Katie Sullivan Morford ponders what “kid friendly” in food advertisements really means:

I’ve been percolating the phrase, “kid friendly” of late. As in, “kid-friendly” menus, “kid-friendly” snacks, and “kid-friendly” drinks. It’s used widely in food marketing, applied to the sorts of foods that kids tend to gravitate towards. The translation, however, often lands within a small category that might otherwise be dubbed junk food.


Food products containing added ingredients such as artificial dyes and flavorings, high fructose corn syrup, and added salt and sugar are made, packaged, and marketed solely for children to demand and consume. Morford knows that these processed food products aren’t kid friendly at all:

Perhaps we can’t all agree on what constitutes “kid-friendly” but I’d like for us to at least agree that it’s not:

  • Food that glows in the dark
  • Has a label that reads like a chemistry experiment
  • Or is a major contributor to childhood obesity.

It should be simply this: a food kids like AND is genuinely friendly to their growing bodies.


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