Ad Industry: The Missing Link in Getting Children to Eat More Veggies

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It is the job of advertisers to convince ordinary people to buy a particular product. And with advertisements featuring crisps, burgers, and fizzy drinks, it is no wonder why it is so easy for people to indulge in unhealthy eating habits. But what if ads can turn around the eating habits of people and convince them to eat healthily?

The Popeye Moment

Well, this has happened in the past. Remember the iconic cartoon character Popeye? The spinach-gulping sailor boosted the rise of spinach sales during the Great Depression of 1930. In fact, regions that grow spinach erected status of the sailor out of gratitude. This was also the generation when people consumed more vitamins because they ate healthily.

This is the reason why ad man Dan Parker thinks that it is time for the marketing industry to deploy ads depicting healthier eating habits to entice viewers particularly children to eat healthily. Currently, many children perceive vegetables as the bad guys and this is the reason why they don’t eat vegetables. But if this perception can be changed, it will encourage children to eat more veggies.

Dan Parker worked with the campaign group Peas Please that is backed by famous chefs like Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in order to roll out a campaign to alter our perceptions on vegetables and eating healthily.

Normalizing Veggies Consumption for Children

One of the most important methods of changing the perception of people towards eating vegetables is to normalize it. The thing is that the food industry has played with our desire to fit in. For instance, we have been persuaded that eating a snack during mid-morning and mid-afternoon is normal and that eating large portions of meals is normal.

If advertisers can perceive eating healthy as normal, then this can work for everyone. Frozen food company Birds Eye, for example, spends money on marketing vegetables and is supporting the Peas Please campaign. The core message of the company is to normalize frozen vegetables.

How the Internet Can Encourage Everyone to Love Vegetables

Showing infomercials about eating healthy is also helpful. Today, this can be easily done by using the social media to promote eating healthy among people. Campaigns should be effective enough such that it can make people feel and think differently about vegetables. The holy grail is how to raise the idea that eating vegetables can be fun.

This can be easily done by seeking help from celebrities whom children and people, in general, look up to. For instance, school children from the Pentrefoelas Community School in Wales posted pictures on social media together with chefs and football players while having fun holding carrots and cabbages. This can be done anywhere to show to everyone that eating vegetables is not boring.

The thing is that effective advertising can stir emotions. Dan Parker noted that if you are in an emotional state, then you become more susceptible to subliminal messages which makes it is easier to influence you to do something… in this case, buy and eat healthier foods.

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100% Fruit Juices May Cause Weight Gain in Kids

Juvenile obesity is a significant concern in the United States.  There are many reasons why American kids are likely to suffer from obesity, and one of the biggest reasons lies in their diet. It turns out that sugar can sneak up into the food that your children eat.

But while many people blame greasy fast-food meals as the cause of obesity, many health advocates have expressed their concerns about the sugar from fruit juices. Yes, even 100% fruit juices are linked to childhood obesity according to the study published in the journal Pediatrics.

Research Results on 100% Fruit Juices

The study noted that consumption of 100% fruit juice is linked to weight gain among children from the age 6 and below. However, no association has been found for children older than seven years.  According to Dr. Brandon Auerbach from the University of Washington, parents should be cautious when it comes to giving fruit juices to children. Instead of giving them 100% fruit juices, they should give them whole fruit, water, or low-fat unsweetened milk.

So, what makes drinking fruit juices unhealthy? Although they may be derived from organic fruits, 100% fruit juices contain high amounts of natural sugar. Fruits contain fructose, which is a naturally-occurring sugar that can also be stored as fat in the liver. Fruit juice is devoid of fiber that slows down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. Aside from weight gain, consumption of fruit juices can also lead to other diseases like cavities and metabolic disease like diabetes.

How Much is Too Much?

How much fruit juice, is too much? Researchers found out that consumption of even one daily serving of fruit can cause weight gain of up to 0.3 pounds. So, if a 5-year old girl consumes 4 ounces of 100% fruit juice for a year, this will translate to a weight gain of ½ of a pound. The research also noted that the effects are also amplified the longer children drank fruit juice, the more weight they gain through time. Overall, the study indicated that serving 8 ounces of 100% fruit juice is associated with an increased body mass index within a year among young children.

But if you must give fruit juice to your kids, make sure that you don’t give more than 6 ounces of juice every day. Try to avoid giving fruit juices to infants. It is a better option to give whole unadulterated fruits to children so that they can maximize their health benefits as they contain more fiber than juice.

The study indicates that children should not be drinking fruit juice particularly in the first six years of their lives. With the result of the survey, the US Department of Agriculture’s Child and Adult Food Care Program is working to eliminate fruit juices in the diet of younger children to avoid the risk of obesity.

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National Nutrition Month 2017 Infographic

In honor of National Nutrition Month, we wanted to share an infographic with you about nutrition guidance for healthy children. The infographic was created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Enjoy!

National Nutrition Month Nutrition for Healthy Children Kids

Vegetables Can Improve The Nutrition Content Of Kid’s Juices

Fruit juices are perceived as healthy beverages, but the media has reported that many smoothies and kid’s juices contain higher amounts of sugar than carbonated drinks like soda. Sugar is now well researched as the culprit to different metabolic disorders like obesity and diabetes. The fruit juice market has been hit hard by the negative aspects of sugar with a decline in sales over the past few years.  Juice producers have a new opportunity to bring back the healthy image that they present to their customers by adding more vegetables to their juices in turn lowering the sugar and calorie content.

The Trend Of Juicing Vegetables

In recent years, many consumers have developed an interest for vegetable juices for health reasons. With public campaigns encouraging people to consume more vegetables daily and more celebrity chefs preparing vegetable recipes, consumption of vegetables have been glamorized.

The vegetable trend has led to the rise of different diet movements like flexitarians (semi-vegetarians), vegetarians, and vegans. It has also opened many opportunities for restaurants and the food industry to provide products that meet these new needs of consumers. We are starting to see products like vegetable spiralizers, cold-pressed juicers, and ready-made vegetable juices on market shelves.

Brands Have Joined In The Vegetable Bandwagon

Multiple brands have acceded to the bandwagon of incorporating vegetables into their fruit juices. One such company is a Japanese corporation, Kagome. The Japanese consumer demands healthy options and new flavors in their fruit juices and what better way to provide it to the customers than putting vegetables into their fruit juices.

Another company that has incorporated vegetables in its juice products is Coldpress Ltd. The fruit juices are not heat-pasteurized to retain the taste and nutrients of the finished product. Sugar is no longer added to their juices as they rely on the natural sweetness of the fruits for the sugar content.

Newer Trends In Fruit Juices

Aside from fruit juices, some trends are being adopted by beverage brands. As vegetables have been incorporated to add more health value to fruit juices, other trends have also sprung to improve the nutritional profile of fruit juices. Below are the new trends that have taken the fruit juice industry by storm.

  • More Superfoods in Juices: The fruit juice industry predicts that there will be a rise in super-fruit juices into 2020. For example, some companies have already added superfood chia seeds to their fruit juice products since 2015. Other superfoods that have been incorporated in fruit juices include Aloe Vera, coconut water, and maple water.
  • Fresher Fruit Juices: While bottled fruit juices have already been sterilized to increase their shelf-life, more fruit juice producers are developing more refreshing fruit juices to provide more nutritional value to their customers. Using cold-pressed juicing is a method that allows juice companies to create fresher and more nutritious juices. Moreover, juice bars have also become popular to provide juices from kitchen to mouth
  • Natural Vitamins in Juices: Companies like NutriFusion are helping beverage and drink brands add real vitamins from whole fruits and vegetables to their products. Since most juices are going through pasteurization, their nutrients are lost in the process. NutriFusion products are stable in heat and allow juice companies to quickly add back plant-based nutrition that is typically lost in processing.

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Kid’s Menus Should Not be a Marketing Gimmick

Are you raising picky eaters? Then you will be surprised with the recent trend of restaurants offering healthier kid’s menus. Gone are the days when your only fast food option was chicken nuggets, burgers, and fries.

Over the past few years, various restaurants started providing dishes that contain ingredients that your kids might not currently eat. For instance, the restaurant chain, Laughing Planet Café, is offering healthy options for their young diners that are made from tempeh (a soy product), quinoa, and kale. On the other hand, some restaurants also give children the freedom to choose healthy items to match their foods like brown rice, roasted yam, or tofu.


Healthy Trend Leads Transformation of Kid’s Menus

What is influencing this trend? Franz Spielvogel, CEO of Laughing Planet, noted that they are embracing such bold moves because modern parents are becoming more educated and health-conscious. Moreover, diners now have more access to different flavors and children grow up in households that eat a variety of cuisines.

Another reason why restaurants across the United States are changing their kid’s menus is that most adults think that kid’s menus are not given too much thought. Most of the dishes included in the menu appeal to the kids taste-wise, but their nutritional value was never taken into account. Kid’s menus should be more than a marketing gimmick. Although this may be the case, traditional burgers will never go away; but restaurants are making moves to incorporate healthier ingredients in their burgers to provide more variety and nutrition to children.

This trend has pushed other food companies to revamp their products to become healthier for children. For instance, Panera Bread Co. will offer its kids menu minus the sweeteners, artificial flavors, and colors. Diners can expect to see black bean soup and Greek salad on its new kid’s menu.

How to Make Healthy Foods More Appealing to Kids

Aside from creating new and healthier products for children, companies are also looking into how the foods will be presented to children. MAD Greens, a food chain that has branches in Utah, Texas, Colorado and Arizona, devised a way to make their food boxes more appealing even if it contains edamame, pasta, and citrus chicken–not your child’s usual favorites.

Giving children more control to foods they eat is also the key to letting them develop healthy eating habits even while dining out. According to Molly Siegler, culinary editor at Whole Foods Market, if children are allowed to participate in choosing which vegetables they want in their soup, then they are likely to eat the finished product. Letting children have control on the kinds of foods that they consume is necessary as long as they have their parents guiding them in the right direction.

Restaurants today are embracing the fact that they are accountable when it comes to feeding young diners with not only delicious but also nutritious foods. This revolution is reshaping the food industry, and it might help provide the solution to the obesity problem among children.

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Creative Marketing Strategies Can Help Kids Eat Veggies

Most parents find it difficult to get their kids to eat veggies. But with the right help, parents may be able to locate the solution, thanks to creative marketing strategies. Researchers from Ohio State University in Columbus used a simple method to encourage children to eat fruits and vegetables. They placed banners in school cafeterias that feature vegetable animated characters dubbed as the Super Sprowtz. These featured characters are Zach Zucchini, Miki Mushroom, and Suzie Sweet Pea.

Research on How Marketing Impacts Consumption of Veggies

They observed if the banner increased the likelihood of kids picking up veggies and salads and eating it. Four weeks after the creative marketing strategy was established, researchers noted that the number of school children who took vegetables from the cafeteria salad bars tripled. According to assistant professor Andrew Hanks, creative marketing strategies are very powerful when used correctly to encourage children to make healthy choices when it comes to their foods.

The schools were randomly assigned to different groups which include the typical cafeteria setup and one where the Super Sprowtz was used. For schools which feature the creative marketing strategy, some used only vinyl banners or videos while others had both banners and videos.


The study showed that while there is an increased number of students from 13% to 24% who took vegetables from the salad bars from schools that featured only the banners, a tremendous increase from 10% to 35% was observed in schools with both banners and videos. Interestingly enough, schools that had the regular cafeteria setup, as well as those that only used videos, did not observe any improvement. The researchers concluded that the videos were not an actual part of the salad bar, which created a disconnect to the students.

This study produced a positive light on advertising. According to Tamara Melton, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, using creative marketing strategies is a great way for schools to promote eating healthy food to the children. Another advantage of this particular approach is that it is very affordable for most schools.

Can Super Sprowtz Sustain Interest in Veggies?

However, the challenge is that while this tactic is useful in the first few weeks, the novelty may wear off. It is crucial to adapt through time as what works for school children may not readily translate for the older kids. The character Zach Zucchini from Super Sprowtz may no longer appeal teenagers. The key here is how to develop a taste for veggies and fruits to children so that they retain it once they are older.


The responsibility of feeding vegetables to children also falls on the shoulders of parents. Melton mentioned that parents could also encourage young kids to eat vegetables by setting examples. Letting kids prepare their fruits and vegetables is also an effective way of making them appreciate such type of foods. Lastly, growing a small home garden is also a great way to introduce vegetables to children at a young age.

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Kid Fruit Juices Contain a Day’s Worth of Sugar

How many times have you given your kid a glass of 100% natural juice and next thing you know, they are bouncing off the walls? The answer is probably close to 100% of the time. It turns out those “healthy fruit juices” are not so healthy after all. According to a recent research study, more than half of the natural juices that are marketed towards children have unbelievably more than the recommended amount of sugar. The recommended amount of sugar for children in an entire day is about 19 grams or 5 teaspoons. The research study looked at over 200 products,  and more than half of these products pack that same amount in one drink.

Professor Simon Capwell led the research, and this is how they came to the conclusion above. After taking their broad class of samples, the group started to calculate the free sugars. This is the amount of sugar that has been added to the products which include glucose, sucrose, table sugar and also fructose. The free sugars also include the naturally occurring sugars found in honey and syrups. However, this does not contain the sugars that are found in fruits and vegetables.

Parents Beware of Sugar in Fruit Juices

After learning about the impact of other fizzy drinks and sweetened juices, most parents will opt for a healthier option, and when they do, the fruit juices come beckoning. They seem like a much better option, but this is not the case. Parents and even children have been misled into thinking that this is a “healthy” drink for a kid when it is not.

The lead researcher advised parents to look for alternative ways for supplementing their children’s diet. One of the ways would be by feeding the child actual whole fruits. These contain essential fiber that allows the slow release of sugar into the body making it more manageable. If the parent has to opt for fresh juice for their child, they should pick the unsweetened variety and only serve during meals. They can also try to dilute the juice with water to reduce the concentration of sugars. Another tip, when serving juice, the amount should be limited to about 150ml a day.

As expected, the research did not sit well with the representatives of the Juice Based Products Association, who thought that parents should feel good about having the sweetened fruit juice for their children. The naysayers referred to research that indicates that drinking the juice does not lead to dental cavities and that in fact, more frequent drinking might have a protective effect in the dental nature of the kid. That is a debatable matter. What is not debatable, is that by letting your child drink this fresh juice filled with sugar, you are pumping them with way more than they need for the day.

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NutriFusion® Transforms Fruit Juices for Kids

So, we have too much sugar in our 100% fruit juices…It’s time to make a change and develop a better for you product line. The biggest problem that we see with juices other than the elevated sugar content is the lack of nutritional value. One would think if you are drinking fruit juice, then you are getting all the nutrients from fruit. Well, that is not the case. In fact, the majority of these juices have no vitamins and minerals, or they are fortified with synthetic forms of the nutrients. We can help you add back the natural nutritional value that these products desperately need.

NutriFusion® developed a patent pending method to stabilize the nutrients in whole fruits and vegetables. Our proprietary method keeps the nutrients stable through the intensive heating and cooling of modern day beverage processing. If you are interested in learning more about NutriFusion® for beverages, please visit the page below.

Vitamin D Deficiency in Kids?

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for growing kids. The new recommended daily dietary allowance for Vitamin D is 600 UI per day. Most parents think their child is getting enough vitamin D from milk and playtime in the sun. Surprisingly, several studies have shown vitamin D deficiencies in children of all age groups. A recent survey by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh has revealed that the daily dietary allowance of vitamin D is insufficient for children. Participants in the study consumed almost twice the amount of the vitamin, and it still proved to be inadequate. Therefore, we now need to re-define how much of the vitamin is “enough”.

The significance of Vitamin D

vitamin d sunlight Vitamin D is not only necessary for healthy bones, but also helps prevent some major chronic diseases that may occur later in life. Deficiency may also result into bone-softening or rickets. The excessive low levels of the vitamin may have its basis in lifestyle changes. Preventing deficiency will only be possible by increasing the intake of vitamin D in children and all age groups.

The research at Pittsburgh University was conducted on 73 white candidates and 84 black candidates from ages between 8 to 14 years old. The kids were administered with a dosage of 1,000 UI of Vitamin D3 or with a placebo. The study spanned over six months during which blood tests were conducted to check vitamin D levels.

The result was that the baseline concentration was higher in the kids who received supplements as compared to those who were administered with the placebo. At first, the Vitamin D levels in the children (even those who were given supplements on a daily basis) remained small. Therefore, the degree of vitamin D was effectively raised in children who were given 1,000 UI of Vitamin D3. But, by the end of 6 months, this level too wasn’t sufficient.

Vitamin D Deficiency in Kids

Kumaravel Rajakumar, a professor of pediatrics at Pittsburgh University and the leading authority on the research stated that “Our findings suggest that the currently recommended daily dietary allowances of vitamin D of 600 UI may be inadequate for preventing vitamin D deficiency in children.” The administered dosage of the vitamin did no harm to the participating children. Therefore, it is safe to assume that the parameters be re-evaluated again.

Meanwhile growing children must be given the adequate amount of the essential vitamin in school lunches through fortified formulas and milk.

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NutriFusion Vitamin D From Shiitake Mushrooms

shiitake mushrooms vitamin D deficiency nutrifusionWe have always understood the importance of vitamin D for our essential micronutrient blends. Most people wonder how we supply a natural form of vitamin D since it primarily comes from the sun. Shiitake mushrooms are one of the few foods high in vitamin D because they naturally absorb the vitamin from sunlight and store it. We use shiitake mushrooms in all of our blends to provide an ample amount of natural vitamin D at a given level. If you are interested in learning more about our GrandFusion fruit and vegetable blends, please visit your respective category.