Kids and vegetables, the continuing saga

"Introducing cauliflower that tastes like KD"—blech.

(Image from an ad for KD Smart)

It’s hard to know where to begin to object to the new advertising campaign for KD Smart, mac and cheese that’s made with cauliflower, and aimed at parents desperate to get their children to eat their veggies.

How about with the idea that we should be tricking kids into eating vegetables? “So your kids won’t even know they’re eating vegetables” is one of the taglines in the ad I saw in a Canadian magazine. Kids will think they’re eating processed cheese products made from refined flour when really they’re eating processed cheese products with freeze dried cauliflower and refined flour! Ha! Pulled the wool over their eyes.

Surely deception isn’t the way for parents to help kids build healthy eating habits for life.

Anyway, haven’t we already learned that kids will eat vegetables if they’re offered them regularly—so long as they’re cooked or presented in a tasty way (with dip, sauteed with their favourite sauce, fresh, crunchy and colourful)? They won’t eat everything (that means you brussel sprouts) and it can take a while—I’ve read you have to offer something anywhere between 10-20 times before kids will like a new taste.  But it’s worth the effort and time—for their health if nothing else. Plus, if other children are anything like my boys, they hate being fooled into doing something. It’s insulting.

As for other objections to the ad/product, there’s also the unstated but obvious suggestion that a pinch of cauliflower will make this processed food healthy. According to Yoni Freedhoff, an Ottawa family doctor and blogger, who parsed the nutrition info on the box, there’s actually more fat, sugar, sodium and less protein than regular KD (not exactly a nutrition powerhouse anyway) in this new product. All that for a couple of tablespoons of cauliflower. Blech.

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1 Comment

Filed under Kids and food, School lunch

One response to “Kids and vegetables, the continuing saga

  1. Agreed. This feels like the nutritional equivalent of greenwashing. And isn’t cauliflower one of the vegetables kids generally like? (I did.) My parents used to bring us grocery shopping and let us choose some of the vegetables and sometimes suggest how we wanted them cooked (which usually meant cheese sauce), so we were invested in liking them.