Sometimes we really don’t need scientific studies to tell us what we already know. Recent research has shown that children like salty and sugary things even more than adults, but we wondered who would be surprised.
Another recent study showed that licensed characters lure children toward specific food products, which are pretty much always high-energy, low-nutrient, processed foods. When was the last time you saw a popular movie or TV show character promoting broccoli? Any health-conscious parent today knows what an uphill battle it is to get kids to eat some fruits and vegetables. Especially vegetables. Princess Elsa is far more compelling to a 7 year-old than cooked spinach.
These marketing forces backing high-fat, high-sugar, ultra-processed foods is squashing the already tricky appeal of vegetables to Canadian children. In a new nationwide study, the total daily servings of dark green vegetables among Canadian children aged 2 – 8 was 0.3 – not even a half of a single serving! In pre-teens and teens it was a little better, but not much – their consumption of deep greens is just under half a serving per day.
FACT – Food preferences are built early in life, in fact they are already developing in the womb as a result of maternal dietary choices. The types of foods sampled when solid foods are introduced can have long-lasting consequences in later childhood, adolescence and even young adulthood.
What kids need are phytonutrients – the unique, HIGHLY beneficial nutrients found in fresh fruits and veggies. The benefits are BEST when these come from a variety of colourful, fresh, whole produce. However, about 40% of fruit and vegetable intake among Canadian children and teens is accounted for by juice and white potato. Unless children are rotating multi-coloured vegetables and fruits (juice-sourced or otherwise) the variety just isn’t there for the nutritional benefits!
The health benefits of eating brightly colored fruits and veggies are so well-known that many schools and community programs are making efforts to prioritize grass-roots gardening experiences so that children can understand the value of fruits and veggies – and eat more of them! But, despite the efforts, the pathetic state of vegetable intake among North American children hasn’t budged an inch in the last decade – and supplementing the diet of kids to give them some of the much-needed colours makes sense. But how to go about it? What kids need in supplement form is a wide variety of colourful fruits and vegetables that are as close to their whole food state as they can be – and it HAS to taste good!
We answered the call of frustrated parents everywhere, by formulating a kid-friendly version of greens+ without herbs and any ingredients that might not be suitable for sensitive kids – greens+ kids.
This awesome tasting, bright purple powder is a game-changer that helps to fill in the phytonutrient gap with an organic multi-colour fruit and vegetable blend. In addition to over a dozen different fruits, we focused on the veggies – beet root, red peppers, orange and purple carrots, ginger, broccoli, spinach, kale, parsley leaf and other green ingredients are included. In addition, greens+ kids provides over a significant amount of phosphatidylcholine which is essential for growing brains.
greens+ kids is a badly-needed nutritional insurance policy that supports clean, whole food nutrition and makes colourful, varied fruits and vegetable appealing to perhaps the most discerning critic – kids! If we can change the way vegetables are perceived, they may just become as popular as Pixar – well, almost as popular.
Mennella JA, Finkbeiner S, Lipchock SV, Hwang LD, Reed DR. Preferences for salty and sweet tastes are elevated and related to each other during childhood. PLoS One. 2014 Mar 17;9(3):e92201.
Letona P, Chacon V, Roberto C, Barnoya J. Effects of licensed characters on children’s taste and snack preferences in Guatemala, a low/middle income country. Int J Obes 2014
Black JL, Billette JM. Do Canadians meet Canada’s Food Guide’s recommendations for fruits and vegetables? Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2013 Mar;38(3):234-42.
Ventura AK, Worobey J. Early influences on the development of food preferences. Curr Biol. 2013 May 6;23(9):R401-8.
Guitart DA, Pickering CM, Byrne JA. Color me healthy: food diversity in school community gardens in two rapidly urbanising Australian cities. Health Place. 2014 Mar;26:110-7.
Kim SA, Moore LV, Galuska D, Wright AP, et al. Vital Signs: Fruit and Vegetable Intake Among Children – United States, 2003-2010. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2014 Aug 8;63(31):671-676.