Not all “healthy” kids’ food is
Healthy eating is vital to a healthy lifestyle, but
healthy choices can be difficult.
Your grocery aisle may have a growing number
of “healthy” or “better-for-you” kids’ foods, but
Charlene Elliot, the Canada research chair in
food marketing, says some of these foods do not
always reflect the whole nutritional picture.
Most “kids’ food” is made of sugary and
processed ingredients, and fails to deliver the
nutrition kids truly need. Children can get the
nutrients they need from the four food groups
outlined in Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide.
Canada’s Food Guide also outlines the amount of
food children need each day.
Another downfall of “kids’ food” is that it is
often marketed as a form of entertainment,
says Elliot. These types of messages can teach
kids unhealthy eating habits—such as eating
out of boredom and eating for distraction or
entertainment—that are linked with obesity and
poor long-term health habits.
It is important that the focus of food and eating is
on nutrition and health instead of entertainment.
Parents can teach their kids about healthy
foods by following Canada’s Food Guide and
involving kids in grocery shopping, setting the
table, preparing family meals and dinner-time