From that first, tentative moment when the kid tried to pick one up, I wondered what kids ate before there was Cheerios. It's the archetypal first finger food, after all, and it seems somehow indispensible.
Of course, it's not, and it's not. Japanese kids eat rice of increasing solidity. And even though Cheerios had been around for two years when the book was published in 1947, I'd bet most kids were still saying goodnight AND good morning to mush, just as they had been for decades.
In the NYT Magazine, Rob Walker looks at the phenomenon of brands that inspire super-loyalty, like Cheerios. It turns out Cheerios are a mother's love. Which'd bug, except that a daddy's love is Lucky Charms.