Big food companies advertise "kid-friendly" food with the help of superheroes and cartoon characters. Too bad it's all highly processed and full of empty carbs, sugar, and GMOs. A new book on childhood nutrition suggests the happiest kids eat healthy meals...just like adults.
So why do we even have "kid food"? I mean, are kids a different species, or something? OK, don’t answer that – you may think they are. But no matter how you feel about other peoples’ kids, I know for a fact that no Organic Authority reader wants to feed their kid frozen pizza rolls or mystery fish sticks. Unfortunately, healthy meals can't always compete with the hype of conventional kid food.
I’m sure this comes as no surprise to you, but kid food isn’t exactly, um, healthy. Most kid-facing food brands:
- Entice kids to eat the product by promoting it as a cool item. (Seriously. Who can resist the Scooby-Doo characters when printed on a frozen pizza box? Heck, even I have a difficult time ignoring that marketing tactic.)
- Make parents think they are sneaking nutrients into a tasty, kid-friendly meal. Ha!
- Make kids feel like they are having fun.
So, why does kid food still exist? Because – not surprisingly – there’s a lot of money that backs the “kid food industry.”
According to an article on TreeHugger titled, “Healthier kids skip ‘kid food’ and eat more like adults," the profit that kid food producing corporations make doesn’t entice the companies to make healthier food. The article references David Katz’s work (“The Case for Eradicating ‘Kid’ Food”), in which the author explains that kid food mythology makes children’s food seem “special” and “fun.”
So, what’s a parent to do? The article proposes a few solutions:
- Full legal eradication of kid food.
- Prioritize the place of healthy meals in the home.
OK -- it’s obvious that you can really only be responsible for one of those. But it never hurts to think big!
Want a few ideas for kid-friendly healthy meals recipes? The three articles listed below will help.