The best and worst foods for kids - poll

By Brendan Manning

Parents don't like the way McDonald's pitch unhealthy Happy Meals to children.Photo / Dean Purcell
Parents don't like the way McDonald's pitch unhealthy Happy Meals to children.Photo / Dean Purcell

Weet-Bix and a sustainable banana product have come out on top in an inaugural kids food survey.

The Munch Awards drew 2000 votes from parents who rated what they thought were the best and worst foods for children.

All Good Bananas - sustainable bananas grown in Samoa - was rated as the Best Kids Food Product in the unscientific survey.

"Good for kids where they're grown as well as for kids here," one voter said.

"Healthy, natural, compostable packaging, ethical and yummy," said another.

The award for the Worst Kids Food Product was presented to Coca-Cola.

"Made out to be okay for younger people, when it's really, really, really not," a voter said.

"Zero nutritional value and detracts from the nutritional value of other foods eaten," said another.

The Best Kids Food Marketing Campaign was awarded to Sanitarium for their Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon ads.

The Witney brothers competed in the Weet Bix Tryathlon.Photo / Jimmy Joe
The Witney brothers competed in the Weet Bix Tryathlon.Photo / Jimmy Joe

Munch director Anna Bordignon said the campaign encouraged kids to eat a healthy breakfast and compete in local triathlons.

"The Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon inspires children to get moving in a friendly and supportive environment where the emphasis is on enjoying the experience as part of an active lifestyle rather than competition."

A voter commented: "Weet-Bix has always been in our lives. Weet-Bix no additives and no sugar. Actually a reasonably healthy product, true to the ad".

Another said: "A real Kiwi kids campaign. Promotes exercise for general well being. They put their money up front to support what has become great local annual event for our families'".

McDonalds was the recipient of the Worst Kids Food Marketing Campaign for "their numerous Happy Meal campaigns that link rewarding a child with a toy and unhealthy food choices," Ms Bordignon said.

Parents don't like the way McDonald's pitch unhealthy Happy Meals to children.Photo / Dean Purcell
Parents don't like the way McDonald's pitch unhealthy Happy Meals to children.Photo / Dean Purcell

"It is smoke and mirrors advertising as they promote (so called) fun healthy meals with a free toy to kids."

"Nothing happy about McDonalds for kids, because it encourages children to make unhealthy food choices so they can get the toys," a voter said.

A McDonalds spokeswoman said while the company had not had any communication from the award's organisers, they were happy to comment as they were proud of the product.

"Over the last 10 years McDonald's has worked hard to evolve Happy Meals to the point where now, over 50 per cent of meals sold include a healthier choice such as a grilled chicken snack wrap or bag of apple slices."

The Munch Awards were aimed to raise awareness of which foods were good and bad for children, the techniques used to promote unhealthy food, and to recognise advertisements which promoted healthy food in a fun and appealing way, Ms Bordignon said.

The best and the worst:

Best Kids Food Product: All Good Bananas
Runner-up: Only Organic baby food

Worst Kids Food Product: Coca Cola
Runner-up: Red Bull and V

Best Kids Food Marketing Campaign: Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon
Runner-up: All Good Bananas

Worst Kids Food Marketing Campaign: McDonalds Happy Meals
Runner-up: Nutri-Grain

- APNZ

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