New 'Salad Frosting' Is The Latest Attempt To Dupe Kids Into Eating Vegetables
Food giant Kraft have rebranded ranch dressing as 'Salad Frosting' to try and trick kids into eating their vegetables, but experts warn that kids could become dependent on processed vegetable substitutes.
The product is packaged in a lightweight squeeze container decorated with colourful swirls reminiscent of sprinkles.
The dressing was released as part of a #LieLikeAParent campaign and the website explicitly states that it's "just Kraft ranch dressing (and deception)" but adds that it's a "sure fire way to get your kids to eat some greens".
The campaign was launched with a tongue-in-cheek video advertisement in which a mother recounts other lies she tells her children including "the internet lady turns the internet off at 6 pm".
This isn't the first time that Kraft have attempted to trick children into eating healthier foods.
In 2011, the brand released a 'Veggie Pasta' version of their macaroni and cheese, which used powdered cauliflower as a flour substitute in the pasta.
Karina Savage, a paediatric dietitian and director of Smartbite Nutrition, told 10 daily that tricks like these can "help to increase kids' acceptance of health foods" but adds that "you don't want them to become dependent on them".
Savage also noted that ranch dressing is not a preferable food product for children's diets.
The ranch dressing is high in fat (with 484 calories per 100 gram serving) as well as sodium (with 45 percent of the daily recommended intake per 100 grams).
"I would always recommend an extra virgin olive oil dressing over a ranch dressing because that's going to offer far more health benefits," she said.
So, what is the key to getting kids to eating health foods without using tricks?
One study from 2015, published in the journal Food and Nutrition Sciences, found that children are less likely to ignore their side vegetables when they're paired with a less desirable main course.
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The researchers found that when vegetables were paired with preferable foods like chicken nuggets or burgers, the amount of wasted vegetables is higher than if the main food is deli sliders or baked potatoes.
Savage stated that getting kids to eat vegetables can be a simple matter of exposure.
"Kids need repeated exposure to foods and that can be up to ten to fifteen times before they accept them," she said.
"Repetition is going to win out against any dressing."
Savage also said that kids will follow by example and it is beneficial for healthy eating habits if parents eat the same nutritional meals alongside their children, rather than eating a parents-only dinner later in the night.