Making Carrots Sexy: How to Get Kids to Eat Their Vegetables

Baby Carrots Meet Sexy Packaging

We’ve all experienced the pull of the vending machine; that Snickers bar sitting there beckoning you to enjoy it’s chocolate-y crunch.  Kids in most schools have to face down the vending machine siren call as they are drawn to sugary sodas, candy, and other “not so great for you” treats.  But two groups of students are trying to do for carrots what marketing has done for that Snickers bar: make them irresistible.

Students in Cincinnati, Ohio and Syracuse, New York have developed packaging for baby carrots featuring lunch size portions with fun labels aimed squarely at the kids.  The food industry is spectacularly good at attractive packaging but they tend to focus their marketing dollars on low nutrient products.  Those also tend to be the items with the highest profit margin.

It’s started to creep into the organic and healthier food options, too.  Clifford the Dog is now hawking my son’s organic breakfast cereal and Stonyfield Farm has come a long way with their organic yogurt products.  It seems to be working, so is this the direction others should follow?  Work with consumer weakness to steer them in the right direction instead of the wrong one?

With the baby carrots, the 3 ounce bags cost only 50 cents and are designed to look similar to a potato chip bag.  Do you think it’ll work?  Does packaging make the difference between a healthy lunch and one devoid of any significant nutrients?

I have to say I think it’s a good idea.  It might seem a little condescending to some but we are visual creatures and we react positively to colorful items that grab our attention while glossing over the ho-hum stuff.  Shouldn’t we just capitalize on human nature to achieve a greater good?

What do you think?  How can you and your family help keep each other healthy?

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Thanks,

Lisa

About Lisa Johnson

Lisa Johnson here. I've been a personal trainer since 1997, a Pilates instructor since 1998 and the owner of Modern Pilates since 1999. I'm hoping to give you some good ideas to get or stay in shape with a healthy dose of humor and reality. Thanks for joining me.

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6 Responses to Making Carrots Sexy: How to Get Kids to Eat Their Vegetables

  1. Dansull123 October 4, 2010 at 4:31 pm #

    Be cautious when buying baby carrots and be sure to buy ones ONLY labeled “Baby Carrots” NOT “Baby-cut Carrots” as the latter are cut from normal sized carrots and treated in chlorine to slow the decay process. Chlorine is actually a poisonous element, but still accepted for the treatment of food in the country for some unknown reason.

  2. Lisa Johnson October 4, 2010 at 5:54 pm #

    Dan thanks for adding your comment. I knew most baby carrots were cut down from bigger carrots but I didn’t know the chlorine part … sigh …

  3. Michelle Quillin October 6, 2010 at 1:15 pm #

    I just read your post again, Lisa (because you tweeted it again — great job keeping it in front!), and this time, I noticed the alien-looking rabbit climbing on the logo on the bag to the left.

    Right away, I wanted to be the alien rabbit eating BABY CARROTS! Muahahahahaha!

    No, really. I did.

    Guess the kid in me is still alive and kickin’.

    Dan, thanks for the reminder about chlorine. Last year our town started chlorinating our water supply. Not cool.

    Michelle Quillin for New England Multimedia and New England HD

  4. Lisa Johnson October 6, 2010 at 4:18 pm #

    LOL, Michelle I like your sense of humor, slightly warped like mine ;-)

  5. Asheen October 7, 2010 at 5:59 pm #

    Now if they could just make the baby carrots taste like the potato chips, we’d be all set!

  6. Lisa Johnson October 7, 2010 at 7:28 pm #

    Ha! I’d totally go for that too … lol

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