Healthier Foods For Kids?

ServeImage.aspxIf passed, new guidelines from the federal government will give the food industry an ultimatum: Make your products healthier, or stop marketing them to children.

In an effort to end childhood obesity, the Federal Trade Commission would require manufacturers to include certain ingredientslike whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and low-fat milkin their products, while also avoiding unhealthy levels of sugar, saturated fat, trans fat and salt. Companies who choose to comply will likely have 5 to 10 years to do so. And ones that don’t will be asked to stop using kid-friendly themes and characterslike Froot Loops’ Toucan Sam, for examplein their advertisements.

Proponents say it’s a huge step in fighting an industry that, in 2006, spent nearly $2.3 billion to market often-unhealthy foods to children in the U.S. What do you think? Are you in favor of having the standards passed?

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  1. by Clementine Kruczynski

    On April 29, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    I find it amusing that the ad in my sidebar for this article is for new pop tarts mini crips….

    and YES I agree. It’s hard enough to get kids to eat something healthy on their own and we a lot of the times have to ‘hide’ it to get them to eat it.

  2. by Eman

    On April 29, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Take the cartoon characters off of all food packaging for kids!

  3. by meannonymous

    On April 29, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    I think it’s fine for them to push this but you have to step in as a parent and say no. It is not up to the goverment to babysit you and your children. You chose to have children, so be a parent and learn to say NO! It’s not that hard. I have a 15 y.o. boy and his whole life he has ate vegetables. If he didn’t want them, then he went with out dinner. He learned early on to eat them. I also taught him to eat healthy. Always stressing on healthy! You just have to act like and adult and be your child’s mom and dad. Not their friend.

  4. by Pam

    On April 29, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    once again the government acting as if we the parents and individuals cannot make our own choices without them helping. Yeah so they market to kids I don’t know of any 5 year old that drive themselves to the store and buy it, their parents …do. Come on lets stop blaming the companies because if theres a market for it they make it, no market they dont simple as that. We need to stop looking at the government to make more regulations and take responsibility for ourselves and our children. What happened to telling our kids NO!!! Stop looking for a scapegoat. Whats the government gonna regulate next?

  5. by Mirriah

    On April 29, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    I think it’s a good idea. I read labels and don’t buy sugary cereals and products with HFCS. He’s two, and I’m tired of him demanding the crap I don’t want him to have and the occasional meltdowns when I tell him no and ask that ge put it back, please. He’s good about not throwing fits, but if he’s tired or restless, it will send him over the edge. I make far better, and healthier, macaroni and cheese than Kraft, sparing myself sodium, white pasta, and artificial colors and preservatives, but when my son sees Cars or dinosaurs, he must have it. I don’t buy processed food, and I really hate the public battles of will.

    I agree parents need to put on the big girl/boy pants and read labels and say no, but so many aren’t educated enough on food/too lazy/don’t care and cave. Because of those parents, we do need to do something about what is being marketed toward children. Part of the reason we watch PBS and not Nickelodeon is because PBS doesn’t advertise toys/candy/junk food/fast food like Nick does. I don’t need that advertising pressure on my son.

    The marketing needs to change. I don’t care how much fiber it has, with 17g of sugar, Froot Loops is not a healthy cereal. Maybe if it was lightly sweetened with a natural sweetener like honey, but I’m not buying a product with more than 8g. My son loves chocolate, multigrain, and apple cinnamon cheerios, as well as Special K with strawberries and Total. None of those are sugar cereals, the cheerios may be lightly sweetened, but that’s all. Kids do like “adult” foods, you just have to give them a chance to detox from all that sugar and really try it. Add some fresh fruit if your kid wants sweetness. It’s really not hard to make healthy options for kids, nor is it time consuming, throw some berries into a whole grain bran cereal, I guarantee your kids will eat it. Unless they have an allergy, then they won’t, but pick a different fruit!

    In our house, breakfast isn’t even cereal, that’s more of a snack, my son and I have bowls with oatmeal (old fashioned oats) or grits (whole grain, not quick cooking) topped with eggs scrambled with whatever veggies I bought in quantities more than what I need for the week’s meals, stirred with a little plain Greek yogurt or sour cream for creaminess, topped with a touch of cheese and some salsa and hot sauce if I’m in the mood, and served with a piece of whole wheat toast or a warmed whole wheat or corn tortilla. He inhales it, and he’s 2 1/2! Any kid will eat healthy, you just have to give them the chance. They don’t just eat chicken fingers and pizza. I’ve raised my son eating all sorts of foods from all different ethnicities. Do you think Indian kids grow up eating corn dogs or curry? If Indian kids like it, why wouldn’t yours? (I’m of European descent, from Texas, and Indian is my son’s apparent favorite!).

  6. by Supermom

    On April 29, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Yes we should be good parents and say no. But I don’t think it’s a bad idea for the gov to regulate. The problem is that I spend twice as much at the grocery store now that we’ve started eating healthy, than before. Fruit and veggies are so much more expensive than potato chips and candy. It’s sad that we should even have to read labels, but even things you might think are somewhat healthy are loaded with calories and fat. We arent’ on any diets, we’ve just changed our lifestyle. And we feel great.

  7. by Suzanne

    On April 29, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    You know, I think as I age, I’m becoming more of a fan of less government. I think I ate that crap as a kid, and I grew up into a healthy adult. That being said, I am going to do the best I can to keep my child eating healthy things. But kids learn from thier parents, so if you eat crappy processed foods, then your children will most likely do the same. However, I don’t think a bowl of Fruit Loops every once in a while is going to bring a whole generation of children crashing down. I also am of the opinion that on the rare occasion, a McDonalds happy meal is a fun treat. (Gasp!! The horror!! I know I know) It’s when parents are substitution crap for meals on a consistent basis that we run into problems. Just my two cents…

  8. by lisa s

    On April 29, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    something has to be done and unfortunately parents are too busy to be educated properly about what they are feeding their children so i think this is a way to force them to be.

  9. by lisa s

    On April 29, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    I totally agree with @ Suzanne (April 29, 2011 at 2:17 pm): “I don’t think a bowl of Fruit Loops every once in a while is going to bring a whole generation of children crashing down. I also am of the opinion that on the rare occasion, a McDonalds happy meal is a fun treat. (Gasp!! The horror!! I know I know) It’s when parents are substitution crap for meals on a consistent basis that we run into problems.”

  10. by Ally

    On May 1, 2011 at 1:00 am

    I think it is ridiculous. I am the parent and in charge of what my child eats. Cartoon character or not if I dont feel it is healthy enough for my kids, then they wont eat it. But just an idea, instead of taking away their marketing scheme; why not improve the healthier choiced theme. Put a cute character on some healthier foods.

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