Pretend you’re standing in a check out line with your child. You’re at an old-school regular grocery store — not Whole Foods, not Trader Joe’s, not Stew Leonard’s. Just a regular grocery store. And you ask your child if they want to pick out a candy bar. What would they pick? Do you feel like you know their favorite?
This is on my mind because yesterday, Betty mentioned that she had won a prize from her church Sunday School teacher, and that she got to pick out any candy bar she wanted. She chose her very favorite: a Take Five. And I was like, “What in the world is a Take Five? And since when are they your favorite? I thought you were all about Twix bars.”
It got me thinking about two things. First I asked myself: How well do I know my kids’ favorite things?
Regarding favorite candy bars I’m mostly confident. June’s favorite is Kit Kat. Betty’s is Take Five, with a second favorite being Twix. I just learned that Oscar apparently also loves Take Fives the most, and Butterfinger is his second pick. Olive and Maude? I’m not sure. I think Heath Bars maybe? And for Ralph, I believe his favorite is a Symphony Bar with Toffee.
As for favorite colors, I’m mostly unsure. I know June loves blue. But I only know this because all four daughters went through what turned out to be a very predictable pattern. They adored pink above all else from about ages 3-5, and then had a sudden switch to blue and immediately rejected all things pink. June is currently in the blue phase. I know Betty loves yellow the most. Yellow was also my dad’s favorite color, so that makes me happy. Everyone else? No idea. If I guessed, I would say blue for Oscar and red for Olive. Maybe navy for Maude? And I can’t even guess for Ralph. Maybe green? I might just be thinking of his green screen. Hah!
Favorite song? Favorite meal? Favorite outfit? Favorite movie? Favorite school subject? Favorite book? I probably know one or two of these for each child, but mostly I don’t.
It makes me wonder: Is this just because I have lots of kids? Would I know all the favorite things if I was parenting one instead of six? Or, is it just me, and the fact that I don’t prioritize that kind of info?
If you ever have to choose something for your child — from a menu, or a toy shop, or a clothing rack — do you feel like you could confidently pick something they would like? When I ask the question this way, I’m pretty confident. I wouldn’t be perfect, but I feel like I could choose something each child would be really happy with maybe 85% of the time. But when we get specific? Oh man. I’m no good at all.
The second thing the candy bar story made me wonder about is modern-day-kids and the candy from my childhood. As I was learning about Take Fives from my kids, I started wondering why my kids were familiar with any of the candy bars at the check out. I mean, I admit we love treats, but we are much more likely to buy ice cream, or make cookies, than pick up a candy bar. Also, we don’t take the kids grocery shopping that often. Ever since we became parents, we’ve usually done the shopping at night when they’re already in bed. So it’s not like they’ve spent a lot of time studying candy bars as they waited in line.
Of course, then I remembered Halloween — which is basically a perfect storm for getting familiar with tons of different candy bars. But still, it had me thinking: how familiar are the average American kids with the candy bars we grew up with? If they get to choose a treat, are they as likely to think of something Japanese, like Pocky Sticks or Hi-Chews, as they are to think of a Hershey Bar? If they grew up with parents who mostly shop at Trader Joe’s they may not even be familiar with a Snickers bar, right?
What’s your take? How familiar are your kids with the candy bars at the grocery store check out? Do they have a favorite? If they were to pick out a treat, would a candy bar even come to mind? And how well do you know their favorite things? I’m so curious!
P.S. — I feel like I know my grocery-store-check-out-candy-bars pretty darn well, and I have never had a Take Five. Are they new? Are companies still inventing new candy bars? I feel like the only new things I see are endless versions of Reeses or new flavors of M&Ms. Hah!
41 thoughts on “What’s Your Kid’s Favorite Candy Bar?”
We live in rural France so these candy bars aren’t at our tiny local market. But I would say my son prefers brioche and my daughter prefers chocolate. But I’m not sure about some of the other questions! It will be fun to find out. Thank you for the conversation starter we will use at diner;
My 7 year old son can’t ever pick a ‘favorite’ because that could make someone else feel bad if they don’t share it or aren’t picked. So, he refuses to have a ‘best’ friend, loves all the colors, and will try just about any treat if you like it. But, I know he gravitates to bright colors, good but plain chocolate, and intense fruity popsicles. His favorite meal is anything Thai but the favorite book changes as quickly as his reading skills right now. I think it’s so hard to pin down favorites for people you know so well because it feels too reductionist and doesn’t capture the things you love most about them. For me, the sentence I wrote first about my son’s tender heart is much more meaningful than the list of favorites.
“I think it’s so hard to pin down favorites for people you know so well because it feels too reductionist and doesn’t capture the things you love most about them.”
That is the sweetest thing I’ve read today.
I hate when people ask me to pick a favorite. I don’t have favorites really. I suppose I could say a favorite color, but pick just one book, one movie, one dish….there are just too many options to say one! I have felt that way for a long time. I used to hate those kind of questions in school or with my friends.
I have a 3.5 year old so she is just recently getting into the phase of actually being allowed to eat candy bars. This past Halloween was a big learning curve in her candy bar knowledge! :) I think her fav so far in her limited experience is M&Ms.
As a kid, I loved (and am still fond of) Whatchamacallits, but actually rarely buy them – when I want a chocolate bar, I usually go for the higher-end stuff (which is surprisingly not much more expensive).
As for my kids’ preferences, my kindergartener is still pretty consumed with establishing various favorites- both his and ours -so I think I’d do alright. But my oldest (9) is already moving away from singular favorites to more of a mood or maybe like zone defense, so she’s trickier to predict.
It will be interesting to see if all my kids move beyond “favorites” with age or if it’s a personality thing – like the people who always knew what they wanted to be when they grew up – are they people with easily identifiable favorites? Vs me who never envisioned a distinct path and has a hard time picking favorite anythings.
I agree this might be both an age and a personality thing. I have kept a list of “favorites” for each of my two children every six months since they were toddlers (on their birthdays and half-birthdays) – favorite foods, favorite color, favorite book, favorite song, favorite outfit, favorite movie, favorite outfit, what they want to be when they grow up, etc. I ask them the answer to all of these, but I typically try to predict the answers first. When they were younger, my predictions were generally accurate, although my son would definitely surprise me a bit more than my daughter. Now that they are 9 and 11, I generally can always predict my daughter’s favorites, because they are really FAVORITES and everyone knows about them. For instance, she listened to the Hamilton soundtrack every single day for six months straight. But I’m finding it harder to predict the favorites these days with my son, although when he tells me, I’m generally “oh, yeah.”
I’m not good at knowing this information about my three daughters. I became painfully aware of this a couple of years ago when trying to buy some Valentine or Easter treats for them, and I got it wrong on 2 out of 3! However, most of this I just chalked up to their changing tastes. I mean, when someone’s favorite candy bar or color changes, it’s not necessarily anything that is formally announced, so how can everyone know or keep track? So I try to check in once in a while when I am thinking of buying something, and if I don’t get it right, then I try to make a mental or written note of it and try to do better next time! Based on this prompt, I think I’ll start a group text with them to ask some of their favorites. It will be fun to check in and it will be good for the sisters to know each other’s faves as well.
funny we do a spotlight every week in primary, Sr primary usually can narrow it down enough, but Jr primary is totally chaos, pretty much sunbeams think that whatever sounds good at the moment must be their favorite…which is probably right, my own 4 yr old has definitely changed her mind on multiple things since I filled out the form. I’m still glad we do the activity, it’s cute to see half the primary stand back up because you know, ice cream is now their favorite too.
I think in a general way I could be good at this. I have a reasonably good sense of my 16-yo daughter’s style when it comes to clothes and I know some other go-to items she always likes (pens, notebooks). She loves ice cream (chocolate, mint chocolate chip, and coffee), but I have no idea what she’d say her favorite candy bar is. Come to think of it, I don’t think I know what my husband would say his favorite candy bar is either.
It’s funny to think how little you know the specifics about people you’re otherwise ridiculously close to.
Update – my husband claims Butterfinger or Nestle Crunch while my daughter said Snickers.
This got me thinking… with 5 kids I too struggle to nail every favorite thing. Is there a web survey tool I could use to create the survey to send to them? I think they would live it!
I think you can make a free one on Survey Monkey.
Every year on my kids’ birthdays I have them help me fill out a “favorites” and “all about me” list. It’s a great way to see how they have/haven’t changed over the years because I use the exact same questions. I even made my boys answer the questions when they were on missions. (PS: I stopped after their 21st birthdays). But it’s become a nice “snap shot” of them at every age.
I love this idea so much!
I just did a similar video “interview” with my 4-year-old on his birthday! I love the idea of being able to see the videos back-to-back some day. I love the idea of the written questionnair too!
I do this too and I put the answers on the last page of the family photo album. (I make a photo album at the end of every year). I am not really into making things but everyone really loves looking through them and reading about each other’s favourites so that spurs me on!
I love a lot of candy bars but Take Five and Whatchamacallit are 2 of my faves. I grew up near Hershey, PA and toured the factory many times. I can tell you that they are always dreaming up new candy bars and when you take a factory tour, you get a free sample of whatever they have been working on and are soon to release! I can safely say my son’s favorite would be plain m&ms but not sure about my daughter who’s only 4 and not as familiar just yet.
My husband actually asked me what my fave color was a few weeks ago and I gave him a hard time saying even the kids knew that! We talk about fave colors all the time for some reason.
This is fun to think about. My 5-year-old son would skip the candy bar altogether and reach for the sour patch kids or a bag of chips. His favorite food is spaghetti followed closely by pizza (pepperoni, but he picks off the pepperonis – why?). His favorite color has been blue since he was old enough to pick a favorite color. Blue shoes, blue backpack, blue shirt, blue jacket, blue character from “fill in the blank” franchise. His favorite movie/tv show/book would be much harder as it changes weekly depending on his Netflix cue.
I have one other child, but she’s only 11 months and likes whatever you put in front of her – except peaches.
I would think this would get increasingly harder to know the more children you have.
PS. My husband likes Reese’s Cups, and I like Milky Ways.
This is fun. Growing up, my mom always knew my brother’s and my favorites. Colors, candy bars, snacks, TV shows, toys etc. She was (and still is) so awesome at picking the things we like. She’s also great about the same thing for my brother’s girlfriend and my husband. Gifts are definitely her love language, though, so maybe asking/knowing favorites is some kind of talent? ha,ha My husband and I don’t have kids, but I know the preferences of the other kids in our family. For instance, my cousin’s son would only eat “good” chocolate as young as age 3. To him, that was Hershey’s. You could literally sit different chocolates in front of him (without wrappers) and he would spit out anything other than Hershey’s. It was kind of funny. He’s still a Hershey’s chocolate kid at age 5. (We live in PA, so maybe Hershey’s is in our DNA haha)
“Gifts are definitely her love language, though, so maybe asking/knowing favorites is some kind of talent?”
I’m intrigued by that thought. I know gifts are definitely not my love language — maybe it relates to my medium awareness of favorites.
My son -$100,000 bars. My girls would both pick candy over chocolate (sour patch kids, twizzlers) but they both like M&Ms and Hershey cookies & cream. I can pick their ice cream flavors and chip flavors as well. Colors blue, pale yellow, blue (ditto on your pink/purple to blue phase w/the girls). Songs/books/tv shows/movies I am clueless. Outfits I can pick out – son: tshirt/jeans/baseball cap/sneakers; daughter 1: leggings and a sweatshirt with vans/converse/birks – everything must be soft; daughter 2: jeans/fitted girl tshirt (AE or A&F)/gym shoes or flip flops.
With our 5 the oldest always went for anything peanut butter and chocolate, 2 was “Wahoo!”bar (otherwise known as a Butterfinger, but WAHOO! if mom let’s you have one!) #3 the best chocolate you can find, lol- even as a little girl, nothing but the best! #4 he was just happy with whatever you gave him, no fav. #5 starbursts… that said, all of their colours changed as time went by. Clothing was pretty predictable, favourite food–probably never had it right! We listened to every kind of music from classic operas to Beastie Boys and back again, I could pick a movie they could enjoy, but probably not their favourites.
I think with kids things evolve so quickly you can’t ever catch up!
With six kids whose tastes change, not always great at favorites, although I usually know what they hate, they make sure of that!
A lovely lady in her 90s once commented to me, when I mentioned a struggle one of my kids was have, “You girls today know your children so well! In my day it was simpler.”
Her kids are quite devoted to her, so that was a comfort…
I think “favourite” is a moving target! My tastes and favourite things change over the years and so I am totally ok with not knowing every fave thing for my kids.
I also have 6 kids, and I don’t think I could confidently say what their favorites are at any given time. And as far as candy goes, I’m not even sure they know either! I mean there are a lot of choices out there, and their candy choices are largely out of their hands since it is usually just given to them. I do think that is one nice thing about Halloween–a chance to sample new things and find favorites. :) Lastly, Take 5’s: I discovered one at a gas station a few years ago and it’s been my personal favorite ever since. If my husband I ever go on a weekend trip alone, we tend to buy snacks with the mentality of about 9-year-old kids. We get all the candy we never buy because our kids are always around–and then we don’t have to share with them. ;)
I have 3 and as soon as I think I know favorites, favorites change. Try a Hershey Gold – white chocolate, pretzel, caramel but flat.
Hershey’s Gold isn’t white chocolate – it actually contains no chocolate at all.
The ingredients are sugar, vegetable oil, skim milk, peanuts, and pretzels.
You asked if the Take 5 bar is new – great article:
That article is hilarious! And I totally agree–it is a perfect candy bar and so few people have heard of it. I distinctly remember the first time I ate one. A coworker brought some mini ones to work about 7 years ago. I thought they were brand new then, but she assured me she had been eating them for years! I just looked it up, and the Hershey’s website says they were released in 2004.
I don’t know what my 3 year old’s favorite is…but for at least a year now she’s been smart enough to recognize Rolos at the checkstand and she can snatch one up and open it in just a few seconds! You know how that thin foil wrapper tears so easily? I’ve bought so many already-opened ones because at our old grocery store they were right within reach from the cart. She’d wait till I was loading the groceries onto the conveyer belt and have one in her mouth!
This made me think of dislikes as well- the things someone really dislikes or just doesn’t eat. I just found out, after 22 years of being her sister, that my younger sister does not and never really has liked or eaten any type of cold sandwich…what?! She apparently also doesn’t like peppers. We’re only 2 years apart in age and are fairly close, so it kind of bothers me I didn’t know that about her! Now I’m also curious- does she like subs? What kind? I’m pretty sure she likes paninis but, again, what kind? I do know one of her favorite ice cream flavors: black raspberry. It’s probably one of the only flavors we all like. I think she also likes cookies and cream (mostly I know that because if she picks it out, that’s what she buys and I don’t like it).
My kids are almost 18 and 21. I am pretty sure I know the favourite for one but not the other. When they were you younger I interviewed them on New Years Eve – favourite food, favourite tv show, if you had three wishes, what are you scared of, what did your u learn to do this year etc. The lists are in one of our Christmas boxes and are pretty fun to look at now. I think I will interview them for their upcoming birthdays this year for a “snap shot” of them right now. I will include favourite candy bar in the list of questions. I have never heard of a Take Five candy bar and neither has my daughter but we live in Canada, so they might be sold here. As for clothes, the very fact that I have picked something out even if I don’t like for myself but think they will like it, taints the choice, at least for the teenage one! I gave up on that a long time ago.
Colors and candy bars I’ve got down. We were out to dinner the other night, which is pretty rare for us; we had family visiting from out-of-town. It was a very cool restaurant, and my boys, 10 and 14, were playing ping pong when it was time to order, so I got them each what I thought would make them happy.
It was chicken, and they would probably independently say that chicken is their favorite food! But my 14-year-old was upset after dinner, and told me he would have liked to choose for himself. Note to self: choosing is his favorite (even if he’d ultimately chosen exactly what I ordered for him).
New Zealand favourite = “Peanut Slab” first purchased at a dairy (corner shop) in Ekatahuna, North Island rural town.
I have six kids too and am completely flummoxed when someone (Grandma, for example) asks what someone’s favorite food. I have absolutely no idea. I expect everyone to eat whatever I serve, which is good for everyday, but not so great when it’s time to celebrate an individual child.
This is such a great topic! I noticed my family is very into having one favorite for all kinds of things. My mom is great at remembering even with a growing family of spouses and grandkids. I doubt my dad could tell you any of our favorites. Talking to my SIL her family referred to favorites as anything they liked. So her and my brother had a miscommunication when she said she bought his favorite candy bar and it was just a candy he liked, not his favorite. Haha still makes me laugh! Also maybe favorite things are influence by region or culture as well, just a thought.
These comments were so reassuring. I have seven kids and could tell you some favorite colors, but really, I have no idea about anything else. And I’ve experienced a fair amount of guilt about it. It is just impossible to keep track. We regularly travel to Tobago to visit my husband’s family, and we’re a lot more familiar with candy bars there since my husband would buy them at the grocery store, feeling nostalgic for his childhood. We all love Caramels, which are vanilla wafer cookies dipped in chocolate. Whenever we are there, we eat lots of them and bring some home to enjoy (if they manage to survive the trip).
I’ve had a pen pal in the UK since 1984, when we were 9. We met for the first time when we were 15 and promptly went out to buy all of the candy bars I’d never seen in the US. Wegorged ourselves over a long week of adventures. I don’t have kids, but she does – I wonder of they’d like a candy bar care package from the States? :) Thanks for reminding me of this great memory and to keep in touch in unexpected ways.
Oh I love this topic, and I have a really random response!
I took the strengthsfinder quiz and found out one of my top strengths is “relator” it made so much sense to me because I get really excited when I find out I have something in common with someone. Even the most mundane things, your favorite color is blue?!? ME TOO!!!
Anyway, I love discovering new things about people and often ask what their favorites are. I can definitely tell you my son, Ezra LOVES Reese’s, and cheeseburgers above all else. My daughter, Grace, loves all sweets but especially baby bottle pops :) and for a meal chocolate chip pancakes. Caleb, who is 2, will eat whatever is the hardest to get to, like the top shelf in the pantry! Also all sweets and whatever is on my plate and not on his plate… he is a delight!
So, what’s your favorite candy bar? Mine is the same as Ralph’s!
I know my two boys favorite colors and candy and probably favorite movies and characters (although they have a bunch). Favorite food. Even the favorite way to have yogurt. So I’m surprised when people don’t know their child’s favorite color or book or song. I thought that was what all parents just “knew.”