I despise commercials.  So in many ways, NickJr is perfect for me to watch with Dru, because it has no commercials.  However, other shows still do, and one that has been driving me bonkers lately is the Mott’s Medleys commercial.  It’s just the most recent in a long line of commercials that capitalize on the fact that kids don’t want to eat vegetables.

Here’s my issue with this – kids are blank slates where vegetables are concerned.  Unless you tell them that vegetables are yucky, they generally will enjoy most of them.  Dru likes vegetables, he doesn’t have a concept of food being “yucky” unless it’s gone bad.  There are foods I don’t enjoy that he loves.  I would never tell him a food is yucky because doing so passes on food issues to him without giving him the opportunity to make his own decisions.  For example, I don’t like cottage cheese.  I think it’s slimy and smells terrible.  But Dru started eating it with my mother-in-law, so I buy it for him, and fed it to him when he still needed help eating it.

Buy perpetuating this stereotype that healthy things don’t taste good, we’re breeding a culture of food issues into our kids.  By telling them – through our actions, and through commercials/media – that healthy foods are yucky, by disguising them, or implying that they need to be disguised, we’re predisposing them to not enjoying them.  Dru eats vegetables, fruits, whole grain bread, and has very few sweets.  When he requests a snack, he asks for cheese or apples.

We’re always talking about the obesity epidemic in this country – has anyone considered that this obsession with vilifying healthy foods (on top of our general laziness and complacency) is a major factor contributing to the obesity epidemic?

Why can’t advertisers just toll the benefits of healthy foods – many of which are quite yummy without having to disguise them in other foods, or smother them with ranch dressing, or lie to your kids that the Chef Boyardee food has vegetables?!


3 comments on “Advertising

  1. Valerie says:

    I stand up and applaud this, seriously. I couldn’t agree more with the annoyance of commercials in our faces constantly (and our children’s). I also 100% agree with the nutrition standpoints and your relation of obesity to our trend towards unhealthy or processed foods eating.

    I do believe there’s a study that shows children who aren’t exposed to added sugar or juices are more likely to enjoy healthier foods because they don’t know the “tastier” stuff from the regular things like veggies.

    I wish we had limited Cole’s intake of sugary things at a younger age as he’s a picky eater now when it comes to meats and some veggies, although he’s improving now that it’s what we’re serving. I know we’ll be doing that from the get-go with baby #2.

    Go you!

  2. Erin says:

    I have to disagree with you here. M liked veggies as a baby but as he entered toddleehood he started rejecting them. I offer veggies over and over and often he will at least try one piece, but always spit it out in disgust as if he’d tasted poo. I don’t make an issue of it but I’m not happy about it. You can hardly find a person with fewer food issues than me -is I like everything but love healthy food – so I really do not think this is my fault. I think it’s just typical toddler behavior.

    • I can understand that Erin. Dru does that with some foods. But the kids they’re generally targeting with these commercials are older than both M and Dru. They’re old enough to have grown out of the toddler phase of asserting control by rejecting food. I completely understand where you’re coming from for toddlers though. I just think that for older kids, you shouldn’t have to lie to them or trick them into eating things.

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