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Eat Smart for a Great Start Challenge

Ads for Healthy Eating

Brenda Thompson Hi, I’m Brenda Thompson, author of the Meal Planning Magic blog and Parents on Produce board member for Produce for Kids. If you’ve ever been prodded to buy the newest game, food or snack by your child, then you know that kids are surrounded by advertising. Food advertising can be a challenge when encouraging healthy eating, but you can help your child be more media savvy and creative by looking at TV ads and dreaming up some of your own!

To get started, pull together some drawing paper and ads from your newspaper or a magazine and talk briefly with your child about what ads do.

  • Some ads inform (they let you know that a product or service exists).
  • Some entertain (they make you laugh).
  • Some persuade (they encourage you to do something, like eat a certain food).

Girl eating apple

Then, choose a favorite food to create an ad for (Apples? Kiwi? Yogurt?). Talk about the features of the food (Is it sweet, creamy, or delicious?) and the benefits (Does it make you happy? Does it fill you up? Can you share it with friends?). Then you can work with your child to create an ad for their favorite food with words and pictures. For example, a picture of a group of smiling children with raisins could read: “Raisins, the sweet snack you can hold in your hand and share with your friends!”

For inspiration, you can tune in tomorrow to episodes of “Clifford the Big Red Dog” and “Arthur” that feature advertising and jingles.

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