This just has me laughing and sighing at the same time. This Thursday, July 11, is the annual Free Slurpee Day at 7-Eleven. Last year, the convenience store gave away 7.11-ounce Slurpees. Get it? 7-Eleven gives away 7.11-ounce Slurpees on 7/11 between the hours of 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.

This year, the company is losing one of its clever 7-11 tie-ins because the size of the free Slurpee will be 12 ounces. Why? Moms. USA Today reports that Laura Gordon, vice president of marketing and brand innovation, says they’re just trying to please moms.

See the 7.11 oz. Slurpees were too messy. They didn’t come with a lid. They made a mess in the car.

“Moms asked us for cups with lids,” said Gordon. I guess it’s not possible to make lids for 7.11-ounce cups?

Ugh. Like Heinz redesigning its ketchup packets because the old packets made too much of a mess in the car, here’s another example of how we’re raising a good part of the next generation to not just eat unhealthy food, but to eat it in the car.

Don’t kid yourself that the store is doing it only to say thank you to the customers. They’re betting that 20 ounces will still be too small for a good number of people who walk through their doors for a free Slurpee. They’ll see the “small” size of the cup and decide they really need more.

Overall Slurpee sales are expected to jump as much as 40 percent on Thursday, compared with a typical July day, says Gordon.
This year, drive right on by that 7-Eleven with its line of people waiting for a free Slurpee that has 42 percent more calories, sugar, and artificial flavorings & dyes in it. Don’t stop for one for yourself or your kids. 7-Eleven is hoping you actually spend money on Free Slurpee Day.

Instead, try making a healthier frozen treat at home. Here are some good options:

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

7-Eleven free Slurpees: Bigger but no better
7-Eleven says they're just trying to please moms by making this year’s free Slurpees with 42 percent more calories, sugar, and artificial flavorings & dyes.