Food marketing and your kids

Food marketing and your kids

It’s a fact of modern life that most preschool children recognise popular food brands while many can’t identify common fruit and vegetables!

Unfortunately, most food advertising is for foodstuffs high in fat, sugar and salt.

This advertising powerfully shapes what food we like to eat and fuels our children’s ‘pester power’ for less healthy foods. Food advertising is everywhere these days: TV, in-store, in-game, social media, homewares, clothing and board games.

It’s hard to shield kids from all this marketing and while some states are trying to limit advertising targeting children lots more needs to happen before this is possible. Even then, it may not stop advertising in family viewing time or sponsorship of major sporting events.

What you can do:

  • limit television with commercials
  • turn off internet when playing game apps to avoid pop-up ads
  • limit screen time overall for you and your children
  • talk to your local sporting club about healthier fundraising ideas and sponsorships
  • buy alternatives to products with popular logos that reinforce branding
  • voice your concerns about junk food marketing.

We can also think about how we give our children more opportunities to see and taste healthy food at home, childcare and school, and when eating out. The more times a child sees and tastes a food the more likely they are to eat it.

Here’s a few simple activities you can do with children to get them become more familiar with foods that help them grow healthy and strong:

  • cook with your kids, even young ones can help mix and stir
  • plant a vegetable garden or a planter pot
  • shop at fruit and vegetable markets and stores with your kids
  • read children’s books that include vegetables, fruits and other everyday foods.

And why not try talking to your children about advertising and how it affects what they eat. Older kids are more likely to understand this and it will help them with their food choices as they grow more independent.