Did you ever think that kale could be cool and honeydew hip? According to a new study, the vast majority of kids between the ages of 5 to 11 now think healthy eating is cool. These kids are increasingly seeing themselves as healthy eaters, reports KidSay—a trend-reporting company—and The Marketing Store Worldwide.
When it comes to reporting on children and nutrition, most of the literature has focused on the perspective of adults—educators, academics and moms. “We've heard little from the kids themselves," says Terence Burke, editor and vice president of research at KidSay.
Across gender and age, two-thirds of 8- to 11-year-olds say that they are “excellent” or “pretty good” about eating healthily. Few children claimed that they are “not very good” about picking their food choices. And moms feel positively about their kid’s eating habits—75% approve of the food their kiddos reach for.
Furthermore, 80% now think that it is “cool” to eat healthy. In 2004, that number was only 59%. Those that see it as “uncool” come in at only 5%, which is significantly down from the 19% it was at in 2004.
Kids still prefer “less healthy” foods, with the exception of fruit. The ratio of the healthy to unhealthy foods that children like was at a ratio of 2 to 3. However, kids get confused about how healthy their food and beverages really are. When asked to sort 43 products into “healthy,” “not healthy” and “unsure” categories, kids had a clear understanding that certain food categories were healthy. These included milk, water, fruits and vegetables. But many categories, such as grains, proteins and “kid foods,” were less clear.
Have you noticed this trend in your own child? What food does he or she usually reach for? Leave a comment and let us know.