Water in a juice box and veggies hidden in the muffins

Here kiddo kiddo,
some chocolate cake with veggies hidden.

Have you noticed that there is a new trend in children’s products? It’s called “trick your kid to do stuff you otherwise can’t get them to do”.

First of all, I’m no saint here. I admit I have bought the candy bar at the grocery store check out just to make my kid to stop screaming, or said we are going to mall to visit Disney Store and forgotten to mention I need new clothes too. Every mom “tricks” her kids sometimes, that’s just the fact. But there is a big difference doing it sometimes than doing it every day.

That’s why I don’t understand this thought line at all that it’s OK for moms to trick their kids to eat healthy food, drink water or do sports on a daily basis.

Shouldn’t we teach those things since day one, so they become the normal thing to do? Shouldn’t we teach “eat your veggies, they are good for you”?

Shouldn’t we avoid the “my kid just wants a juice box/french fries/candy” syndrome by not letting them drink a juice box a day? Or shouldn’t we give them home cooked veggies since they are babies so they get used to them and to love them?

I’m sure most moms and kids know that Fruit Roll Ups are not fruit, but candy, or eating French Fries doesn’t really count as eating healthy vedgetables. Making unhealthy stuff to sound healthy is so old school – everybody knows the facts by now.

Now it’s trendy to make good stuff to sound like junk, so kids will like it.

It still is not telling the truth.

See? It’s your juice box, just healthier, muhahaa, muhahaa..

I’m sure that by now you have heard of these two some sort of a marketing miracle products – Aqua2Go – water in a juice box- and Jessica Seinfeld’s Deceptively Delicious book – hiding veggies into foods so kids don’t know they are eating them.

Oh yeah Jessica!
Help me to trick my dinner and pimp up my kids’ plates.

While I understand the idea – tricking kids to drink water instead of juice just by putting the water in a juice box or eating veggies simply by pureeing it and mixing into cakes, muffins or chicken nuggets – I don’t get the point.

Obviously there will become a day the kid will realize mom tricked him. What is that doing for the trust?

The kid will just learn to be a teenager who hides her Jack Daniels in her coke (oops, that was me, but my mom tricked me to eat the healthy stuff, already in the 80’s when it wasn’t even trendy), or to lie to get what she wants.

Mom, don’t be alarmed of the day your kid will outsmart you and trick you.
You are the one who taught her the art of tricking.

Sweetie pie, you need your exercise,
why don’t you play your video game?

I know the Seinfeld’s book was among top 100 books of 2007 – and it was published in October – and the Fisher-Price Smart-Cycle (above) was one of the biggest sellers past Holiday season. The water-boxes? They made it to the Ellen show after one month of production.

Is it really just me, or does somebody else think too this trend is backwards?
  1. Totally loved your post.
    I’m against hiding/masking food. It only advocates teaching your kids that lying ( in certain situations) is acceptable. I’m still trying to get my kids to eat lesser junk and healthier food even though it goes like 2 spoons of pasta 1 potato chip.

  2. I’m all about the water in the juice box as opposed to juice, but my kids KNOW it’s water. I will always be up front with them. And since I try to involve them in the cooking, they always know what’s going into what they are eating- I think this is very important!


  3. Hiding veggies in food like that is ridiculous. It leads to picky grown men who won’t eat anything other than hamburgers and french fries.

    Why no, I don’t know anyone like that. ;)

  4. Also, it’s more effort to hide the veggies inside chocolate cake than to just cook them. I think adding veggies and other healthy stuff to otherwise “unhealthy” food is a good idea, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to make that your kids’ sole source of vegetables.

  5. Couldn’t agree with you more. I started both my kids on fresh fruits and veggies and while one prefers fresh fruit and veggis all day and the other would rather I give her a rare, bleeding steak for dinner (with nothing else), I’m sure what made the difference was what I DECIDED TO GIVE THEM.

    My mother only fed me over cooked limp vegetables when I was small and I HATED vegetables. Roommates in college got me to eat healthy.

    We’re the parents they’ll eventually eat what we present to them – we have to stick to what we know is right and avoid the gimmicks because you’re right – kids are too smart for that.

  6. LOL That was very interesting. You’d think people would understand that concept.

    When I was younger my mother never gave me veggies, so of course never grew to love them, but now with my daughter I’ve learned from that and every single meal she has some kind of veggie. And at least once every two weeks do we eat at a fast food restaurant. Great post!

  7. You know what…I TOTALLY agree with you…If you start your kids on healthy foods then they will grow up that way…my kids were raise on water…so now, they love water. They were raised without fast food so on the very little occasion that they do have it, they simply don't like it. Anyway…looks like a lot of work to go hiding veggies. I love to tell my kids what's in foods. That way they learn. We are always reading boxes or when they have dinner I tell them what's in their food. Great point!

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