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?!