My friends used to laugh at me for teaching my daughter that commercials are made "to sell you stuff." But with the huge announcement from Disney today that the media giant is cutting junk food ads, I think I get the last laugh: don't you? Even the Mouse knows that kids fall prey to marketing.
And frankly, the food ads are the absolute worst. My husband and I have been fairly successful with our campaign to convince the kid that she can't believe a word she hears on a commercial. But trying to fight the food marketing is a battle with nature.
You see food, you want food. It's as simple as that.
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And if my husband, who is a grown man, gives me puppy dog eyes because he is suddenly CRAVING Pizza Hut just five minutes after seeing cheesy bite crust on the television, how is your average 6-year-old supposed to fight it? You can't tell me there isn't a link between seeing something sugary onscreen and your mouth filling with water. It's nature.
And for parents, it SUCKS.
We try. We try to limit what the kid sees. But I grew up in a "TV-free" household, and I know how hard it was to come to school and meet up with kids who saw TV ... and then try to carry on a conversation. The channels have parents over a barrel, if you think about it. Our kids want to watch them, and we say yes because there is only so much we can keep at bay.
At the risk of sounding like I'm blowing the Disney horn (and considering my princess love, I know I run a little close), I was glad to hear there will be a ban on ads on Disney's kid-focused television channels (which includes ABC's Saturday morning stuff), radio stations, and websites for foods that do not meet "nutritional standards." One less ad means one less "oooh, I want that."
But I'm not kidding myself into thinking Disney will fix anything for us. As long as kids have salivary glands, their mouths are going to water at the junk food ads. And they are EVERYWHERE else.
What do you do to combat your kids' tastes for the foods they see on the TV screen?
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