Veg Power Advert

Unless I am missing the point, I am not sure how much impact this advert will have on kids and getting them to eat more vegetables.

When I asked my 5 year-old twins what they thought the ad was about, they genuinely said, ‘that vegetables are mean?!’ Nooooo! I just feel a huge point has been missed here; it shouldn’t be a battle to get kids to eat vegetables, even if that ‘battle’ you see on the advert is humorous. I get that Veg Power didn’t want to go down the obvious health message route about vegetables (which children of a certain age don’t have the ability to understand anyway) but vegetables are being seen as the enemy here when they should be the hero! To me, this advert comes across as another way of subtley pressuring our kids to eat vegetables and I bet they won’t buy into it, especially the more food-sensitive children.

Getting a child to eat vegetables is a process and it won’t just happen overnight.

🤔 Alternatives? 🤔

- In-store recipe cards
The supermarkets who contributed to this advert could spend future funds on something a bit more simple; in-store recipe/meal cards educating parents on how to prepare vegetables. After talking to one parent last week on how to get her children to eat more vegetables, it turned out the mum did not actually know what to do with vegetables or how to even prepare them, so surely it’s the parents we need to educate on this subject, NOT the kids? How to cook a jacket potato, steam a carrot or do a simple soup with some tips alongside on how to best increase exposure to them?

- Free veggies
I love what Tesco are doing with making free fruit available in their supermarkets for kids to snack on, could this be extended to kids being allowed to pick up a vegetable too? Many parents get put off preparing vegetables for fear of waste and cost, so this could help solve this issue.

🤔 Alternatives from Happy Little Eaters 🤔

Many parents don’t where to start, there is so much advice out there!

I would say start with this:

- Expose them to veggies as much as possible and do it without comment and without judgment.

- Eat with your kids, even if just at weekends if you are working in the week. If you can get home earlier once in the week to all eat together, then even better. Even if that means a takeaway pizza with some veggies in the middle, fab.

- Don’t bribe your kids. Talk about the weather, their day, ‘would you rather be a lion or a monkey?’ anything but the food and what or what not they are eating!

- Listen to my podcast on the power of consistency to start you off on the right foot!

💡Since writing this article, I have had two very well respected professionals in the feeding industry come back to me to give their below comments:

Feeding consultant Jo Cormack says – ‘For many children, vegetables really are scary. I am seriously concerned that for those anxious eaters among us - the children who really do find eating vegetables hard - making them even more frightening could be seriously damaging."

Author of Getting The Little Blighters To Eat, Claire Potter says – ‘Thank you for alerting me to this ad! I agree with you. 1. It presents vegetables as the BADDIES (absolutely rubbish message) 2. Kids aren't stupid - they're not going to fall for this! They'll know it's just another way of pressuring them to eat veg - and as we know, pressure to eat vegetables has the very opposite effect.

It seems I am not alone in my thoughts today!

*** I don’t like criticising someone else’s work on getting kids to eat more veggies but I’m also at the same time incredibly passionate about food and getting kids eating more fruit and veg and balance in their lives in a more HONEST way. ***

Please share if you think it would help a fellow mum or dad.


Grace Willis