7

votes

Paleo Parents, are you fighting against Spongebob and Dora the Explorer?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 18, 2011 at 11:24 PM

I read this article on the USA Today website and couldn't help but feel for all the paleo parents out there.

http://yourlife.usatoday.com/fitness-food/diet-nutrition/story/2011/08/Cartoon-characters-prod-kids-to-nag-for-unhealthy-foods/50026366/1

I recently spent some time with my in-laws and was able to observe the eating habits of my 1 year old niece and 3 year old nephew. Their parents keep them very active (lots of outside time and play), grow a garden at home, and are very good about consistent, fair discipline, but I also noticed some things that I, from my child-less position of ignorance, considered alarming.

It seemed like the kids followed a daily routine of nap or sleep, eat something (from what I observed, microwave popcorn, nutri-grain cereal bar, macaroni and cheese, cheese, juice, conventional whole milk, or a banana), run amok, meltdown, eat something (same list as before), nap, repeat.

I did some research on WAPF and looked up some previous paleohacks posts, which seem to show no problems with kids eating meat, veggies, fermented foods, offal, and even cod liver oil.

Obviously, none of these foods are being marketed to kids and most kid's books seem to assume that cupcakes and icecream are perfectly good teaching tools (number 6 bestselling kids book on amazon, number 8 bestselling kids book on amazon).

I'm wondering how you Paleo Hack parents combat these messages and what seems to work with your kids in spite of the odds being stacked against you.

E2b9c679315c7c9c7265783dde89f350

(1303)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

As I'm not a parent, I can't answer your actual question. But as a kid, I loved the Frances books. While Bread And Jam For Frances didn't make me want jam (I still hate jam!), Bedtime For Frances did make me afraid of the dark. So, YMMV.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on August 20, 2011
at 12:31 AM

@Futureboy: Agreed - BLECH for the majority of applications. But as FED writes, PaleoHacks is certainly gameified and is a very postivie application, IMHO. It is actually a great pub health learning tool.

Medium avatar

(19479)

on August 19, 2011
at 10:35 PM

Thanks for the video link Danielle. I will definitely check out "Consuming Kids"!

11838116de44ae449df0563f09bd3d73

(655)

on August 19, 2011
at 08:49 PM

The SpongGar episode is currently available on Netflicks streaming. Or so I hear from someone who has a TV and Netflicks. Yeah, a neighbor......

Medium avatar

(19479)

on August 19, 2011
at 06:26 PM

PaleoHacks is "gameified" and drives participation through points, badges, etc. Right now I'm at 4,617! C'mon 5k!

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on August 19, 2011
at 05:46 PM

My grocery store keeps the tea and the cereal in the same isle...but I don't have kids and I ignore the cereal, lol...8)

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 19, 2011
at 04:21 PM

blech! That's horrifying.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 19, 2011
at 04:19 PM

Hahahaha I lost it when I read your bit about eating coal. I can just imagine how dry and matter of fact your delivery would be.

E7a462d6e99fec7e8f0ddda11b34a770

(1638)

on August 19, 2011
at 01:27 PM

I feel for all the parents out there. I was really glad when my nephews were little that I was the Aunt because the Aunt gets to buy all the *cool stuff* like gyroscopes and chess sets while the parents have to fight the Dora and Ninja Turtles battles.

F3e312545761ab663e37e6c2d5c831ea

(1049)

on August 19, 2011
at 01:26 PM

Thanks, hope you enjoy!

7cab5a1f1fd48c3cc4938ab824fdb52e

on August 19, 2011
at 12:03 PM

I love me some dinosaur train.

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on August 19, 2011
at 04:21 AM

+1! Reading your blog now!

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on August 19, 2011
at 04:20 AM

+1! Love this!!

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on August 19, 2011
at 04:19 AM

Has anyone watched Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood? Great documentary, full-length on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uUU7cjfcdM

Medium avatar

(19479)

on August 19, 2011
at 03:33 AM

I bet SpongeGar would promote kid sized steaks if given the opportunity.

E06dcdb3f856057025e9776e038d8072

(305)

on August 19, 2011
at 02:31 AM

My oldest (9) couldn't care less about advertising, etc. My youngest (7) wants everything that's shiny and bright. We gave up cable a year ago and only recently got it back (DH wanted sports). Immediately, the youngest starts begging for those stupid sugary cereals again. And Happy Meals. The Happy Meals I handle by occasionally buying her the toy at the drive through (the oldest discovered on her own 2 years ago that McDonalds makes her feel "yucky"). The grocery store whining is handled with a "no." She gets over it quickly enough.

D5e5788865a3d9a17a729097186e465f

on August 19, 2011
at 01:37 AM

My kids also still watch the Tube, but mostly they just run around the house playing. We too, do not travel down the cereal aisle, I am sure that they don't know what cereal is anymore.

4b61b13ed39e5c5d01fe234900cadcf8

(1138)

on August 19, 2011
at 01:27 AM

I can't stand Sponge Bob and my child watches NOTHING that comes on that channel. But this is hilarious!!

1a0976c846702f549ee4df0d811098be

(972)

on August 19, 2011
at 01:17 AM

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-06-21/health/sc-nw-junk-food-0621-20100621_1_snacks-foods-stickers There is the link. Apparently it didn't really work.

1a0976c846702f549ee4df0d811098be

(972)

on August 19, 2011
at 01:14 AM

I think there have been some attempts to market produce like apples and carrots using Toy Story and Shrek, and I read somewhere that it worked pretty well. It adds unnecessary packaging and cost to the food, but a shrink-wrapped, Buzz Lightyear apple is probably better than no apple.

78972387772c994caa78513a83978437

(2290)

on August 19, 2011
at 01:02 AM

PS your blog is so awesome!

Fa313112268730c1b1b4bb3d91507d71

(40)

on August 19, 2011
at 12:50 AM

We are not a branded family, except for Star Wars, I know geeks are us. We have never given into branded foods. Yes, they get some branded toys, but not food or clothes. However, it is hard, because they do ask and you have to say no. Then you distract them and move on down the aisle. Still I see it every time I shop. Kids cry, parents give in, marketing wins.

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on August 19, 2011
at 12:45 AM

Unfortunately there are handful of items (a tomato basil sauce I sometimes use that has a super short and paleo ingredient list, for example) that require the occasional traversing of a forbidden "inner aisle". :-\ That said, we too are outer aisle shoppers.

F3e312545761ab663e37e6c2d5c831ea

(1049)

on August 19, 2011
at 12:45 AM

aww, thanks so much!

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on August 19, 2011
at 12:40 AM

"The Big Cheese" - oh, that is so apropos! :-D

Medium avatar

(12379)

on August 19, 2011
at 12:38 AM

Big + 1 for not going down those aisles in the store with little ones. We stay in the meat and veggie section and our little guy points at broccoli, grapes and strawberries!

E2b9c679315c7c9c7265783dde89f350

(1303)

on August 19, 2011
at 12:35 AM

There you go, FED! As evidenced by Travis, Sponge Bob only encourages consumption of iodine rich foods. :-)

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on August 19, 2011
at 12:26 AM

my daughter has never seen spounge bob before, so when she sees pictures of him she call him, "that big cheese". cracks me up.

78972387772c994caa78513a83978437

(2290)

on August 19, 2011
at 12:18 AM

@Jess, I hope to be like you when I have children!

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on August 19, 2011
at 12:07 AM

stacy, you guys have a wonderful blog!

Medium avatar

(39821)

on August 18, 2011
at 11:33 PM

This thread makes me want to eat a Krabby Patty with some Kelp Fries.

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8 Answers

12
306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619

(3808)

on August 18, 2011
at 11:42 PM

We explain why we eat this way, we don't have TV, and we don't give in.

The kids still get their screentime - they're watching Babar as I type this. But watching a few shows via the internet exposes them to a lot less advertising than standard television.

Shows pushing CW health info (Sid The Science Kid, for example) are occasionally a problem, but we've explained the economic forces that drive conventional wisdom, and they understand that.

Given those two combined, I can't remember the last time they asked for something because of the association with a branded character. But if they did, we'd just say no, and possibly help them find a more acceptable alternative (be it a healthier food or a something else involving the branded character, depending on which seemed the most appropriate response).

Also, we don't go to the aisles where most of these things are located. If you don't go down the cereal aisle, your kid isn't going to see the box of cereal with their favorite character on it.

78972387772c994caa78513a83978437

(2290)

on August 19, 2011
at 01:02 AM

PS your blog is so awesome!

78972387772c994caa78513a83978437

(2290)

on August 19, 2011
at 12:18 AM

@Jess, I hope to be like you when I have children!

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on August 19, 2011
at 04:20 AM

+1! Love this!!

Medium avatar

(12379)

on August 19, 2011
at 12:38 AM

Big + 1 for not going down those aisles in the store with little ones. We stay in the meat and veggie section and our little guy points at broccoli, grapes and strawberries!

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on August 19, 2011
at 12:45 AM

Unfortunately there are handful of items (a tomato basil sauce I sometimes use that has a super short and paleo ingredient list, for example) that require the occasional traversing of a forbidden "inner aisle". :-\ That said, we too are outer aisle shoppers.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on August 19, 2011
at 05:46 PM

My grocery store keeps the tea and the cereal in the same isle...but I don't have kids and I ignore the cereal, lol...8)

D5e5788865a3d9a17a729097186e465f

on August 19, 2011
at 01:37 AM

My kids also still watch the Tube, but mostly they just run around the house playing. We too, do not travel down the cereal aisle, I am sure that they don't know what cereal is anymore.

11
11838116de44ae449df0563f09bd3d73

(655)

on August 18, 2011
at 11:36 PM

SpongeBob's ancestor, SpongeGar is paleo: paleo-parents,-are-you-fighting-against-spongebob-and-dora-the-explorer?

Medium avatar

(19479)

on August 19, 2011
at 03:33 AM

I bet SpongeGar would promote kid sized steaks if given the opportunity.

4b61b13ed39e5c5d01fe234900cadcf8

(1138)

on August 19, 2011
at 01:27 AM

I can't stand Sponge Bob and my child watches NOTHING that comes on that channel. But this is hilarious!!

11838116de44ae449df0563f09bd3d73

(655)

on August 19, 2011
at 08:49 PM

The SpongGar episode is currently available on Netflicks streaming. Or so I hear from someone who has a TV and Netflicks. Yeah, a neighbor......

10
D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on August 18, 2011
at 11:55 PM

Yup, I continuously repeat to my 4 year old that just because Elmo's on the can of organic!"chefboyardee"-esque stuff, doesn't mean that it's good for you. Same for Dora sugared yogurts and Dora cupcakes.

My daughter knows that anything asked about goes through my ingredient label inspection and usually fails that test, no matter who is on the front of the packaging. Mean ol' Mommy. ;-)

8
F3e312545761ab663e37e6c2d5c831ea

(1049)

on August 19, 2011
at 12:01 AM

Giving up fruit snacks with characters on them in the beginning was something I thought would be hard. But we talked about whether we thought that food was healthy or if real fruit was healthier and the kids were just as thrilled to pick out ANYTHING of their choice from the produce section. They'd ask if certain gluten-free dairy-free foods were OK and we'd look at ingredients and decide if we knew what stuff was or not. If we had no idea what it was, we decided it wasn't food healthy for our bodies.

Over time they started saying "eww" to TV commercials or boxed foods on their own...

Stacy Paleoparents.com

F3e312545761ab663e37e6c2d5c831ea

(1049)

on August 19, 2011
at 12:45 AM

aww, thanks so much!

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on August 19, 2011
at 04:21 AM

+1! Reading your blog now!

F3e312545761ab663e37e6c2d5c831ea

(1049)

on August 19, 2011
at 01:26 PM

Thanks, hope you enjoy!

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on August 19, 2011
at 12:07 AM

stacy, you guys have a wonderful blog!

6
78972387772c994caa78513a83978437

on August 19, 2011
at 12:21 AM

I think another way to make these foods appealing to your kids (and keep them from thinking too highly of the food and things they see on television/the supermarket/their friends' lunchboxes) are to cook with them, or at least have them watch you prepare meals and snacks. When they say that a lot of time and love goes into it, as well as the fact that they can contribute and put their own spin on things, they might show less interest in the rest of the advertisements and bad food. Then again, I don't have kids yet, and perhaps they are just too darn impressionable for this to work.

5
1a0976c846702f549ee4df0d811098be

(972)

on August 19, 2011
at 01:11 AM

My kids have never really asked for any branded foods. We only watch tv on the weekends, and only on the computer via Netflix, so they never see commercials. Like other commenters, we avoid those aisles in the store. Also, we watch shows with mostly non-human protagonists, like Thomas and Dinosaur Train, so they don't see "people" eating a bunch of junk. If they want to imitate Buddy the T-Rex's diet, I would be totally fine with that. I can't say that was an intentional food-related decision, though. And I probably wouldn't let them eat coal like Thomas.

If they want something branded and I want to indulge them, I will buy them a toy or a book. Lasts longer and is usually less toxic.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 19, 2011
at 04:19 PM

Hahahaha I lost it when I read your bit about eating coal. I can just imagine how dry and matter of fact your delivery would be.

7cab5a1f1fd48c3cc4938ab824fdb52e

on August 19, 2011
at 12:03 PM

I love me some dinosaur train.

2
6da513ec59c25531127912318fbf27d5

on August 19, 2011
at 04:10 PM

DS gets what Mama buys. Interestingly enough, he has NEVER liked processed foods even when I was first introducing baby foods. He lost weight every time we traveled because I would buy canned baby food (for convenience). Ironically even when he was eating half as much as normal, people would marvel at how much he would eat. He will not eat canned soups or frozen meals.

We have this really strange word in our family, one you don't hear much anymore.

"No."

As in, no we are not buying that. or no, it's not in the budget.

And for what it is worth, we cut out TV before going paleo and I noticed a very MARKED improvement in DS's behavior! Less cranky meltdowns.

It is a bewitching thought that the TV parents rely on to keep their kids happy and out of mom's hair may be the cause of the kids that parents want out of their hair!

0
Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on August 19, 2011
at 01:25 AM

Take a look at this...It's only 9 minutes worth...

http://questional.com/blog/156-the-future-unlocked-gamification-part-i/

There are, of course, very postive uses as well as a plethora of demonstrated very negative ones.

In any event, it's certainly on its way. INTENSE.

A whole 'nother level...

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on August 20, 2011
at 12:31 AM

@Futureboy: Agreed - BLECH for the majority of applications. But as FED writes, PaleoHacks is certainly gameified and is a very postivie application, IMHO. It is actually a great pub health learning tool.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 19, 2011
at 04:21 PM

blech! That's horrifying.

Medium avatar

(19479)

on August 19, 2011
at 06:26 PM

PaleoHacks is "gameified" and drives participation through points, badges, etc. Right now I'm at 4,617! C'mon 5k!

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