As a parent it is always a challenge to incorporate healthy foods into your child’s diet…especially when you have a picky eater. What I’ve come to realize is that it needs to be your child’s bright idea to eat healthy foods, not yours. In past years, it was an uphill battle to encourage healthy eating when marketing heavily focused on unhealthy products. Yes, that still exists but I’m excited to see the healthy food marketing trending to kids and adults alike.
Today, television designed specifically for children is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through cable channels such as Disney Junior, Nick Jr., and Sprout. They have created the opportunity to not only reach children more frequently through television, but also to use the characters and television show brands to market to children. In addition, characters such as SpongeBob, Dora the Explorer, and the Disney princesses are licensed and used for in-store packaging and promotion of food products.
Here are a few examples of food marketing that has specifically worked for our household:
We first started seeing these commercials about 6 months ago and now they are a staple in our weekly grocery trips. I like them because they are 100% natural, 100% fruit, and a healthy snack that can be eaten on-the-go. My daughter loves them because they are 100% fun and NOT messy! There are a lot of flavors to pick from giving a lot of variety.
Kids love easy snacks…a snack they can go into the fridge, into ‘their’ drawer and eat. Cuties oranges are just that. Easy to peel, seedless, easy to eat! This commercial appealed to my daughter because she related to the girl hanging out on the couch in her cute tutu.
What your child sees is different than what you see! For decades, food marketers have strategically placed food brands where your child can see them…most infamously the cereal aisle! Now, through the use of popular characters, food marketers have moved to the produce section by packaging salads, turkey and cheese, apples (and other fruits), and more.
HONEST Kids Juice Boxes
Juice is usually the anti-drink when it comes to a beverage for your child. So when HONEST Kids juice drinks hit the grocery store shelves promoting a lower–sugar option with only ½ the sugar of other juice drinks, parents were all over it. Their success has primarily been through grassroots initiatives and word-of-mouth. As soon as my daughter saw them popping up in her friend’s lunch boxes, play dates, etc. she had to have them.
Stella and Sam television series
I particularly enjoy watching Stella and Sam because they use their content to promote healthy eating habits and encourage children to play outside and use their imagination. For those who are not familiar, Stella and Sam is a series on Sprout that encourages children to explore the spaces beyond the living loom…the great outdoors. Within the series there is an episode where Stella, 7 years old, is encouraging her 4-year brother, Sam, to eat kiwi. The message of this particular episode, don’t judge things by their cover! By the end of the show, my daughter was begging me to go to the store to get some kiwi. We did and now she loves it!
Let’s keep the message going! Trust me, they are paying attention and reacting.