay for it IYSWIM. If you give a single pack of crisps then it would be easier to loose the empty packet.

If I was approached after paying I would have been apologetic and been very happy to show them my receipt. I don't think they did anything wrong.

I tried to never let my kids have anything but I know I did from time to time

<<not a perfect Mum>>

chattychattyboomba Tue 30-Jul-13 00:42:13

Why are you so incensed? It's all good. Chill... Here...biscuit
I promise I bought it already winkgrin

MamaChubbyLegs Tue 30-Jul-13 00:42:14

Buildmeup, I'm sure it will be something that the OP "looks at" from now on. hmm

Diabetes is not always predictable, can be a deteriorating illness, and can escalate fast. OP thought she was safe. She wasn't. Lesson learnt, I'd imagine.

ilovesooty Tue 30-Jul-13 00:42:31

Zingewidge I didn't mean the OP.

Goooooooooooooooooooooood Tue 30-Jul-13 00:43:36

It would have been easier just to buy the crisps in the basket only till and then go back and do the rest of the shopping.

LackaDAISYcal Tue 30-Jul-13 00:43:44

but why do people get their knickers in a such a twist about it? Some people do, some people don't. Those who chose not to graze don't affect the lives of those that do, those who do graze don't affect the the lives of those that don't...


chattychattyboomba Tue 30-Jul-13 00:45:06

Exactly Daisy... Tralalalalaaaa! Now let's all be friendsgrin

thornrose Tue 30-Jul-13 00:45:12

See I don't see anyone here being "incensed" I see a very adult, laid back debate on the subject. Some people however are being quite defensive.

ilovesooty Tue 30-Jul-13 00:46:27

As I said earlier I think it has its roots in instant gratification, so is a bigger issue than the grazing alone.

thornrose Tue 30-Jul-13 00:46:59

Almost every thread on Mumsnet involves those who do and those who don't. If we all agreed there would be no discussion surely?

ZingWidge Tue 30-Jul-13 00:47:06

thornrose current eating habits? pfft

I remember being given a little bite of freshly baked bread while in the shop, before my mum paid for it - it just smelt and tasted so good as it was still warm! (and I'm 38)
not once was she or anyone else doing exactly the same, including adults considered being a thief!

and this was is in communist Hungary where they did random searches as you left your factory or office to check that you are not stealing anything!

thornrose Tue 30-Jul-13 00:50:15

Ilovesooty, I also see the issue being greater than the rights and wrongs of eating before paying.

It's about food bring used to placate or entertain.

chattychattyboomba Tue 30-Jul-13 00:50:52

You are probably right ilovesooty- but that's down to what other people choose to do.
I am pretty happy with instantly gratifying my daughter when it comes to grazing as there are faaarrrr more tiring and stressful things to worry about. She's happy, very healthy, intelligent...still has all her teef wink
She is a typical toddler.
But I can see why you might think this could be a bigger issue for some people. In this case though I think the OP did nothing wrong.

thornrose Tue 30-Jul-13 00:51:47

Zing, that's a bit different from being fed whilst shopping because otherwise you would scream or misbehave though.

ilovesooty Tue 30-Jul-13 00:52:42

Thanks thornrose

I'm glad I'm not the only one. This need to placate and entertain is all too evident in other areas too. It manifests itself in schools as a regular occurrence for example.

Dizzydummy Tue 30-Jul-13 00:57:51

Before I had children then I would have been all snotty and judgey but now.....lord above, if it makes getting round and out quicker then as long as it's not alcohol then they can fill their boots grin

LackaDAISYcal Tue 30-Jul-13 00:59:56

thornrose, I see your point about the not being able to get through a weekly shop and sooty, your point about instant gratification, but sometimes things happen to delay life, yet the rest of life still has it's schedule ie picking older DC up from school, so the obvious option is to graze on the run?

We certainly don't make a habit of it, much though the DC would like it to be, but if needs must, then we will. That is what the OP appears to have done here and I think people are being defensive because they feel they are being accused of being thieves, when they have every intention of paying. I know I'm not a thief (well apart from the time I got back to the car with a screaming two week old DS and realised something had slipped underneath his car seat <which was actually in the trolley as I couldn't see over the special car seat adapted trolleys> and I hadn't paid for it and was in no fit state, with leaking boobs, sleep derivation and near emotional meltdown, to trawl back to the shop to pay for it) but would object if I felt I was being accused of being one.

ZingWidge Tue 30-Jul-13 01:02:00

thorn - to me that depends on the child's age (talking about healthy children here).

I would not feed a school aged child in a shop. they would have to wait.

but yes, I will absolutely shove something in my 3-yearold's mouth coz I can't bear the whining. he's hungry, I'm stressed - no point prolonging the misery.

and yes, my example might be different to you, but we were always pestering mum too....

ZingWidge Tue 30-Jul-13 01:02:48


ilovesooty Tue 30-Jul-13 01:04:18

Oh yes, I can see that the OP acted in an emergency. I can see what you're saying too DAISY

I'm more concerned about the idea that this form of placating is acceptable as routine. You can see the results of it as children grow older and the ones who go to school and expect their needs to be met now

thornrose Tue 30-Jul-13 01:08:41

This is the most civilised thread on this topic I've ever seen, I usually steer well clear grin

ShellyBoobs Tue 30-Jul-13 01:09:43

I'm still chuckling to myself about the indignation of those saying they'd demand an apology from the manager, etc, etc.

And the one who said 'name and shame' grin

Name and shame a shop because they asked for proof that an item which had been consumed had actually been paid for? Only shame shame to be had here is by people who think it's ok to take and consume whatever they like without paying for it first.

On a side note, I'm pretty sure it's why there are so many massively fat children around - parents who indulge their every whim for food.

Instant gratification and the easy option to keep them quiet, at the expense of their health.

justanuthermanicmumsday Tue 30-Jul-13 01:11:51

You know who is to blame the supermarkets. Introduce a stringent law and solved the majority of the shoppers won't want to be done for theft or a small fine.

It's true when I was around 14 i never heard of ppl eating in supermarkets without paying. This takes self service to a whole new level, its self service buffet lol then again i never saw teens coming into the supermarket with pjs and slippers on..yes I saw it twice. Suffice to say i dont go to thar supermarket anymore . Security should have stopped them on dress code. "Sorry ladies you need day clothes to enter anything casual will do."

before i get attacked i do sympathise with parents especially those with special needs, but adults no way there's no justification!

thornrose Tue 30-Jul-13 01:13:32

I was genuinely surprised when I had my dd that people offered her food to "shut her up". They dressed it up but that was basically what was happening.

ddubsgirl Tue 30-Jul-13 01:16:00

Checkout staff may act as tho its normal to see half eaten packs of stuff but trust me you lot are spoken about wink and moaned about! You may it doesn't effect anyone but it does long term sales go down which means hours are cut for those working day & night and its you the buyer that then moans when not enough checkouts are open and have to queue for ages because workers have been sent home

LackaDAISYcal Tue 30-Jul-13 01:18:35

so far, thornrose, so far...

there's time yet grin

My DS2 is made to wait on a daily basis, yet at almost five has still not learnt this and constantly demands instant gratification <weary sigh>. He is probably a PITA at school blush

thornrose Tue 30-Jul-13 01:21:27

Yes but you try DAISY that's the major difference.

LackaDAISYcal Tue 30-Jul-13 01:22:36

The right thing to do is go to the deli counter and graze freely on the samples surely? One of our local supermarkets used to do little bacon and sausage butties on a Saturday morning, then with all the cheese etc on sticks, the kids didn't need lunch by the time DH had done the shopping grin

Nanny0gg Tue 30-Jul-13 01:26:14

*there are such things as making mistakes or being forgetful or being disorganized, you know! or have you never been caught out and needed a quick -albeit imperfect- solution?
you might think you are perfect, but I'm not, nor do I strive to be.*

Most on this thread that think the practice of eating before paying is ok aren't forgetful or disorganised, they think it's ok, so they don't bother taking anything, or go to pay first. They just take and eat and (hopefully) pay later.

tittytittyhanghang Tue 30-Jul-13 01:31:17

Ddubsgirl can you explain/breakdown to me how eating something and then paying for it directly causes long term sales to go down. Im not seeing the connection?

ddubsgirl Tue 30-Jul-13 01:48:14

Not so bad if you pay for it but many don't sad this is often found when rumbling stock and finding empty packets even found empty pregnancy test box sad people see others 'grazing' so think its ok to do it too as a medical reason fair enough but many do it just because they can and we can't say anything to them

northlight Tue 30-Jul-13 01:56:09

I don't do this but I think so long as you do not have the intent to 'permanently deprive' the business of their goods or revenue then it's not theft. Surely this is why the security people have to wait for you to leave, or be on the point of leaving, the premises before approaching you.

tittytittyhanghang Tue 30-Jul-13 01:57:30

But if you don't pay for it then that is theft. Its not the eating thats the problem, its the not paying for it part. So its a bit misleading to say that grazing causes any problems, as it doesn't, its the not paying (thereby stealing) act that causes problems.

So by saying not so bad if you pay for it, what you actually mean? That even by paying for it, there is still some negative effect on long term sales but its not as bad?

ddubsgirl Tue 30-Jul-13 02:04:40

Most places your not to eat the goods but can't class it as theft unless you walk out without paying but it's the knock on effect it has others see you doing it so they do too and then don't bother to pay chances of getting caught isn't very high esp on a busy day and the waste that's found from half eaten items left laying about

ZingWidge Tue 30-Jul-13 02:19:05

please please can we agree that there's a huge difference between a small child munching on something or an adult scoffing down pre-cooked chicken drumsticks and washing it down with a can of cola?

a lot of posters seem to be posting about adult behaviour - which is fine - but the OP was about a small(-ish) child.
just not the same

poppingin1 Tue 30-Jul-13 02:36:15

This happened to me just last week.

DD saw me pick up a few sachets of that puréed fruit stuff and wanted it immediately. I wasn't expecting her to be hungry as we had just had dinner but that's children for you.

She started crying and was obviously still hungry so I gave one to her. She finished it in no time and wanted another so I gave her that one too. She finished both by the time we got to the tills and I did see some staff members watching me but if they stopped me I was prepared to explain and pay immediately. However despite looking at what I was doing, no fuss was made.

It is not the first time I have done this and it will not be the last. Sometimes it is just easier for everyone including the other shoppers to avoid a meltdown when your kid is hungry, impatient and surrounded by food.

And yes, I paid in full.

I agree with Zing that there is definitely a big difference between a small child having a little snack and an adult doing the same thing.

tittytittyhanghang Tue 30-Jul-13 02:41:09

Pffft, please, people eating food and not paying for it (stealing) is not a knock on effect from seeing other people eating food and then paying for it. Thats like saying the junkie who put a 50 inch tv in his trolley and then tried to walk out the store without paying for it is a knock on effect from everyone else who put the 50 inch tv in their trolley before paying for it at the counter. People steal because they are dishonest thieving shits who don't give a fuck about what anyone else does other than themselves.

And how do you know the waste on the floor is unpaid for?

Actually i find it hard to believe there are hordes of people eating food and not paying for it, and only a tiny minority are actually honest and paying for it. Im more inclined to believe its the other way round. And quite frankly the actions of the honest have no bearings on those of the dishonest.

poppingin1 Tue 30-Jul-13 02:42:06

And, large supermarket chains massively inflate the price of goods and rip off the public all the time as well as driving the small business out of the high street and paying their employees a pittance for the work they do.

Do I feel bad if people indulge in a little petty theft of grapes and children's snacks? Hardly.

MidniteScribbler Tue 30-Jul-13 02:54:47

I agree with ilovesooty, I think it's sad that people find it necessary to continually shove food in their or their children's mouths. To me, it's like the people who can't make it through a theatre performance without crinkly chip packets.

You don't need to feed your children all the time. Take a toy with you, or get them involved with the task you are doing, it's a great learning opportunity for them.

WorrySighWorrySigh Tue 30-Jul-13 02:59:50

I think some people do see the 'help yourself' food as an open invitation to take a few of the choicer bits for themselves. I recently saw a man stick his fingers in a bowl of anchovies and help himself to a handful.

poppingin1 Tue 30-Jul-13 03:27:05

Worry that is why I never buy from those 'help yourself' stands. Yuck!

poppingin1 Tue 30-Jul-13 03:39:37

Just to clarify, my DD hardly eats and at 20 months will breastfeed all day in favour of food if I let her. In fact, she cries during dinners and asks to be breastfed instead.

I was actually very grateful that my DD wanted the fruit sachets because of this reason and it is half the reason I was quick to give them to her, in case she changed her mind and decided she wanted breast milk instead.

And funnily enough I have been spending the last few months reducing the amount of meat my family eats in favour of more fruit and veg as I find societies culture in regards to meat consumption (and general food consumption) alarmingly glutinous. But yes, I will continue to allow my daughter to 'graze' as long as I pay for the item.

I don't think giving children snacks in the supermarket is indicative of larger societal problems, I think there is a lot more going on in society than that.

I find the generalisation made by Sooty a little insulting but I suppose I am just being sensitive.

Thyeternalsummer Tue 30-Jul-13 04:18:09

Another one who's done this while pregnant. Usually a carton of OJ (or something else high in sugars) from a multi-pack. And I can understand anyone doing this for a child, as they are far less able to regulate their behaviour when having a dip in blood sugar. Wouldn't normally do this though - if very hungry would wait until I get back to the car to scarf down some food, or visit the in-store café.
Definitely would not do this abroad. Supermarkets in the rest of Europe don't tend to have the same level of customer service as here in the UK. Shopping in swiss supermarket Migros always felt like shopping in Lidl etc (minimal service), despite the very exorbitant prices.

aside from the issue of whether it is theft or not I just feel it is very uncivilised the way children seem to spend all day eating. mine have breakfast, lunch and supper and occasionally tea. just like I do, and did as a child.
we don't have snacks for the supermarket, for the train, bus, walk, etc etc. I find it bizarre.

<disclaimer- no idea how to manage diabetes but I'd have thought more regular mealtimes and it could be planned for>

Mouthfulofquiz Tue 30-Jul-13 05:59:23

Personally I don't do this - something about it seems very strange to me!!

cantsleep Tue 30-Jul-13 06:39:05

It was morissons.

It was just so busy, people at every till so would have taken 5+ mins to pay and dd needed it straight away.

I've never done it before, I make dcs wait till we have paid but on this occasion as I'd used up all my snacks I didn't see any other option.
I just didn't like the way they pounced as I was leaving and spoke to me in such an accusing tone.

cantsleep Tue 30-Jul-13 06:44:05

We do keep to regular mealtimes etc for dd and try to keep her blood sugar stable but she is only little and had walked a little bit from car to shop, then had a tantrum so I think that had made it drop a bit.

I was just anxious to avoid it dropping further and becoming a hypo so grabbed some food and gave it to her before rushing round to get what we needed with her and other dcs then rushing home in time for dinner.

It is a difficult juggling act currently getting balance right sad

MrsKeithRichards Tue 30-Jul-13 06:47:43

People have a problem with this?


imademarion Tue 30-Jul-13 07:14:19

please please can we agree that there's a huge difference between a small child munching on something or an adult scoffing down pre-cooked chicken drumsticks and washing it down with a can of cola?

No, the overweight, entitled adult scarfing chicken in the aisle with no sense of delayed gratification, a skewed view of food as a placebo, an antisocial need to eat in odd places for emotional and disorganised reasons? That's the grown-up result of this odd practice.

I've only seen this in Britain and America. Never in Europe or Africa and rarely in the Middle East (and that was UK expats).

I think it's thoroughly unnecessary. Nobody in the UK will starve if they are deprived of 'snacks' during an average supermarket shop. Why not use online if your children are prone to screaming until you give them crisps off a supermarket shelf?

Medical issues presumably require more stringent planning and organisation? Surely if you get caught out so dangerously, you'd be grateful to a supermarket for letting you feed your child in an emergency, not threatening staff who are doing their job.

Do we see a correlation between childhood obesity and constant snacking?

Does nobody take toys or their own food to the supermarket to entertain children any more?

[crinolined humourless Victorian parent emoticon]

cantsleep Tue 30-Jul-13 07:22:08

Sorry I probably should have clarified earlier (I am probably guilty of drip feeding now).

Dd has had a few days of 'running low' and has gone through more snacks than usual despite us lowering her insulin slightly. She had had all the snacks I had on me and had none left at home so went to get more.

I still had her 'hypo kit' on me- glucose tablets, juice etc but her blood sugar wasn't that low it was heading that way though and when she started saying she was hungry it was just a case of eat something quickly so we could get round the shop and home asap.
Other dcs waited till their crisps had been paid for. They moaned but they were just hungry and could wait the few mins till we paid, which they did.

Midlifecrisisarefun Tue 30-Jul-13 07:38:08

I am always hmm at snacking in a supermarket. There are two points to the thread.
1. snacking on goods not yet paid for in general
2. Managing a diabetic child.

1. Children won't starve if they have to wait. Feeding them there and then teaches instant gratification. Give them something to eat before leaving to go shopping and if they create remove them from the shop!
2. Regular snacks are particularly important for a diabetic child. You should have bought the snacks, fed the child outside, happy main shopping!

disclaimer: DD was type 1 diabetic!

OverTheFieldsAndFarAway Tue 30-Jul-13 07:43:14

It's called " theft by consumption" , you proved you actually paid, it was embarrassing to be stopped and you probably will not do it again. The store's staff were in the right though.

kezLOU1977 Tue 30-Jul-13 07:48:39

I used to do that all the time and never had any issues with the store staff. My ex husband didn't like me doing it though as he thought it was wrong and walked around worrying that I would get arrested for giving our screaming toddler a snack before paying for it but then this was the man who wouldn't even walk around sainsburys with me while I breast fed our newborn baby lol. Strange man, hence why we are no longer together ;)

cantsleep Tue 30-Jul-13 07:50:25

I just panic, she 'drops' so quickly that I wanted her to eat there and then (blood sugar was 4.2). It is a relatively new diagnosis so I'm still getting to grips with it.

In future I will make sure my bag is better stocked with snacks !

MrButtercat Tue 30-Jul-13 07:58:08

I did this a lot with my 3 (3 under 18 months) as it helped me actually do shopping.I was happy to bring stuff in but was worried re being had up for shop lifting.Checked a few times re policy and without exception was told they'd rather I bought store suff and there was zero problem re dc eating packet stuff(not weighed fruit) before payment.

At our lovely Sainsbos they used to laugh,scan and hand back- which is why I spent huge amounts of money there.

My dd has blood sugar issues too.

MrButtercat Tue 30-Jul-13 08:03:08

I found re shopping with babies/ toddlers I often ran over into lunch time or they got bored. Getting through a rare treat of Organix carrot sticks kept them quiet for aaaaages. Store happy(as I spent more), babies happy and mummy happy.

Obviously now they're older I don't as they do half the shopping if with me.

Op change shop.

2rebecca Tue 30-Jul-13 08:05:06

You walked around pushing a trolley whilst breastfeeding kezLOU1977? That sounds too much like hard work. I always fed sitting down, if my husband was with me I'd have just sent him round the supermarket whilst I fed if the baby couldn't wait until the shopping was finished. I've never seen anyone wandering around with a baby on their boob, but don't tend to pay other people much attention in supermarkets so maybe I've just missed this happening.

pudcat Tue 30-Jul-13 08:05:32

The shop assistant should have kept watching you intently as you went through the checkout, and she would have seen you pay for it.

comingintomyown Tue 30-Jul-13 08:23:46

Any medical issues then fair enough but otherwise agree people should wait until they leave to start eating.

Actually I doubt all customers do end up paying for all their grazing and just rely on the fact they're " a busy Mum" as a get out clause if they do get challenged ie an innocent mistake

Edendance Tue 30-Jul-13 08:55:26

I've seen people do this a few times but I've never felt comfortable to do it myself tbh. You could have bought the snack for her and she could have eaten it before you went around to buy all the shopping.

Saying that, I don't think the shop were unreasonable. The shop assistants and security are paid to make sure everyone pays for everything, they checked you had, you had, so end of. I think they were reasonable- not sure what the problem is tbh.

cantsleep Tue 30-Jul-13 09:00:47

The queues were too long to pay for it before she ate it, if I'd done that she probably would have had a hypo.

Just been one of those weeks where she has eaten all her snacks but I think I've learnt I need a bigger stock of them now.
I understand the staff wanted to check but like another poster said they could have watched at the till to see me pay for it and I did find their tone quite accusing but maybe that was me just feeling stressed and aware that a few people were watching and listening whilst I tried to explain.

I usually do my shopping online and it has just cemented my views as to to why its so much easier than taking dcs food shopping!

usualsuspect Tue 30-Jul-13 09:06:25

Why is it always 'stuffing food'

I've seen children eating crisps etc I've never seen anyone stuffing them into their children's mouths.

Rufus43 Tue 30-Jul-13 09:06:31

I did this on occasion, not on a regular basis, but enough. This was in tescos and I never had a problem. This was probably well over 8 years ago though so maybe some shops policies have changed drastically.

As long as its not a habit, ie every shopping trip then I can't see why it would be an issue for your children to have a snack on the rare occasion you have forgotten to bring one, or you have misjudged the timing of your trip or on the odd occasion when you can't calm them down

My children are well behaved, do what they are told and are used to the word no, but as I am human the odd variation from the norm happens

arethereanyleftatall Tue 30-Jul-13 09:18:53

"It's bad manners to do this"
How? Surely, the opposite is true. It keeps your children quiet and entertained and out of everyone's way.

"It's theft"
How? Surely, it's only theft if you don't pay. I pay every time, check I have my purse every time. If people do steal it, that's a different thread. We're not talking about that on this one.

"It affect the stores turnover negatively"
How? Again, the opposite is true. I spend more because I can browse in peace and fill my trolley.

"You should go to customer services first/pay twice"
Really? Is that in the stores interest? That takes up more staff.

"You should be able to control your children without resorting to food"
I can. Stop judging.

LadyBeagleEyes Tue 30-Jul-13 09:24:39

In the last contentious thread about this Usual, nobody ate.
They troughed, stuffed, scarfed and gobbled, insert word of your choice. grin
It's 'cos they're common innit.

ZingWidge Tue 30-Jul-13 09:34:20

Lady did they also wolf down and gorge?grin

usualsuspect Tue 30-Jul-13 09:42:53

There's been scoffing,stuffing and scarfing already on this thread.

usualsuspect Tue 30-Jul-13 09:44:23

Oh and shoving food in.

ilovesooty Tue 30-Jul-13 09:44:36

The verb used isn't relevant and I see no assumptions about people being 'common'

Parents who breed the culture of instant gratification come from all backgrounds. I think it's interesting that some people are agreeing that the issue is one for concern and I suspect those who feel insulted are being defensive as they are aware that this is what is happening. In fact I'd go as far as saying we're into a second generation affected by the issue now: it's all too evident in many adults too as Midnite mentioned.

People take short cuts, opt for the easy way out, avoid situations requiring effort. are desperate to ensure that boredom can't arise.

And people wonder why schoolchildren get so quickly bored during the holidays and why people's attention spans and levels of patience are diminishing.

LadyBeagleEyes Tue 30-Jul-13 09:47:05

Oh FFS Ilovesooty, it's snacking in the supermarket and then paying for it, not the end if civilisation as we know it hmm.

MummytoMog Tue 30-Jul-13 09:49:11

I always pick up a tub of bakery stuff and feed it to the kids as I go round. I don't necessarily think it's the right thing to do, but it is the easiest and the checkout people never seem to mind. In fact they think it's hilarious. I'd be a bit embarassed if I was pulled up on it, but I would probably count it as a fair cop guv.

usualsuspect Tue 30-Jul-13 09:50:16

I'd take the easy way out every time.

MummytoMog Tue 30-Jul-13 09:50:38

Oops, I am the end of civilisation according to Ilovesooty.

Funny, when I got my first ereader in [stealthboast] 2005, people swore at me and told me I was KILLING books. Oh, lookie here, now everyone has a kindle.

HollyBerryBush Tue 30-Jul-13 09:51:19


Just my tuppence - I cant stand seeing people eat with their fingers, its so medieval. And yes I use a knife and fork at a BBQ too.

Mitzyme Tue 30-Jul-13 09:52:56

This really really annoys me. Why didnt the checkout person not accuse you of theft and ring for the manager to have you arrested ?
YANBU. My DGD thinks the supermarket is a buffet. Do I care, not a jot.
If you want my custom when I am spending hundreds of pounds shopping then I need peace and quiet to shop.
of course I pay for EVERYTHING she eats.
Put up signs if it's against policy and ensure every member of staff enforces it. But some staff member sneaking around the aisles watching a mum and then not even checking if she has paid but runs off to get security guard is ridiculous. Name and shame. Don't go back.
I am in a bad mood today.

usualsuspect Tue 30-Jul-13 09:54:38

Do you eat sandwiches with a knife and fork,Holly?

ilovesooty Tue 30-Jul-13 09:55:14

I know what it is, LBE

I'm expressing the opinion that a seemingly small thing which has apparently become socially acceptable is symptomatic of developments in the way wider society behaves and in how expectations are altering. I think that's a reasonable point of view which I'm entitled to express.

jacks365 Tue 30-Jul-13 10:01:19

My local supermarket has half eaten packets left on shelves so obviously lots of people graze and don't pay. Grazing is so common these days that more and more people think they can hide theft in the masses. We all pay for the thefts by higher prices because I don't believe for a second that supermarkets will tolerate lower profits. If it was much rarer to graze round the supermarkets then someone feeding a diabetic child to avoid a hypo would not cause as big an issue because the theft that does go hand in hand with the grazing wouldn't be as big an issue.

kezLOU1977 Tue 30-Jul-13 10:01:43

Haha I kid you not '2rebecca' I used to have my son in a sling which could be adjusted so I could breast fed securely and people wouldn't even notice (well unless they were taller than me and were stood close) I breast fed all 3 of my dc's like that when I was out and about, very easy and it meant we could be in and out super quick as my hubby hated shopping but I hadn't passed my driving test then so he had to take me.
Now of course kids are all at school and I can drive so I go on my own smile

Emilythornesbff Tue 30-Jul-13 10:03:32

I agree with mitzyme
Strictly speaking it's not "our food" until we've paid for it.
But supermarkets have created an almost inhuman shopping experience and sometimes that means a gingerbread man fairtrade banana needs eating before he's been paid for.
So long as it does get paid for then they can suck it up IMO.
One local supermarket has put up an anti aisle grazing sign. So i'm not taking my toddler there but will spend my £120 this week in waitrose instead. Or aldi. Hmm. Undecided.

HollyBerryBush Tue 30-Jul-13 10:04:52

I don't eat sandwiches grin finger foods are the province of small children and the inept

Mitzyme Tue 30-Jul-13 10:05:36

However, I should have said I will not do this when she is older and over ( hopefully ) the terrible two's.

cantsleep Tue 30-Jul-13 10:05:43

Man on the till just took the pack, scanned it and handed it back. Not a word!

As we turned to leave that's when the other staff member/security guard approached. She was almost smug when asked to see the receipt as if I had lied when I said I had paid for the snack.

Anyway, I won't be putting myself in that situation again, I've packed dds bag with snacks, extra snacks and a few more just in case!

Emilythornesbff Tue 30-Jul-13 10:07:00

Besides. The "aisle grazing" item for my DS is usually an extra. I wouldn't be buying it but for the purpose of surviving the shopping experience.

frogspoon Tue 30-Jul-13 10:07:08


As you know she has a medical condition, and she was hungry when you went into the shop, you should have quickly bought an item and paid for it and given it to your daughter before starting the full shop

How would this have helped? unless the shop assistant/security guard had witnessed this act of buying it before starting the full shop and if the Dd was grazing as the shop commenced, the OP would probably still have been subjected to the stop and search. Or should the OP have quickly bought something, gone out of the shop and waited for her DD to eat it before commencing the shop?

She could have shown the shop assistant/security guard the receipt for the food she had just purchased.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 30-Jul-13 10:07:23

Sock, is that your interpretation or is that actually the law? I ask because these threads come up quite a bit on MN and I'm sure we had a solicitor on once telling us is was theft

Its the actual law and how it was applied by both the police and the courts to the 3 years I spent as a prolific but strange shop lifter as a teenager. It is also the law as it always has been applied during the time I spent working for the youth offending team.

And before anybody jumps in and says but you can't work for the yot if you have a record,well you can if you don't have one because you have never actually committed a crime.

Emilythornesbff Tue 30-Jul-13 10:12:29

Also. If I had a bag full of shopping snacks available I wouldn't need to go shopping.
I am grocery shopping because we're out of groceries.

lougle Tue 30-Jul-13 10:14:03

Why couldn't you feed her the biscuits as you queued to pay for them?

ilovesooty Tue 30-Jul-13 10:16:10

I'm sure most people don't leave their shopping until they have absolutely nothing left in the house.

clucky80 Tue 30-Jul-13 10:18:23

As a type 1 diabetic on the verge of a hypo, a packet of crisps would do zilch for me in terms of raising my blood sugar. I would need something quick and sweet - ie a sugary drink, jelly baby sweets or even at a push a banana. I don't have type 1 diabetes anymore (long story) but still tend to go out with a bag of snacks just in case I start to feel low!
So if your DC was about to have a hypo and you needed to grab something fast acting to prevent it I would say YANBU and as long as you pay at the end I would say that is fine.
It's unbelievable how many times you see half eaten bars of chocolate etc around supermarkets though and at till points where people must have had a crafty nibble and then left the evidence so they didn't have to pay!

ZingWidge Tue 30-Jul-13 10:20:37



Capitola Tue 30-Jul-13 10:25:22

I can't bear to see parents shoving chunks of French bread at their kids in trolleys. It's just a bad habit, uneccesary and poor manners.

I think that most people should be able to get round a supermarket without eating.

In the case of the OP, I think she should have paid for the food item first - it wouldn't have taken a minute at the kiosk and as she has said, she's going to take more snacks with her in future to avoid this.

Emilythornesbff Tue 30-Jul-13 10:26:28

I don't care what most ppl do or how much food is in their cupboards before they go to buy more.

Anyway. I have chosen.
Waitrose wins today.
<gets ready to go shopping>

happygirl87 Tue 30-Jul-13 10:27:26

Re the query of theft (other lawyers please jump in and correct me if necessary) there was a case where someone swapped price labels in a shop to get the goods cheaper, and the court said that this was assumption of the rights of an owner, which amounted to appropriation as required for theft- so you not relevant that you have not left the shop. However to be guilty of theft you ahve to be dishonestly intending to deprive- and here you always intended to pay for the goods. Not dishonesty, not intent to deprive = no theft.

Morally/ettiquette wise? Based on the number of Mums who do it I would say it's offically the done thing now grin

Unrelatedly, my FIL who has type 1 carries a small (hotel size) pot of jam/honey- rub on the gums, the sugar passes rapidly through the membrane. And you're unlikely to just eat jam as a snack, so it's a really good emergency back up.

usualsuspect Tue 30-Jul-13 10:29:10

My kids often broke the end of the French bread to eat.

I've never shoved it in their mouths though.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 30-Jul-13 10:29:25

It's called " theft by consumption" , you proved you actually paid, it was embarrassing to be stopped and you probably will not do it again. The store's staff were in the right though

Only if your not in the uk. Or if the consumption has something to do with piss arsing around with utility meters.

ShowOfHands Tue 30-Jul-13 10:29:41

Of course it's shoving food in or scarfing or stuffing faces usual. Because they're being judgy. Same as people who 'wap a boob out in public' or 'dangle their breasts in a toddler's face' when we're criticising public or extended bfing. The language is deliberately used to denigrate. And it's tiresome.

I can't get excited about this I'm afraid. It's not theft. And yes of course you need the intention to permanently deprive for it to be a crime. Same as with a lot of areas of the law. You need intent. Otherwise, you could define all sorts of accidents as crimes.

It's fine to not like people grazing in supermarkets. But that's all it is. You don't like it. It's not necessarily indicative of a malaise in society or instant gratification (and interestingly, if you're advocating taking your own snacks with you instead, you're contradicting yourself. Either you approve of the snacking or not). There's bog all wrong with giving a child a snack when it's cross or tired or hungry and it's a snapshot of that day. Doesn't mean the child is immediately given food at every difficult juncture. And as far as food/drink to placate/entertain goes? Pshaw! How many people go out for dinner to celebrate or commiserate. How often do we recommend cake and chocolate to sad MNers? What about the wine proffered on here regularly to placate a miserable person? It's a snapshot, a decision at that time and making sweeping generalisations, huffing and puffing and riddling your posts with hyperbole to illustrate your point says everything about you and nothing about a 5 second snapshot of somebody's life.

By the way, I have never given my dc food I haven't paid for. Because oddly enough, I don't like it. No more, no less. I don't like dummies either. Or t-shirts with slogans. Or babies with v little hair having a pony tail on top of their heads. Or rap music. Do I think any of it shows the breakdown of society? No, I just mildly dislike some things.

Emilythornesbff Tue 30-Jul-13 10:29:52

True, it's not really the best manners. But I think in a supermarket situation it's not that bad.
A small baton will suffice for lunch for a large one, with nibble able crust at the end is going to keep a LO distracted hike in the trolly.
I'd be seriously impressed if he could eat an entire baguette before I get to the checkout.

My son just takes a bit out of everything on the shelf. I dont need to open anything and hes only stealing a small bute of each item.

Its a win win.

On a serious note. Its not a big issue yet people are trying to make it one.

Lets bring back hanging for those who 'aisle graze'


cantsleep Tue 30-Jul-13 10:32:04

Would have taken more than a minute to queue and pay as it was so busy.

We have found that if dd blood sugar is between 4.0-5.0 and she is heading for a hypo that if she eats something like crisps/biscuits/white bread with a carb value of 12-15g it brings her blood sugar up just enough. If she goes below 4.0 and has a hypo and has juice/glucose tablets etc we then have high blood sugar a couple of hours later.

As she is so young we want to try and keep her blood sugar as low as we can without her having too many hypos. It is difficult, lots of checking her levels but worth it as I'm so worried about long term effects.

NobodyPutsTomArcherInTheCorner Tue 30-Jul-13 10:34:21

I know people do it all the time. I know there are often reasons for it. Even dh has done it with a drink. But personally I don't like it at all and wouldn't do it. I think it's ill mannered ripping things open and handing over wrappers at the till.

I don't remember seeing it done when I was younger.

ShowOfHands Tue 30-Jul-13 10:35:18

happygirl, you're right. Theft is the dishonest appropriation of goods with the intention to permanently deprive. Swapping the labels over is dishonest appropriation, never intending to pay full price for the goods is the intention to permanently deprive.

You don't need to leave the shop necessarily though I think they would always wait and apprehend you as you leave to strengthen the case. If a known shoplifter took goods from the shelf and concealed them in a bag/jacket and then continued to wander, you can assume theft to have been committed. The appropriation has been dishonest (goods concealed about the person) and the intention can be assumed from past actions, coupled with current behaviour.

diddl Tue 30-Jul-13 10:36:29

I understand why you did it, OP-for health reasons.

But to me, it really smacks of bad manners/entitled children.

Just wait until you are out of the shop & teach your children to as well!

Mitzyme Tue 30-Jul-13 10:39:34

Very good points Show. ( hides the dummy )

diddl Tue 30-Jul-13 10:39:35

"I don't remember seeing it done when I was younger."

Same here.

Also don't remember people eating in the streets much either.

We had our meals & rarely anything in between-often only fruit-and we certainly had to ask.

But children today seem to demand & get unlimited access to the fridge/snacks.

Eyesunderarock Tue 30-Jul-13 10:41:18

If your DD needs food on a regular basis, then it's your responsibility to make sure you've got it available. You need to plan ahead, and when she's old enough, you need to teach her to plan ahead too or she may well end up in a life-threatening situation that could have been avoided.

usualsuspect Tue 30-Jul-13 10:43:05

People have been eating bags of chips in the street for as long as I can remember.

BonaDea Tue 30-Jul-13 10:43:53

I honestly can't believe there are people on this thread who think that eating something in a shop and then paying is not ok. Surely everyone does this? I do it all the time (for me, not DS!).

NobodyPutsTomArcherInTheCorner Tue 30-Jul-13 10:44:52

Yes the eating in the street I see amazes me. People seem to eat all the time rather than at just mealtimes nowconfused

My mother would have been most hmm if I'd just helped myself out of the fridge to between meals snacks. It never occured to me to do it.

The cinema too. A few sweets maybe but people go in armed with enough food for a siege.

usualsuspect Tue 30-Jul-13 10:44:57

And nicking sweets from woolies pic and mix was a regular occurrence in the olden days.

ilovesooty Tue 30-Jul-13 10:45:41

Agreed diddl

My memories are the same as yours.

Mitzyme Tue 30-Jul-13 10:46:28

Ha ha bad mannered / entitled 2yr old children. Heard it all now. In any case I never rip open , delicately separate, teaching DGD as I go.

jacks365 Tue 30-Jul-13 10:46:36

No bonadea we don't all do it. Plenty of people on here don't and can't sleep only did it in an emergency.

goldenlula Tue 30-Jul-13 10:48:11

It is not something I do, my children have always been told they have to wait until it goes through the till. Technically it is wrong, just because lots of people do it does not make it right and this shop obviously does not accept it. I can see why you did it in your situation, but I would hazard a guess that the shop has experienced finding lots of half eaten items dumped around the shop or empty packets where people have eaten and not paid for but have eaten, hence their strong response. I have a family member who quite openly admitted to sharing packets of sausage rolls and bottles of drinks while shopping and dumping the packets. There reasoning was that technically the items were not leaving the store as they had already gone!

Parmarella Tue 30-Jul-13 10:49:04

OP, your child's illness means you need to be better prepared really. I have the same problem with DS and always carry more than 1 snack ( I find oat cakes great, the nice Nairns ones cone in didferent flavours).

If it was a one-off, not a big deal, everybody makes mistakes.

People who always feed their kids supermarket foods in the aisles.... I think it is sloppy, bad manners and unnecessary pandering.

This whole culture of kids having to snack all day long just irritates me, for a child who does not have diabetes, surely going 30 minutes without a snack should be possible?

Apparently not.

diddl Tue 30-Jul-13 10:50:22

True about the chips!

Although what I also mean is wandering about eating.

If out & about, we used to find somewhere to sit, or take it back to the car.

Crinkle77 Tue 30-Jul-13 10:51:30

Sorry but i hate it. If you have a medical condition like diabetes and need to eat fair enough but if you or your children can't exercise restraint when going round the supermarket then there is something wrong. I am sure most people are honest and pay at the till but I bet there are loads more who don't and just shove the empty packet somewhere.

NobodyPutsTomArcherInTheCorner Tue 30-Jul-13 10:51:50

Well I often think we live in a world of instant gratification. Waiting for anything isn't seen as the default anymore.

BlueStones Tue 30-Jul-13 10:52:24

Think it depends on the nature of the health issue. Incidentally my diabetic sister always carries something sweet; crisps are not an effective food choice in that circumstance.

BlueStones Tue 30-Jul-13 10:57:02

Ah, just saw your recent post, OP. Fair enough, if you've found that crisps work for you!

cantsleep Tue 30-Jul-13 10:58:24

Sweet foods are only needed if blood sugar is below 4.0.

Dd was slightly higher than that so she needed a snack not pure sugar (which I had in the form of glucose tablets in her hypo kit). It was just carb based snacks we had run out of.

cantsleep Tue 30-Jul-13 11:00:31

X posted bluestones!

Damnautocorrect Tue 30-Jul-13 11:02:06

I always used to do it on the big shop straight from school, packet of frazzles to munch on the way round. Or a bit of French bread.
Haven't done it with ds yet as we always shop after eating but when he's at school I probably will.

ilovesooty Tue 30-Jul-13 11:06:28

So you intend to begin this practice once your son reaches school age, damn?

Its impossible for children to wait until they get home?

LadyBeagleEyes Tue 30-Jul-13 11:09:37

After the last thread and now this, I'm so tempted to buy one of the hot cooked deliciously smelling chickens next time I'm in a supermarket and merily scoff and slurp it all the way round with greasy fingers and juices running down my chin.
Yum wink

usualsuspect Tue 30-Jul-13 11:09:54

It's not impossible,but giving a child a packet of crisps out of a multi pack is hardly the crime of the century.

ilovesooty Tue 30-Jul-13 11:13:02

It might not be the crime of the century but it shouldn't be necessary in most cases either.

Mitzyme Tue 30-Jul-13 11:16:58

Be careful! Lady the cooked chickens are very hot, remember to open the bag, delicately, no ripping open etc, so offensive. Oh and remember your face and hand wipes they are a must.

littlemisswise Tue 30-Jul-13 11:17:01

I've never done it with mine. They are 18&16 now so I am not likely to start now. I don't understand why kids need to be given food all the time.

I can understand why the OP did it, though.

gotthemoononastick Tue 30-Jul-13 11:25:23

The filthy sticky trolleys I happened on last week end have now been explained.

arethereanyleftatall Tue 30-Jul-13 11:26:57

Agree with Beagle. This thread, with its judgypants people, has made me very excited for my next supermarket trip where I fully intend to gorge all the way round on all manner of juicy items, making the utmost effort to dribble. Give them something to moan about. I will of course pay at the till.

usualsuspect Tue 30-Jul-13 11:29:20

Don't forget to shove it into your mouth.

beautifulgirls Tue 30-Jul-13 11:32:13

Seriously you have to ask? Yes YABU. Buy the food she needs if urgent and then go back and do your shopping. Better still plan properly if your child has health issues that are so absolutely necessary to eat then and there. Personally I see no good reason with proper planning why anyone should be eating in the supermarket before they have paid for the items. Those with shouty kids who want the food NOW and scream and cry...well they demand because they know you will give in.

my first ever naice ham comment

The naice man at the deli counter in Sainsbury's always leaves some of the ham slices and puts them in a separate wrapper for DD, so that she can eat them as she goes around. They have already been weighed. Sometimes the really naice lady just gives her a slice of ham anyway. Of course it's ham carved off the bone - not that pre-formed stuff .....

usualsuspect Tue 30-Jul-13 11:47:49

Theres often samples of meat/cheese etc for customers to try on the deli counter in Asda.

I scoff these as I wander around.

Mitzyme Tue 30-Jul-13 11:58:58

YY Sainsburys gets my vote. Asda if I'm nearby.

ProudAS Tue 30-Jul-13 12:22:50

Why should the OP have to go through the stress of queuing twice in a busy supermarket just because her DD has diabetes and needed to eat quickly?

Shopping with a young child is a pain at the best of times but having to go in, find a snack, queue, pay, give child snack, wait for them to eat it, go through rigmorole of shopping, queing and paying again just because your child has a medical condition is a bit much.

The supermarket must make reasonable adjustments for diabetic customers and allowing them to eat urgently if they need to sounds reasonable to me so long as they pay for the snack.

Prozacbear Tue 30-Jul-13 12:31:55

I make DS wait, but then, he doesn't have diabetes, just a moderate case of greed.

If a child has diabetes, it's understandable. Not ideal, but then again OP has only done it the once, she's not merrily stuffing percy pigs down her child's throat every day, is she?

TBH the reason I wouldn't do it is because I'd forget to pay. DS has almost nicked things too, before I notice at the last minute (he's 2.5, not a klepto) - a wrapper would stand no chance.

zatyaballerina Tue 30-Jul-13 12:35:49

I've never heard of a supermarket having a problem with it before, I've done it a couple of times with dd because she was hungry and about to start tantruming, I'm sure most stores prefer parents to do that then let their kids split other customers eardrums open. As long as you pay for it at the till, there shouldn't be an issue and I'd complain with the management that one was made of it.

Damnautocorrect Tue 30-Jul-13 12:39:24

No he'll be having dinner when we get in, so it will ruin his appetite wink

I can't see the problem, surely eating them is preferable to the moany 'I'm hungry' whine all the way round, and the constant 'no' that I'll be saying to all the junk he's trying to put in because he's hungry.

diddl Tue 30-Jul-13 13:03:39

I do think it's also a sign of changing times.

When I was young, mum shopped at local shops.

Only a short walk away.

Milk was delivered.

So it was a quick trip, easily doable between meals.

Was never taken shopping after school-it was done whilst we were there.

By the time there was a local supermarket, sibling & I stayed home whilst the "big shop" was done!

MiaowTheCat Tue 30-Jul-13 13:06:10

I really don't personally like it and I don't do it with my kids. I don't want to get into ever using food as a pacifier, I hate this mentality of "oh just take tonnes of snacks to keep 'em busy" where toddlers are concerned and make sure I plan trips to the supermarket for after mealtimes (or go to Costa Coffee for a sarnie first!)

I don't want food to be a shut up or keeping busy tool, and I definitely don't want to open the floodgates on supermarket snacking because then it starts to become an expectation and fuels the whining for snacks all the way around.

Abra1d Tue 30-Jul-13 13:09:29

Don't understand why healthy toddlers cannot manage half an hour without being fed.

ZingWidge Tue 30-Jul-13 13:18:28

abra half an hour - no problems.

3 hour round trip including the school run and driving time - you tell my 15 month old to wait nicely!

why do you assume it's a half an hour shop?angry

arethereanyleftatall Tue 30-Jul-13 13:19:13

fgs Abra, they can.
But, there's no harm in it is there?

Peachyjustpeachy Tue 30-Jul-13 13:21:13

you gave a kid crisps to stop her diabetes? I'm sure there were plenty of other things in the Shop that you could have given her.

Gruntfuttock Tue 30-Jul-13 13:30:42

I have never done this, but going by this thread, I seem to be very much in the minority. I wonder if this only happens in the UK? Does any live outside the UK and do this and do those that do it in the UK also do it when they are abroad?

Gruntfuttock Tue 30-Jul-13 13:31:30

I meant does anyone live outside the UK etc.

Eyesunderarock Tue 30-Jul-13 13:34:29

Peachy, you don't know much about type 1 diabetes in children, I take it?
Sometimes a high carb snack is what's required to boost their sugar levels.
It's quite a complex and variable business, managing it on a daily or hourly basis.
And no, it doesn't 'stop the diabetes' I wish it was that simple.

PenguinBear Tue 30-Jul-13 13:39:49

Which supermarket did this happen at? I'll be avoiding them in the future as always do this for the dc!

WorraLiberty Tue 30-Jul-13 13:41:09

Putting the OP's DD's medical condition aside...

I just don't understand this attitude of feeding children to keep them 'quiet and occupied'.

Look how many posters talk about having a bad relationship with food...and how they've struggled to lose weight all their lives.

So why actively encourage children to boredom eat? confused

Let them bring a toy, or try to get them involved in the shopping (if you really have to bring them along).

But ffs stop feeding them when they don't need to eat.

cantsleep Tue 30-Jul-13 13:42:15

Through trial and error with various snacks we have found that a bag of ready salted crisps with approx 12g of carbs works well to avoid a hypo if dd is low.

We had tried things like wholemeal pittas/white pittas/crackers/biscuits but they made her blood sugar too high. Plain crisps seem to work well as a snack for her as do th goodies cereal bars.

Diabetes is very complex and we find that one day can vary a lot from the previous even if she has eaten the same foods. Its all a bit unpredictable at the moment as she is quite newly diagnosed.

candycoatedwaterdrops Tue 30-Jul-13 13:42:59

arethereanyleftatall Well, actually there is harm in the snacking culture and obesity problems we have.

ilovesooty Tue 30-Jul-13 13:43:35

Exactly, Prozacbear

I make DS wait, but then, he doesn't have diabetes, just a moderate case of greed

You don't pander to it. Evidently many people do though.

littlemisswise Tue 30-Jul-13 13:47:39

I totally agree with Worra's post at 13:41.

poppingin1 Tue 30-Jul-13 14:07:34

"Same here.

Also don't remember people eating in the streets much either.

We had our meals & rarely anything in between-often only fruit-and we certainly had to ask.

But children today seem to demand & get unlimited access to the fridge/snacks."

This is what annoys me.

To me these issues are not due to instant gratification but rather a massive shift in cultural norms.

Life runs at a faster pace now and many families find it hard to maintain the traditional set meal times because of this faster pace of life and longer working hours which give parents less and less time to be at home.

I certainly find it difficult to keep up at times and need to eat while I am out in order to keep up with the day. Many parents have to resort to snacks in a day to satiate their children's appetites because they have been at work all day and probably not been home yet to cook a meal.

When I was working and studying I ate all my meals out except my evening meal which would often be 2 min noodle packs after arriving home after 11pm knowing I have to be up at 7am again.

I don't think 'grazing' is simply greed or bad manners. Sometimes I am so rushed off my feet that I forget to plan the weekly shop and end up at the late night tesco's 'grazing' while I try to get the shopping done and me and my DD home before 10pm, while having not been home yet to eat my evening meal. I think a lot of families experience this now.

WorraLiberty Tue 30-Jul-13 14:11:22

poppingin1 But surely if you have a family, food shopping is a priority no matter how busy you get?

SueDoku Tue 30-Jul-13 14:15:18

Yes, there is harm in it arethere - as lots and lots of posters have pointed out, with the exception of medical reasons (as in the OP), teaching children that a) they can cope without being given sweets, crisps, fruit, biscuits etc immediately is good for the development of their ability to wait for something, and not demand everything now, this minute and b) that they eat at regular times, and don't just 'graze' all day.

The effects on society of the culture of instant gratification that has grown up over the last 30-40 years are obvious and have led to the growth of obesity as a major problem, as well as the 'me, me, me' attitude that is so obvious in some of the posts here sad

To say, 'Meh, I want to eat all the time so I'm going to' is lazy thinking, and shows no sign of that old-fashioned thing that we old gimmers were taught called 'self control'.....
<chunters off to moan in corner> hmm

tittytittyhanghang Tue 30-Jul-13 14:19:09

I remember people eating in the streets when i was younger, it was not unusual in the slightest. Where we stayed kids were always going about with crisps/sweeties/jam pieces.

Meh, im not obese nor have a bad relationship with food, my kids neither, i'll feed them when and how I please.

jacks365 Tue 30-Jul-13 14:22:21

Worra if we involve the dc in the shopping by talking about it to them we get accused of performance parenting grin

I wonder if there is a bit of an age thing here, when I was young supermarkets were few and far between so a trip was exciting in itself and that attitude has carried over to my shopping habits and I only use the supermarket when I have to otherwise I use the village shops, my supermarket shop tends to be cleaning products and frozen food don't think the dc would want to eat those.

eccentrica Tue 30-Jul-13 14:26:44

I've done this from time to time, if DD has been really hysterical and hungry. Mostly it's not necessary.

The posters who said this is a 'relatively new development' or 'a sign of changing times' - hardly. According to my mum, I used to eat bits of cheese, apples and raw mushrooms going round the supermarket when I was a baby. I'm not obese or overweight. Nor is my daughter or any of my family (except for my dad, who probably hasn't been inside a supermarket since the 1970s).

And in corner shops, the guys working there will often give my daughter a piece of fruit or a sweet to eat as a little present.

WorraLiberty Tue 30-Jul-13 14:28:18

Boredom eating can be a slippery slope.

I know my DC's would want to eat me out of house and home if they were bored. They constantly ask for snacks.

But if they take their bikes over the park for a few hours, magically they don't need to eat every 20 minutes.

poppingin1 Tue 30-Jul-13 14:28:27

Yes Worra it absolutely is, but that doesn't mean you will necessarily find it an easy task to accomplish.

Many people, especially working class people, barely have any time in the day to cook actual meals. Working long hours for little pay has impacted on family time that extends to the provision of adequate home cooked meals.

And nowadays with the death of the local high street, it is even harder to sort a family food shop if you don't have a car in order to travel to your nearest ghastly retail park.

I am actually having this problem right now. In order to get my weekly shop done, I have to cart my 2 year old on a bus or train to the retail park, do my weekly shop and then cart it all back home by hand on a bus or train again. Hardly easy! And because of the time involved when using public transport, by the time I get to the supermarket or I am ready to leave, she may well be hungry again.

So, keeping this in mind, if she does want to eat, if I take the time to buy her something and then exit the supermarket, find somewhere to sit (I have no car to sit in) and then take the time to let her eat before going back in to actually start shopping, how long would my actual weekly shop take? I would be there for hours! And these are hours that I just don't have. Not everyone can do this.

If you add time spent working or completing other domestic tasks to the list, getting the weekly food shop done can become very daunting.

midori1999 Tue 30-Jul-13 14:30:18

I don't see how giving a toddler snacks in the supermarket teaches them they can graze all day long or means they don't learn to wait for things. My oldest child is 17 and can certainly wait for things and wouldn't expect to snack in the supermarket. My youngest is 2 and as is the nature of toddlers, has less self control, so she is often given snacks in the supermarket. I suspect that when she's older she'll be just as able to wait as her brothers are now.

NobodyPutsTomArcherInTheCorner Tue 30-Jul-13 14:30:52

I'm right behind you in the shuffling Suegrin <good post>

I think we have to accept that the two viewpoints on this are poles apart though. Either you think it's important to reinforce in your dc the notion that there is a time and a place for food (ie not kicking up a fuss for it walking around the supermarket) or you don't. Clearly it's just not an issue for some, which is their choice absolutely, but not mine.

However I do believe the points about snacking, instant gratification and obesity/issues regarding food are valid ones.

BonaDea Tue 30-Jul-13 14:35:37

To those saying consuming something in a shop is somehow bad manners, I just don't understand this!

I agree that eating a meal such as a sandwich or chips while walking along is not very nice, but cant believe it is considered unacceptable to pick up a nice cold drink on the way into the supermarket and drink it on the way round, paying at the end!

For goodness sake, provided you pay for it, what's the issue?

WorraLiberty Tue 30-Jul-13 14:36:12

Food shopping for busy parents has never been easier since the birth of the internet.

midori, it teaches them that if they're bored they should have some food to 'occupy' them. If they're about to throw a tantrum they should have some food to 'calm down'. If they're sad they should have some food to cheer them up etc..

These are often habits that adults can't break in later years.

poppingin1 Tue 30-Jul-13 14:36:42

And there is no obesity in my family thanks.

In fact, as I said, it is nearly impossible to get my DD to eat to begin with.

Also, grazing may not happen in Africa (what a generalisation to make about a whole continent) but people constantly eat on the go and that is very much a cultural norm in many African countries.

Look up Ghana's chop bar's as an example, or the fact that people sell food to passengers in moving cars in may African countries.

This is again because of low wages for long hours of work meaning many people don't have time to make it home or even to the office for set meals in a day.

littlemisswise Tue 30-Jul-13 14:38:35

Sorry, I don't buy that it's hard to organise the weekly shop. I can't physically do mine on my own without dragging the kids and/or DH there so haven't done it in store for nigh on 9 years. I do mine online. I live in the arse end of nowhere, all major supermarkets deliver here.

poppingin1 Tue 30-Jul-13 14:39:08

Worra I tried this and was constantly getting food that would go off within two days, or even sometimes one day.

Plus not everyone is computer literate and it is frustrating when people assume that everyone knows how to use a computer or navigate the internet.

Shock, horror, some people don't even own a computer.

HappyMummyOfOne Tue 30-Jul-13 14:39:09

I never understand why people do it either. If you cant wait for food, then pop through self service or basket checkout and pay first and then do your other shopping at your leisure.

I wouldnt want to teach DS the lesson thats it ok to help yourself in the supermarket and pay at the end, what if the card system is down as it can be on occasions?

poppingin1 Tue 30-Jul-13 14:41:11

Online shopping is not for everyone.

tittytittyhanghang Tue 30-Jul-13 14:45:02

Online shopping sucks (for me). I enjoy walking round the supermarket and i grudge paying for delivery. Plus i like to browse the reduced section for bargains.

WorraLiberty Tue 30-Jul-13 14:49:47

Well I'm guessing the majority on MN know their way round the internet popping

poppingin1 Tue 30-Jul-13 14:52:07

Yes I'm sure Worra, but the comments up thread are not judging only memebers of MN. They are judging anyone who 'grazes'.

frissonpink Tue 30-Jul-13 14:54:25

What's this obsession British people have with eating all the bloody time!!

For goodness sake. It's what, an HOUR in the supermarket?

People with kids are seriously incapable of either:

a. Taking their own food in with them


b. Letting their children not eat for an hour

YABVVVVU. And I say this as an ex supermarket checkout girl.

Let me tell you - it's a hard job sitting on a till for 6 hours a day. Made much much worse by idiots like you handing disgusting saliva ridden packets etc to me for scanning. Just ewww

You are all being unreasonable, anyone who also thinks this is ok !

midori1999 Tue 30-Jul-13 14:56:16

Worra does it?! In the case of my children I feel it teaches them that if they're hungry in the supermarket and young enough to not be able to wait for food, they can have a snack. It's not always possible to time supermarket trips when they won't be hungry and as I see no problem with them eating a snack I intend to pay for in the supermarket, I don't overly worry about it.

Mitzyme Tue 30-Jul-13 14:56:32

I agree with Midori. Surely we are talking about toddlers here.

tittytittyhanghang Tue 30-Jul-13 14:57:32

Saliva ridden packets? Really? People actually drool over empty packets?

Although if I had to choose between a touching saliva ridden packet for a second or listening to a toddler whinge for an hour, I know which id pick :D

frissonpink Tue 30-Jul-13 14:59:00

grin Fine, but that's your child.

I don't want to have to choose thanks if I'm working on a till!

If you think your child is going to whinge all the way round, take your own food that you have actually paid for with you


Mitzyme Tue 30-Jul-13 15:06:00

What about all those adults stuffing their faces with hot chicken or was it just the children you didn't approve of.

tittytittyhanghang Tue 30-Jul-13 15:07:17

Well i wasn't specifically referring to my child, just in general.

FannyMcNally Tue 30-Jul-13 15:10:01

Lol at being pregnant as an excuse to eat from the shelves! What happens if you get the same cravings going round Next? Do you have a quick gnaw on a pair of leggings?grin

frissonpink Tue 30-Jul-13 15:11:10

Oh, it's even worse to see the adults doing it!

Just unreasonable whoever it is grin (but apparently I'm somewhat in the minority here for thinking this, so I'll go now!)

poppingin1 Tue 30-Jul-13 15:13:30

Only if they are made from Organic Cotton Fanny.

countrymummy13 Tue 30-Jul-13 15:17:22

That's terrible! I wouldn't go there again.

I do it all the time in Waitrose and its never, ever a problem.

Emilythornesbff Tue 30-Jul-13 15:19:01

Good grief.
What an astonishing level of hysterical disapproval about someone else's child eating food when not sitting at a dining table.
It's a wonder anyone's got the energy left for their own business.
Do it / don't droit. Find it useful / don't like the look of it.
Surly that's about as excited as anyone needs to become in either direction.

Mitzyme Tue 30-Jul-13 15:29:17

Quite right Emily but it has been fun. Right off to make a cuppa.

Emilythornesbff Tue 30-Jul-13 15:31:49

Well FFS don't be having a bloody biscuit with it mitzyme
Wait for supper. grin

Emilythornesbff Tue 30-Jul-13 15:33:19

Shit. My spelling on that was awful.

thornrose Tue 30-Jul-13 15:41:27

And as far as food/drink to placate/entertain goes? Pshaw! How many people go out for dinner to celebrate or commiserate.

Going out for dinner to celebrate is very different from eating/being given food to shut you up or stop you from being bored.

Comfort eating happens all the time, that doesn't make it a good thing.

Icelollycraving Tue 30-Jul-13 15:47:37

All is well in the world of mn,should have been grapes grin
Personally,I think it's within reason to check you had paid.

MissStrawberry Tue 30-Jul-13 15:50:07

You did what you had to do but maybe you need to have more than one snack in your bag so you don't have to feel crap when a security guard asks if you have paid for something.

When I was expecting I felt incredibly sick and was worried I would faint so I ate a packet of plain crisps and explained at the check out. Couldn't have been more annoyed with me and made me feel very small. Not sure why. I paid. I explained. Maybe I should have mentioned all the empty packets of things people had eaten and not paid for I had seen hmm.

emilyeggs Tue 30-Jul-13 15:50:12

I see this all the time in my local supermarket, it's not something I would do to keep my child quiet as he would soon learn bad behaviour pays. I see children eating the olives from the deli, sticking there fingers in! Yuk! What's wrong waiting. It's not yours until you pay, what would happen if your card didn't work, forgot your purse? That's only me though.

Mitzyme Tue 30-Jul-13 15:55:24

Oh no too late. I paid for it before I ate it tho honestly!

thornrose Tue 30-Jul-13 15:55:56

I love the fact that if you disagree with supermarket grazing you're accused of being hysterical and judgemental, frothing at the mouth etc.

People seem very defensive about it.

Mitzyme Tue 30-Jul-13 16:00:16

No Thornrose not defensive, just what Emily said.

sparklesandbling Tue 30-Jul-13 16:00:57

I have on occasion given DD a bag or gasp, two out of a multipack of crisps and then thrown bag in trolley. Same with cheese.

She has SN and cannot wait, does not understand concept of waiting and is sometimes so obsessive about certain foods (goes in cycles) that will have a meltdown if not given.

Never done it with food that needs to be weighed, do take own food most of time.

If people would like to correct me when out and about then they can do food shopping with her ;)

No internet shopping for me, hate it!

TheSunTheMoonTheTruth Tue 30-Jul-13 16:01:11

It's probably been said already. But why didnt the shop assistant approach you as you opened it, if you are 'not allowed'. I suspect the reason they said you were not allowed was to save face after basically accusing you of stealing and you proving otherwise. She probably thought 'yey! Got one!' And revelled in catching someone stealing crisps. Before finding out she hadn't. She probably felt quite stupid.

jamdonut Tue 30-Jul-13 16:02:00

I also think it was within reason for them to check. Its all very well saying that supermarkets budget for these things , but why should they have to?Until you have paid ,your shopping does not belong to you.

And children should not be encouraged to eat around the shop. If they create, that is your look out, not something to be pacified with food that isn't actually yours yet.
Yes, shopping is boring for children. So try and go at a time when either someone else can look after them, or , they are not starving and looking to eat.

I find it really hard to get my head around people thinking it is acceptable,even if it was ,in the OP's case "emergency" food for her diabetic child. How come it was necessary to go shopping when she was already tired and hungry?

thornrose Tue 30-Jul-13 16:03:55

The people who approve of it are just as vocal in their defence of it though confused

I don't see hysterical disapproval just a spirited debate on a boring, wet and windy afternoon.

WorraLiberty Tue 30-Jul-13 16:05:07

Lol at being pregnant as an excuse to eat from the shelves! What happens if you get the same cravings going round Next? Do you have a quick gnaw on a pair of leggings? grin

And THAT ^^ has to be quote of the week for me! grin

Mind you, I'd love to read an answer to it.

What do all the parents who use food as a comfort tool, do when their kids are kicking off in a clothes store?

WorraLiberty Tue 30-Jul-13 16:10:01

sparklesandbling, genuine that not likely to lead to morbid obesity? I mean her having SN and having to have these foods while shopping?

I know you said you hate internet shopping, but is it not in your DD's interests for you to do it?

sparklekitty Tue 30-Jul-13 16:10:04

My dad used to take my DBF and I shopping every sun. The bakery was half way round and he used to by us one of those big cookies then scan the empty paper bags at the end. That way we were good for the first part of the shop being bribes with a cookie and the second half we were eating it trying to be slower than the other which kept us quiet.

He never had a problem with it

From page 1 "technically it's stealing as it's goods consumed that you haven't paid for"

Well not really, it happens all the time in cafe/restaurants doesn't it ?

I did this rarely when DC were little. Wish it was more openly accepted then I'd have done it more, which might have helped.

I avoided shopping with the DC for years unless essential.

emilyeggs Tue 30-Jul-13 16:10:31

Not sure if it came across in my post, like I said, it's not something I would do but it certainly doesn't get me all wound up. Just wish the kids taking the olives wouldn't stick there fingers in wink

oscarwilde Tue 30-Jul-13 16:12:28

I think TheSunTheMoon has it. I wouldn't dwell on it, take your custom elsewhere or write to their customer service if you feel that strongly about it. I have seen people grazing and ditching the wrapper and doing stuff like adding extra strawberries to a punnet which is theft.

It's a difficult call for the supermarket - if they allow it, then how do they deal with people eating all over the store [HMRC would probably classify them as a restaurant and make them charge vat just to add to their woes] and the manpower required to spot grazers and check if they've paid doesn't bear thinking about.

I say this as someone who has broken open a bar of Green and Blacks just to get through the supermarket shopping while pregnant blush

sparklesandbling Tue 30-Jul-13 16:14:58

worraliberty no will not lead to obesity, she has 4 medications twice daily that help to suppress appetite, she also has problems with muscles in mouth which mean that mealtimes are tiring.

And she also doesn't understand when she is tired or hungry.

We watch what she eats and always give healthy choices when we can, she in fact needs to put weight on at the moment.

And no I will not entertain someone else picking my food up and me paying for delivery

sparklesandbling Tue 30-Jul-13 16:15:41

the suppressing appetite is a side effect btw not a wanted effect

Mitzyme Tue 30-Jul-13 16:16:46

Well TheSun, joking aside, that has been my issue with what happened to the OP. Harassed mum with DC, followed around shop, nothing said, no check at till BUT then approached with no less than a security guard.
Maximum embarrassment. Ridiculous.

cantsleep Tue 30-Jul-13 16:17:01

It was necessary to go shopping when dd was tired and hungry as, like I have explained already we had nearly run out of her snacks due to her having a difficult week where her blood sugar has been consistently low.

I had given her the last snack I had with me beforehand but her blood sugar dropped further hence her needing another snack.

WorraLiberty Tue 30-Jul-13 16:17:10

Ok sparkles, obviously you know what's best for your DD.

sparklesandbling Tue 30-Jul-13 16:18:15

thanks after 4 years of dealing with her medical conditions and sn I believe I do

WorraLiberty Tue 30-Jul-13 16:20:23

I wasn't being snotty btw

As I said, it really was a genuine question.

sparklesandbling Tue 30-Jul-13 16:22:01

I didn't take it as snotty, sorry if it came across that way smile

WorraLiberty Tue 30-Jul-13 16:24:04

No it didn't...but I thought I might have grin

I work for major retailer and its not ok. People sometimes forget and then get accused of theft when they leave the store. sad

Technically it is theft and I've known people to get a trespass notice.

I will confess to doing it occasionally though wink

b584 Tue 30-Jul-13 16:30:20

It's all well and good if you are 100% sure that when you get to the till with the packaging that you can pay for it, I work in a shop and yesterday I had a customer come to my till, ( I was the only one on the till) put through £70 worth of shopping including 2 eaten ice cream wrappers, when it came to paying she didn't have her card as apparently her dd had used it a few days before and hadn't given it back.

She said she only lived five minutes down the road and would be back, I could not serve anyone else so had to call for another colleage to work another till till she came back, guess what? she never came back,

Eating or drinking somthing in a shop or supermarket is not on unless you are 100% certain that you can and will pay for it,

poppingin1 Tue 30-Jul-13 16:35:49

Goodness, now I feel very guilty for these massive supermarket chains who are destroying small businesses and ripping us off at every turn.

Poor them!

Quite poppin - it's not as if the big stores are offering that much in the way of service to earn their £50 or £100 quid off you is it ?
A few crisps for a toddler and an empty crisp packet at the till doesn't seem much of a hardship really.

People do this all the time, I have done it myself on occasions. However, you would probably be shocked OP at the number of empty wrappers that we find every day on the aisles where people have eaten items/ allowed their DCs to eat items during their shopping trip and haven't taken the wrapper to the till to pay. I can understand why the assistant was wary, but she should have watched you pay, or said something when you first gave the food to your DD.

ProudAS Tue 30-Jul-13 16:56:43

Those of you who are criticising the OP should remember that her DD is diabetic and needed to eat desperately. If it was normal child whinging and whining it would be a different matter.

Disclaimer - i have not read the whole thread

Most stores have signs asking customers not to consume food or drinks in store
What would happen if your child/you dropped something and someone else slipped on it??
Would you be taken for compensation? No it would be the store
I have worked in retail for 10 years and never known a store not to have signs up

The store i work in now actively asks you to leave for the reasons above

It is not a good idea to eat or drink in shops
If your child needs food take them outside to eat before you shop

NobodyPutsTomArcherInTheCorner Tue 30-Jul-13 17:09:27

I must admit I do wonder if anyone'd mind if I opened my wine on the way round. That'd make the whole thing much more bearable.

Nobody Vodka would be more acceptable. I would sit in the aisle with a bottle just rocking gently while toddler says 'can i have' over and over

Gruntfuttock Tue 30-Jul-13 17:13:35

Does anyone who lives outside the UK do this and do those that do it in the UK also do it when they are in supermarkets abroad?

anklebitersmum Tue 30-Jul-13 17:17:24

I don't do it. The eldest biter gets sent with the right number of bananas to the till and gets a receipt if they're 'we're hungrying'.

Mind you, having said that I did turn round to find DD2 had eaten 2/3 of the insides of a loaf of warm bread whilst I thought she was just smelling it once. The staff in Morrisons thought it was highly amusing. blush

I do think they were out of order to have made a big issue of checking the receipt though. If they were watching you as you are clearly the Ronnie Biggs of our time then they'd have seen you hand it over to the cashier so why the 'big deal'?
Smacks of newly promoted jobsworth-she knew whether you'd paid or not when she asked you and if she didn't she should have been watching more closely.

In European supermarkets there are lots of samples even booze at X-mas and the deli counter practically insisted on feeding the biters as many strange meats as they could on each visit.

Poppy4453 Tue 30-Jul-13 17:22:37

I always fed mine when they were tots, now I only feed them if they are tired/difficult.

It's less stressful for everyone. Really you would rarther listen to toddlers melting down???

I can always pay for it and have never forgotten. It's fine.

Fishandjam Tue 30-Jul-13 17:24:22

I have to admit that I think supermarket grazing is not a good thing for all sorts of reasons. But if you're going to pay then I personally feel it's not a biggie (I don't do it, but then I don't do all sorts of things that other people do).

Not paying for it is definitely a biggie. Supermarket grazing isn't victimless. And we can sneer at how we don't feel sorry for the big supermarkets all we like - it's still theft. (A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it - section 1, Theft Act 1968, for anyone who's interested. And also section 2(2) - (2) A person’s appropriation of property belonging to another may be dishonest notwithstanding that he is willing to pay for the property.)

WorraLiberty Tue 30-Jul-13 17:27:16

I just wonder if in 20+yrs time, the kids will be wishing their parents did deal with their tantrums, rather than offer them food.

TheSmallClanger Tue 30-Jul-13 17:30:14

It can create mess and waste, which puts the store's overheads up and means the extra cost is passed on to the customer.

One of my best friends is a retail manager in a big supermarket and they are looking at ways of drastically reducing grazing. People think it is okay to rip into multipacks, "weigh" banana skins and expect the till staff to manhandle half-eaten food covered in child drool (I have seen this myself).

I never graze, and I have never allowed DD to either. And I have an endocrine problem which means that I sometimes need to eat quickly - I just pay first.

usualsuspect Tue 30-Jul-13 17:31:33

So supermarket scoffing is the end of civilisation as we know it and the cause of obesity now is it?

Only on MN.

usualsuspect Tue 30-Jul-13 17:32:42

I did it with my kids, they seem to have grown up without asbos and ED.

Canidae Tue 30-Jul-13 17:38:15

Supermarket worker here.

It is something that is mentioned in training and we are meant to alert the security guard to customers who do this but no one has time for that! When it comes to small children it is generally just accepted because if the kids are happy then the parent will stay longer and spend more.

Personally I don't care if your child has a packet of crisps as long as the packet is scanned it isn't a big deal. If it was a diabetic child then I would think nothing of it. In fact I have given an elderly lady a mars bar and a glass of water before as she needed it. We would rather that than have someone become ill.

But it drives me crazy when parents let the child drop food/rubbish on the floor and don't clean it up. We have no cleaner in our store and time spent cleaning means less time spent stocking shelves/serving on checkouts etc. Plus it is a trip hazard AND we would be marked down for it if a mystery customer was around.

While I'm here I might as well say everything! Please, please don't dump chilled/frozen items around the store. We have to throw it away and the waste is huge.

Thankyou for reading. Have a good day! grin

Usual how the fuck have they managed that?! grin

MN is hilarious at times

WorraLiberty Tue 30-Jul-13 17:46:33

It's good that your kids grew up without EDs usual

But it has to be said, many adults suppress their emotions with food...and they struggle to stop.

Handing a child food to stop them from tantrumming or getting bored, is suppressing their emotions.

Of course it's not guaranteed to lead to an ED, but I don't think it's wise.

ZingWidge Tue 30-Jul-13 17:47:47

SP & usual grin grin

it must have been the hamwidges they scoffed.

ZingWidge Tue 30-Jul-13 17:50:15

worra totally agree.
it is just that

and it also supresses my emotions so I'm not screaming with frustration in public...


usualsuspect Tue 30-Jul-13 17:52:36

Oh come on, my DD works in a supermarket can you imagine listening to all those screaming kids all day.

Give 'em the crisps she says. Shut them.up.

specialsubject Tue 30-Jul-13 17:55:29

while recognising the 'storm in a teacup' issue, and that occasionally people cock up and don't have food handy for the kid, not impressed with the idea that it is ok to steal from big corporations because they are big corporations.

BonaDea Tue 30-Jul-13 18:03:05

Who is talking about stealing???

We're talking about eating food then paying when you get to the till. Obviously not paying is not on!

TheSmallClanger Tue 30-Jul-13 18:03:44

According to my friend, although it doesn't come out of the staff's wages, it does affect the bonuses they receive at the end of the year.

Canidae Tue 30-Jul-13 18:05:58

Stealing can affect the staff bonus but not eating and then paying for something.

usualsuspect Tue 30-Jul-13 18:07:47

Eating something then paying for it at the till, will make no difference to staff bonuses.

ZingWidge Tue 30-Jul-13 18:16:54


Emilythornesbff Tue 30-Jul-13 18:25:22

Done my shopping now. All packed away.

I think there's quite a difference between feeding a hungry toddler with food from your trolley that you'll pay for and always pacifying a child with food.
It's probably not a good idea for a child to receive food as a first line response to any emotional need. I'm sure most ppl would agree with that. But that's not the same thing as averting a tantrum that might come on because a hungry toddler is strapped into a supermarket trolley for an hour by letting him gnaw the end of a baguette.
I've said it before and I stand by my point that I think there's too much finger wagging and tutting about benign parenting practices.

And my credit card is no more likely to let me down in waitrose or sainsburys than in a restaurant where the food has already been eaten.

Mitzyme Tue 30-Jul-13 18:32:21

Welcome back Emily.

Emilythornesbff Tue 30-Jul-13 18:41:10

grin <waves>

Emilythornesbff Tue 30-Jul-13 18:42:57

Enjoy your brew and biscuit ?

mrscupcake Tue 30-Jul-13 18:49:44

I think it's fine as long as you pay for it - large supermarkets have cameras everywhere so the security guards in the 'security office' could watch and make sure you pay.
A Tesco employee told me last year that they would rather parents did that than have the shop full of tantrum-ing kids, and that they expect it to happen.
When my DS was a toddler we used to go to the deli counter and get a slice of ham weighed out and ask for the bag to be left open so he could eat it (along with the top off of a baguette), this was never a problem and we always paid for everything. He did once want a banana which I paid for through a self service till before we started shopping and kept the receipt in case we were stopped (we weren't).
It is incredibly hard grocery shopping with a small child - they can see nothing but food - at eye level if they are in the trolley, and their ability to delay gratification has not yet developed, and that is for a healthy child.

IMO, if a supermarket wants families to buy groceries from them they should be prepared for this to happen.

I would be tempted to write to the supermarket and explain that your DD is diabetic and ask 'theoretically' what their stance would be on you paying for something after she had eaten it if it meant she did not become ill in the store.

I would also, out of sheer bloodymindedness, shop elsewhere from now on!

JerseySpud Tue 30-Jul-13 18:51:33

Honestly my opinion is that its wrong. You should have either made sure you had your daughters snacks or bought something then given it to her.

Neither of my kids have eaten around the supermarket, i teach them to pay for it first then eat.

poppingin1 Tue 30-Jul-13 18:54:26

"not impressed with the idea that it is ok to steal from big corporations because they are big corporations."

So are you OK with them stealing from and deceiving their customers, ruining the agricultural industry and putting people out of business? Personally I think 'grazing' is a drop in the bucket in comparison.

As for overheads and direct impact on product prices, that is all bollocks propaganda they feed staff and the public in order to create reasons for their inflated mark ups on products.

I let ds2 hold something in a shop once, he chewed the box up and ripped it to shreds, it's ok I thought I'm paying for it in a minute. When I got to the till my purse wasn't in my bag, I left the item behind the till and had to drive 20 miles home to get my purse then drive back to pay for it.
I'd never do anything like that again

Mitzyme Tue 30-Jul-13 18:57:40

Why I did thank you Emily.

Emilythornesbff Tue 30-Jul-13 19:04:44


Mitzyme Tue 30-Jul-13 19:07:27

I'm cooking dinner now, all paid for!

eccentrica Tue 30-Jul-13 19:17:07

mrscupcake agree with every word you've written.
It's not easy to be 2 years old and surrounded by infinite food and drink, all designed and laid out to be as irresistible as possible, for half an hour.

Ridiculous the posters on here smugly saying that their toddler can tell the difference between a packet of raisins which has been separately bought at the self-service checkout, one which has been brought from home, and one which will be paid for at the end of the shop. And that they will learn a moral lesson if you queue for the self-service checkout first, but will become obese moral vacuums in constant need of oral gratification if you don't. Er, no.

For god's sake. And no, I don't hand over empty packets covered in drool at the checkout. If I've removed one box of raisins from a multipack, what difference does that make to anyone?

Emilythornesbff Tue 30-Jul-13 19:25:28

Quite right mrscupcake and eccentria

mitzyme enjoy your dinner. Off to get dd to bed (without waking ds)

poppingin1 Tue 30-Jul-13 19:26:25

Indeed eccentrica, it smacks of arrogance to me.

willowstar Tue 30-Jul-13 19:38:17

Does it depend on the age of he child? My 18 month old grazes his sy round sometimes but my almost 4 yr old understands about waiting until we have paid for something before eating it.

TheSmallClanger Tue 30-Jul-13 20:48:42

Waste (damaged stock, opened multipacks) and litter affect staff bonuses.

I don't buy this "oh it's so hard for a toddler with all this food around, they don't understand delayed gratification, poor little mites" stuff either. The adult has the option of saying "no" and teaching them that instant gratification is not possible in most cases.

girliefriend Tue 30-Jul-13 20:59:24

Think the person who was 'watching' the op needs to get a life tbh, I have done this and my dd has no health needs etc she was just bored!!


littlemisswise Tue 30-Jul-13 21:05:06

It is not arrogance, or smugness or judginess to disagree or say you don't/didn't do something.

inneedofsomehelpplz Tue 30-Jul-13 21:18:04

yabu - the shop DOES NOT legally have to sell you anyrhing. seriously, how long would it have taken for you to pay for your dds food & then carry on shopping? dont complain as you were in the wrong. i manage a large supermarket & tbh have better things to do than check every self righteous parent pays for the inhaled food at the checkout. next time, plan ahead.

MrsKeithRichards Tue 30-Jul-13 21:19:15


How many 18 month olds have you successfully reasoned with recently?

Moxiegirl Tue 30-Jul-13 21:25:06

My dd3 eats a punnet of strawberries round every shopping trip apparently (dp is a sahd). I'm sure this is preferable to her running riot and screeching grinit's always paid for at the till and noone has ever commented.

Which large supermarket do you work for then piz, just so we know which have the most family friendly policies ?

Or, would you rather not say ?

I think you'll find we don't have to shop there either.

MrsKeithRichards Tue 30-Jul-13 21:28:33

I used to do it with ds1, be can't remember it. He framed out when I opened a banana (out of a pre priced bag) for ds2 and wages to wait outside as he didn't want to be with us when we got arrested!

MrsKeithRichards Tue 30-Jul-13 21:28:57

wages wanted

Goooooooooooooooooooooood Tue 30-Jul-13 21:30:40

Moxie aren't you meant to wash strawberries before you eat them?

cantsleep Tue 30-Jul-13 21:31:21

If I had queued and waited till I had paid for the crisps before I gave them to dd it would have taken 5+mins as it was so busy. By the her blood sugar would have dropped below 4 and she would have had a hypo which potentially can have awful consequences.

I had her hypo kit but tbh I'd rather avoid the hypo in the first place.

If there had been no queues at all it might have been an option to very quickly pay first but it was too busy.

Moxiegirl Tue 30-Jul-13 21:33:09

I don't wash fruit or veg!

BonaDea Tue 30-Jul-13 21:53:33

Ineed - what a ridiculous thing to say.

It is a supermarket where people serve themselves to all the things sold. What difference does it make if someone presents an empty or a full packet at checkout. Why on earth would they be more likely to steal something - as you clearly suggest in your post - than anyone else. Bonkers.

Ilovemyself Tue 30-Jul-13 21:54:42

I can't believe anyone suggests taking your own food. I can just see the situation at the exit when you haven't paid for the food you have eaten so can't prove you didn't steal it from the shop.

It's no biggy, you haven't stole anything as you will pay for what you have eaten so why worry.

thornrose Tue 30-Jul-13 22:03:36

Littlemiss, this is what I find frustrating. The people who don't do this are accused of being arrogant, judging, smug etc.

TheSmallClanger Tue 30-Jul-13 22:13:24

MrsKeith, you don't reason with a toddler. You just say "no", yoink the goods out of their hand and wait for the blubbering and protesting to subside, which it normally does, quite quickly.

BurnThisDiscoDown Tue 30-Jul-13 22:30:48

About a year ago a regional radio station had a debate about this, they contacted the head offices of Tesco, Asda and Sainsburys to ask their policy. They all said it was fine, especially if a young child/baby was the one eating something, obviously as long as its paid for at the end. I've done it with DS (2), as I'd rather he had a snack than screamed all the way round.

thornrose Tue 30-Jul-13 22:34:06

What makes a child scream all the way round the supermarket though?

Permanentlyexhausted Tue 30-Jul-13 22:34:14

I would suggest that rather than taking one snack with you, you start to carry a packet of glucose tablets in your bag. They'll work a lot quicker at raising her blood sugar than crisps will.

2rebecca Tue 30-Jul-13 22:39:09

Agree with the small clanger. At 18 months my child would have been in the seat in the trolley if I had to take a child round with me and kept out of reach of the food. They never got given anything to eat whilst we were in the shop so never asked for anything to eat whilst going round not realising for some children it's an option. I tended to avoid the biscuit and sweet aisles anyway.

MrsKeithRichards Tue 30-Jul-13 22:41:09

You pick your battles

If I can assure even a 5 minute tantrum from a toy over a bloody banana by giving them one, I will.

Permanentlyexhausted Tue 30-Jul-13 22:42:35

Agree 2rebecca - mine never knew eating in the supermarket was an option either.

MrsKeithRichards Tue 30-Jul-13 22:44:58

Tot, not toy.

For what it's worth mine can't recall ever getting fed in the trolley.

It's not like we'd go in and think hmmm what will we dine on today? It was a case of oh here you go have this, be quiet, let me think straight!

inneedofsomehelpplz Tue 30-Jul-13 22:49:52

crikey, if my dc had diabetes, i would ensure i had enough snacks on me to last a week in my bag & not help myself to shop stock without paying! its not the shops fault you werent prepared/organised. what would you have done if you wernt in a shop?

the amount of empty wrappers at the end of the day is shocking! why should shops lose out - the op may have paid but not everyone does so how can shops police the payers from the non-payers?

but of course iabu because i see the amount of theft that occurs that other posters dont.

op - you could have queued whilst dd was eating the shops stock but you chose not to - why? what excuse will you give now?

i find it more unreasonable that op wasnt prepared with snacks with a dd with a disability!!!!!! but i suppose thats the supermarkets fault as well?! (((sigh)))

usualsuspect Tue 30-Jul-13 22:54:25

Oh blimey the smug mothers are out in force on this thread.

inneedofsomehelpplz Tue 30-Jul-13 22:56:49

oh yes, its awfully smug of me to ensure a childs safety (((yet again sigh))) :-\

Mitzyme Tue 30-Jul-13 23:00:12

Oh yes the perfect mums with perfect children.

usualsuspect Tue 30-Jul-13 23:01:27

Oh go sigh somewhere else.

The OP did her best at the time.

You could make her feel a bit more shit if you try hard enough.

charlottehere Tue 30-Jul-13 23:02:04

Non issue ... Do it all the time.

Emilythornesbff Tue 30-Jul-13 23:02:47

thesmallclamger I've often wondered where some toddlers learn to snatch things.

usualsuspect Tue 30-Jul-13 23:05:01

<hands on hips>

Well mine never behaved like that.

They knew right from wrong.

Because I'm a perfect mother me.

inneedofsomehelpplz Tue 30-Jul-13 23:05:21

far from perfect but according to op it was serious enough to take shop stock without paying but a bag of crisps is not adequote for this condition anyhows. just because you do it doesnt make it right. im entitled to my own opinion ;-)

usualsuspect Tue 30-Jul-13 23:06:46

OP has explained several times a bag of crisps was adequate.

Emilythornesbff Tue 30-Jul-13 23:09:49

grin usual
Is that my mum?

inneedofsomehelpplz Tue 30-Jul-13 23:11:22

so pay for them or q up & pay for them as dd is eating?! yes or no?

people havent answered my question, how is the store supposed police shopping grazers whether they pay or not? but all i get is its ok, i do it pmsl.

usualsuspect Tue 30-Jul-13 23:14:56

She did pay for them, what are you on about.

That's what I see when I read the 'well mine never did that' posts, Emily grin

Permanentlyexhausted Tue 30-Jul-13 23:16:13

If someone's blood sugar is so low that waiting 5 minutes to pay for food is going to be too long then a bag of crisps is not sufficient. It won't increase the blood sugar quickly enough. I'm not suggesting that the child's blood sugar wasn't lower than it should have been but I suspect the OP maybe exaggerating the urgency a little.

inneedofsomehelpplz Tue 30-Jul-13 23:19:49

thankyou perm - my point exactly - crisps are salty not sugery so how would this have helped (dh is a practise nurse). so really no need to help ones self before paying.

so, back to my question, how do shops ensure grazers pay? by not allowing sodding grazing!

usualsuspect Tue 30-Jul-13 23:21:56

So everyone's an expert on the OPS child's condition now?

usualsuspect Tue 30-Jul-13 23:23:04

Have you read the OPS posts?

It's easy to.pick them out.

usualsuspect Tue 30-Jul-13 23:24:39

They do allow sodding grazing though, I've been doing it for years.

I've never been banged up for it.

Permanentlyexhausted Tue 30-Jul-13 23:25:17

I don't know the OP's child but I do know how to treat a potential hypo episode. Does that help you? The OP clearly stated that was the issue. If, in fact, it was something else then she should say so.

inneedofsomehelpplz Tue 30-Jul-13 23:25:29

yes, because ops child has a.magic diabetes that only salt can cure :-D

inneedofsomehelpplz Tue 30-Jul-13 23:28:01

usual - why graze at the shops? cant you manage an hour without stuffing your face?! how funny :-X

5madthings Tue 30-Jul-13 23:29:40

The op has explained how through trial and error they are finding out what works for her, she has also explained her blood sugar level and what would have happened depending in what foods she gave her daughter to eat. The op knows her daughter and what works for her health.

And she paid for the crisp.

God my last local supermarkets often have people handing out free tastes of food and I have had a shop assistant suggest opening something from in the trolley to feed to a tired, hungry toddler. Its just a non issue, when I was a child we lived abroad and were given food by shop owners etc.

Grazing is a known thing and supermarkets don't seem bothered by it and I have had supermarket staff encourage it.

usualsuspect Tue 30-Jul-13 23:29:42

OP has explained her DD needed carbs.

I'm not sure why you are not getting that?

Yes usual stuffing your face all the time! Hilarious!


You should be locked up and made an example of! Throw away the key!

thornrose Tue 30-Jul-13 23:32:14

I just panic, she 'drops' so quickly that I wanted her to eat there and then (blood sugar was 4.2). It is a relatively new diagnosis so I'm still getting to grips with it.

I think we need to keep this in mind where the OP is concerned.

usualsuspect Tue 30-Jul-13 23:33:18

I'm stuffing my face now,SP.

Stuffing in crisps and dip like a boss.

ilovesooty Tue 30-Jul-13 23:36:21

I wouldn't presume to judge or dispute the ins and outs of the OP's daughter's condition. I do have issues though, as I said, with food being used as an antidote to boredom, to avert tantrums and the growing expectation that it's ok for children - or even adults - to treat the supermarket as a gigantic ever available buffet for grazing, because if you want something you have to have it now .

Are you sat in Aldi though? That's the issue you face stuffer!

I might go sit in Tesco near the cooked chicken and eat one. The people giving dirty looks are MNetters and usual cam come join me.


Permanentlyexhausted Tue 30-Jul-13 23:38:36

Yes, the OP's child needed carbs. Sugar is a carb and is the most effective way of quickly raising blood sugar. Crisps will also do the job, just not as quickly. The OP implied it was an urgent situation.

usualsuspect Tue 30-Jul-13 23:39:17

I'm going to eat a big fuck off pork pie in Asda tomorrow.

I might add a dash of brown sauce too.

Jesus Christ. Its a packet of crisps for a toddler with a condition.

I have given my son something to eat or drink while we walk round. Its easier for me so shoot me. He doesn't have an eating disorder and we dont use food to fill in boredom. I do it to make shopping quicker and easier. He doesn't have am eating order and he isn't obese from the odd snack in Tesco.

Its not like people set up a picnic in the bread aisle.

Permanentlyexhausted Tue 30-Jul-13 23:41:42

OK, I missed the post where the OP said she was still getting to grips with things. Carrying glucose tablets, as I mentioned before, is probably the most sensible option, especially as she won't always be able to guarantee being near a shop.

usualsuspect Tue 30-Jul-13 23:41:46

Oh stop splitting hairs.

OP did her best.

If she wants advice on controlling her DDs condition I'm sure she can ask you. You seem to be an expert.

ilovesooty Tue 30-Jul-13 23:42:16

I think coping with a recent diagnosis of diabetes must be desperately worrying.

And to me there's a world of difference between someone who resorts to this in an emergency and people who regard casual grazing as theirs and their children's god given right. I'm astonished that some posters regard it as so normal that they're amazed that people might not agree with it.

usualsuspect Tue 30-Jul-13 23:44:11

I'd like to swig the wine in the wine aisle though, to blank out all the tutting,huffing and sighing that's going on around me.

Mitzyme Tue 30-Jul-13 23:45:04

Our local butcher does lovely freebies, sausages, quiche. DGD has a second breakfast there before we hit the supermarket for lunch.

Sometimes I even let my son look at the magazine on the way round and I purchased it!

Does that mean his eyes are stealing words and pictures I have not yet paid for?


thornrose Tue 30-Jul-13 23:45:51

I just feel that no one is really explaining why their child screams all round the supermarket and desperately needs food. Or why giving your child a snack makes shopping easier.

I think a thread about offering a child food when it isn't hungry might provide more answers for me.

Permanentlyexhausted Tue 30-Jul-13 23:46:23

When splitting hairs is likely to prevent a medical emergency it is probably worth doing so, don't you think?

She would be better seeking advice from her GP though. smile

It is easier as it shuts him up. If not a snack or drink then its a magazine. I would rather him be quiet while I did the weekly shitty shop

ilovesooty Tue 30-Jul-13 23:48:14

I just feel that no one is really explaining why their child screams all round the supermarket and desperately needs food. Or why giving your child a snack makes shopping easier

Absolutely. If we're talking about an NT child who's eaten before the supermarket trip the necessity just isn't clear.

ilovesooty Tue 30-Jul-13 23:49:11

So if he's not "bored" why does he need shutting up?

Byebyebucket Tue 30-Jul-13 23:49:33

hmmI got the same reaction from morrisons when I did it with my screaming baby and biscotti .... Made me so upset I shopped else where for long while....

usualsuspect Tue 30-Jul-13 23:49:35

Sorry I thought you had medical training of some sort.

My mistake.

Permanentlyexhausted Tue 30-Jul-13 23:52:19

No formal medical training, just personal experience.

Not that it would make any difference if I had - she should still seek medical advice from someone who has access to her DD's medical records though.

Because its constant 'can I have' 'can i have' 'can i have' all the way round. He only eats if hungry but he just wants everything.

Thats why if not its a shitty magazine. I would rather he had something to keep him quiet.

usualsuspect Tue 30-Jul-13 23:53:25

I was going to have an early night tonight.

Yet here I am having a pointless debate on MN.

Somebody stop me.

Usual same here! grin

Why are people so bothered about what others do when it doesn't affect them?

Have a 3 course meal in the ice cream aisle for all I care. As long as I cam reach what I need go for it grin

usualsuspect Tue 30-Jul-13 23:55:10

You bad bad mother,SP.

You could learn a thing or two from the MN perfect mothers.

ilovesooty Tue 30-Jul-13 23:55:58

Because its constant 'can I have' 'can i have' 'can i have' all the way round. He only eats if hungry but he just wants everything

Exactly what I was talking about earlier then.

Sooty good for you. Whats your point? I do things to make my life easier sometimes. It doesn't ruin any ones day in involve them in any way so what's the problem?

Usual I know, giving in now and again to a 3 year old while I try do a food shop. Bad mother! Ruined his life, he will be fat, greedy and wont ever understand the word no.


usualsuspect Tue 30-Jul-13 23:59:21

He sounds like a normal,typical toddler to me,SP.

They drive you nuts when you are shopping.

ilovesooty Tue 30-Jul-13 23:59:48

I explained much earlier on the thread what my point was. The expectation of having one's "wants" immediately attended to becomes entrenched and has wider consequences.

usualsuspect Wed 31-Jul-13 00:01:27

I used to hate taking my DS shopping.
Want want bloody want.

As my old mum used to say grin

wider consequences are you seriously for real? This is a 3 year old with the attention span of 10 seconds we are talking about here. What 'consequences'?

'oh mum let me have a snack/drink/look at a magazine now and again while shopping so now I must have everything now'


No believe it or not he does know the word no and is told it often. I pick my battles.

usualsuspect Wed 31-Jul-13 00:03:19

He's 20 now though, and he no longer needs a packet of crisps shoved in his mouth to get around Asda.

No, usual now its lager and oreos grin

How are the consequences usual? Are they severe?

Permanentlyexhausted Wed 31-Jul-13 00:08:48

Ach well, mine neither asked for food, nor were they ever given any, when I did the supermarket shop and luckily they tended to have fairly short arms so they couldn't reach it either.

Actually they were probably just too fascinated by the strange lady pushing them in the trolley to think of anything else. You know, what with me bugering off to work every day and leaving them in the care of dp strangers.

Seriously, ladies, the fact that I have never allowed my children to graze in the supermarket makes me neither perfect nor smug. It is just the way it is.

moshmoshi Wed 31-Jul-13 00:09:36

I think it was fair enough for the OP to do this given her worry about her DD.

However in normal circumstances how difficult is it to go and pay for something, then continue your shop- not very. The people who insist on taking empty packets to the checkout sound a bit lazy and entitled to me.

I'm sure shops lose a lot of stock from all the people who do this then forget (either accidentally or deliberately) to pay. Fact is the stuff isn't yours till you've paid for it.

I either pay for a snack at the beginning of the shop if my DCs are hungry or their snack will go first through the checkout and they will eat it whilst I'm packing the shopping.

Yes totally lazy and entitled hmm

People on MN use the word entitled for the sake of it I think.

Entitled because people open something they are going to pay for.

usualsuspect Wed 31-Jul-13 00:15:40

I'm neither lazy or entitled.I just did what I could to get me through the day.

I couldn't care less how you chose to do it.

5madthings Wed 31-Jul-13 00:18:54

I really don't think toddlers eating in shops is new, my gran often talks about how when my dad was little he always got given a bit of bread/fruit etc depending on if they were at the bakers or the grocery shop, given to them by the shopkeeper! Of course you don't get that so much now as the supermarkets have forced so many small shops out of business.

The grocers where o used to live gave me a bouquet of flowers when I went in with newborn ds2, they often gave ds1 a bit of fruit etc as well smile

Now of course supermarkets don't have that personal service like smaller shops used to sad

If I was lazy wouldn't I just do it online instead of walking?

Dont walk back though!

Lazy, entitled with consequences ahead.

Sometimes I wonder if some people on MN are real or not. I never hear any of this in RL.

moshmoshi Wed 31-Jul-13 00:33:22

You're getting a bit angry about a very minor issue!

I accept there are different points of view about this but I think that nothing in your shopping basket is yours until you've actually paid for it so(in most circumstances) it shouldn't be opened and eaten!

Angry? Who is getting angry?

I think that is your opinion and you have your right to it and I have a right to mine.

I am paying for it, I know I can pay for it so to me its a non issue

moshmoshi Wed 31-Jul-13 00:37:33

Ok, sorry about that, your tone sounded angry to me- agree to differ and all that!

grin my tone sounded angry. I cant get angry at MN. This thread is hilarious tbh

tabulahrasa Wed 31-Jul-13 00:50:58

How can you know you can pay for it? You might have the funds to pay for it, but that doesn't always guarantee that you can successfully pay for it.

Unless you're psychic in which case, can you give me lottery numbers or stock tips or something?

Because I have the funds. Should the card machine not work then I would go outside the store and use their cash machine outside. Or I would have already taken the cash out before I went into the store.

So yes I would say 100% certain I can pay

tabulahrasa Wed 31-Jul-13 00:58:27

I've had two cards where the chip has suddenly failed and the card has never worked again.

What about a power cut and the tills don't work?

grin Are you for real?

Should a power cut occur I am guessing I will have to wait for the power to come back on just like everyone else.

If my card doesn't work then I will have to transfer it to my other account and use that card.


If a elephant came in and ransacked all the tills then I would leave change on the side for what ever my son has eaten or used.

Should I go back in time as I came to pay I would get another time machine to send me back.

poppingin1 Wed 31-Jul-13 01:09:31

I am pissing myself over that one tabula grin

Funniest post on this thread so far!

tabulahrasa Wed 31-Jul-13 01:12:23

hmm If you can't tell me any lottery numbers or stock tips, then I'm not believing you have access to a time machine. grin

Yes I know, mostly you can pay what you plan to - but I don't think things are yours until you have actually done that.

I don't think it's a sign of impending dystopia that people eat things and then pay for them, but they're still eating things that belong to someone else.

Well you will have to take that up with the 3 year old. He is the one doing the eating

Goooooooooooooooooooooood Wed 31-Jul-13 01:23:14

I forgot my purse once at the petrol station AFTER my car had already gobbled down loads of petrol sad The staff didnt seem the least bit bothered and just asked me to pop back later to pay. Which I did.

Emilythornesbff Wed 31-Jul-13 08:01:23

Yay. You'rer still here.
I love the "power cut/ bank card fail" scenarios.
So I guess we should stop eating out in restaurants then.

I wish I hadn't shopped yesterday. I would enjoy it so much more today. Might make an impromptu gin and crisp picnic on the way round.

It's ridiculous to suggest that feeding a hungry toddler whilst shopping will lead to obesity/ poor impulse control or any other health / behaviour / social issue.
It is also ridiculous to suggest that because someone feeds their hungry toddler at this time, they themselves are incapable of getting round the shop without "stuffing their own faces"
It is erroneous to equate "aisle grazing" with theft. It just isn't.

Places where toddlers are not welcome to eat (according to MN lore):

Coffee shops (to disruptive to naice ppl wishing to havea quiet coffee and read the dm.)
Pubs (too disruptive to adults wanting to get pissed and talk about important grown up shit)
Fast food restaurants (unhealthy food for their DCs)
Other restaurants (not naice for adults who might be there just having adult time)

And now: supermarkets.


TheSmallClanger Wed 31-Jul-13 08:14:21

You are supposed to buy food in supermarkets, not eat it.

Emilythornesbff Wed 31-Jul-13 08:46:16


Emilythornesbff Wed 31-Jul-13 08:47:15

Nobody has advocated not buying the food.

ZingWidge Wed 31-Jul-13 08:50:52

hi Ems

ZingWidge Wed 31-Jul-13 08:55:38

and what about buying icecream at an ice cream van for 10 people?
you hand out the dripping ice creams and I have never seen anyone not licking it before paying.

especially the kids. the little thieving dare they? what if I don't have enough money or my purse is stolen ? oh no!
we would all go to prison for theft by consumption!


emilyeggs Wed 31-Jul-13 09:00:16

Wow this debate still running! A lot of people saying they couldn't care less whet others think yet are posting an awful lot wink

inneedofsomehelpplz Wed 31-Jul-13 09:19:56

so come on grazers - how do supermarkets police whether all grazers pay or not seeing as thousands of pounds of stock is stollen daily - the only answer so far is its ok, i do it! come on guys, explain...... maybe the stores should increase staff to police & pass the costs on via raising food costs. its not legally yours until you pay for it! & really, grown adults grazing round the stores?

ilovesooty Wed 31-Jul-13 09:27:19

Debate? Many of the grazing defenders are trying to shut debate down by PA pisstaking and metaphorical eye rolling.

And now there's even the suggestion that their children are being excluded from society by all those miserable adult stereotypes who don't agree with using the supermarket as a moving buffet. Of course they're bound to be antisocial adults determined to exclude your toddlers as well as being DM readers.

HarderToKidnap Wed 31-Jul-13 09:28:27

Inneed, that's a weird question. I don't steal things. The people who need policing are people who steal things. As I'm not one of them, why would they need to increase staff to watch me not steal stuff?

Stealing and grazing are two different issues, why are you conflating them? You may as well aggressively ask how they know you're not going to shoplift the stuff you've put in your trolley. In fact, people who put stuff in your trolley, explain! Come ON! You might nick that stuff, how are the shops going to police you!!!!

anklebitersmum Wed 31-Jul-13 09:30:48

grin loving this thread..

inneedofsomehelpplz Wed 31-Jul-13 09:41:55

because a common theft is grazers eating round the store & hiding the wrappers & how on earth does the store know you are going to pay at the end? what a stupid thing to say lol..... well, im gonna pay so the staff should know that..... thousands of pounds a day are lost from grazers not paying but of cause of the store should know youre going to pay ah harder cause its you :-P

Emilythornesbff Wed 31-Jul-13 09:46:56

Well, inneedof my DS is the grazer, not I.
But I would imagine that store detectives /staff would observe for the kinds of behaviours seen from shoplifters such as pocketing items/ packaging in a surreptitious manner or leaving items in the trolly or a bag rather than placing it onto the belt.
But as hardertokidnap says, I am not stealing, never have.
Also, how do they know that ppl who use the self- shop hand -held scanners aren't slipping extra stuff in the trolley?
Theft is a problem for all organisations and the most common culprits are staff. Not toddlers.

And ilovesooty my eye rolling is very real. I am staggered at the leap made by some posters from -allowing a hungry toddler to eat in public, to rampant gorging by all and sundry. Examples include "can't you do a half hour shop without needing to constantly eat?" of course I can.
And I do see this issue as part of the whole business of sniffy criticism about how and what and where children eat.

Emilythornesbff Wed 31-Jul-13 09:48:02

So there grin