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Toys in happy healthy meals attract kids

Posted on Sep 12, 2012 by Maggie LaBarbera

With back to school now in full swing, moms and dads are juggling work, kids afterschool schedule and meal time. (to name a few things)  

If you are headed to the quickest pick up for dinner, think about those kids' meals and the influence toys may be having on which one they order.

Santa Clara was in the spot light when they were one of the first counties to ban toys in kids meals if they did not meet a nutritional standard.

Well, now there is some research behind this law indicating that it works!

New study out of Canada studied kids ages 6-12 years old and how the toy might influence their buying decision.  

  • The study found that kids were 3x more likely to buy a healthy Happy Meal from McDonalds if it had a toy in it and the higher salt and fat Happy Meal had no toy.
  • The study was cone over a six-week period in 2011 and had over 330 children participating in the study.

Who is surprised that toys have a big influence on kids food decisions?  How many times did I beg my mom to buy a cereal because of the special toy that was being offered inside the box!  Kids are not thinking about how much sodium and fat content is in the meal especially when they eat out.  

The use of characters, toys and games has long been a marketing strategy of high fat and high sugar foods.  

We try to look at their success and use characters and games to teach kids that healthy foods are fun!

Kids Nutrition Game World:  Solusville  

In case you were wondering: (Solus is the name of the Roman God of Health)





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