Why Anti-Veggie Commercials Annoy Me

What's with companies teaching kids to eat invisible carrots?

Why Anti-Veggie Commercials for Kids Annoy Me

What’s with companies teaching kids to eat invisible carrots?

-Cathy Hale, aka MommyQ

kid veggies

What I find almost as intolerable as the Quilted Northern “It’s time to get real about what happens in the bathroom,” commercials – and by the way, it’s never time to get real about that – are the anti-vegetable commercials that imply all kids hate eating veggies.

Is the crisp baby carrot, the perfect size for little fingers, really so awful? Is the classic celery crunch no longer exciting and entertaining? Haven’t we learned to embrace vegetables over the years thanks to the health benefits, nutrients and those lovable Veggie Tales? Evidently not, because the persecution of edible plants is alive and well.

The first time I saw one of these commercials, I couldn’t believe my ears. Did that high energy, enthusiastic mom just say something like, “We all know kids hate vegetables.” As she sashayed across her perfectly clean kitchen, her smiling, healthy kids reached for whatever product she was peddling and happily chugged it. Mmm, yummy hidden vegetables. Is it just me or do you find these commercials highly annoying?

For example, in this commercial for Chef Boyardee, a mom bangs on pots and pans so her son won’t hear her husband talk about the many servings of vegetables crammed in one can. While it’s funny, the message is if my kid knows this food is healthy, he won’t eat it. Since when do children run screaming from healthy foods?

Another culprit is the commercial for Mott’s Medleys featuring Marcia Cross who plays Bree on Desperate Housewives. In this one, she discusses how sometimes moms need “magic” to get kids to eat healthy and then commends the juice for containing “invisible” veggies.

Really? In order to sell vegetables today, words like “hidden,” “magic,” and “invisible” are the high impact descriptors? That’s just sad.

First of all, the messaging is atrocious since many children are part of the audience watching television when these anti-veggie commercials air. While the commercials are geared towards moms, many little eyes with impressionable minds are watching. My son will happily eat sautéed Brussels sprouts until you plant the seed in his curious little brain that maybe he shouldn’t.

Plus, this whole notion that kids despise vegetables seems so cliché. Do they really detest veggies that much? I’m sure there are certain bitter vegetables that kids don’t like as much as others, but I don’t think children have negative thoughts about eating vegetables unless they get cues from the parents (even television parents) that veggies are, for lack of a better word, icky.

My kids happen to like vegetables. Don’t get me wrong, they would eat a steady diet of Skittles and Cheetos if I let them, but they eat cucumbers, carrots, celery, cooked broccoli, peas and corn. In fact, when both of my children were babies they liked the baby food vegetables much more than the fruits. Peas were their absolute favorite.

Why must this whole ‘kids versus vegetables’ battle continue to be promoted? Why do companies who seem so concerned about our children’s health choose to fuel the fire?

Cathy HaleCathy Hale is a nationally recognized writer and the voice of MommyQ, a mom blog with celebrity and fashion spin. She lives in Austin, TX, with her husband and two rambunctious young sons. Cathy is also a contributing reporter for Us Weekly and writes for iVillage.

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8 thoughts on “Why Anti-Veggie Commercials Annoy Me

  1. i hate these too my kids eat them and fruit they ask for them so they arent like these zombie kids in the ads thoes are the ones that stuff food into there mouths watching tv and fat because there parents let them i say no and give them good things so stop waiting for the earth to do your job and teach them right and how to eat

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