The marketing of junk food to children is pervasive. The food and beverage industry spends billions of dollars each year marketing directly to children, ensuring they see an average of 10 food-related adds every day, 98% of which are for products high in fat, sugar, or sodium.
One way advertisers sell unhealthy food products to kids is with fun characters that kids know and love.
So why not use this same technique to get kids to eat their fruit and veggies?
With the help of the Sesame Workshop, we can! As part of her Let’s Move Campaign, Michelle Obama, announced that Sesame Workshop and the Produce Marketing Association joined the Partnership for a Healthier America to help market fruit and vegetables to kids.
In 2014, kids will be seeing their favorite Sesame Street characters, such as Big Bird and Elmo, grace the packages of various produce, hopefully increasing children’s consumption and making the jobs of parents across America easier.
FoodPlay’s founder and director, Barbara Storper, recognized that the same aggressive marketing techniques used to sell junk food to kids could be used to promote healthy food. That is why she developed FOODPLAY, a live nutrition performance complete with a cast of colorful characters, juggling, magic, comedy, music, and dance- to help kids see just how much fun eating healthy could be!
It is our hope that as brilliant minds and passionate organizations come together in this effort to increase the promotion of fruit and vegetables to children with creativity and expertise, we will see more kids eating their peas and carrots without any fuss!
 “The facts on junk food marketing and kids.” PreventionInsitute.org
Image One: Flickr user Scorpions and Centaurs
Image Two: Change.org
Image Three: Greencolander/flickr
Image Four: Richard Termine/AP