Food For Thought: Media to Digest for Healthier Kids

film-reel.jpgMarch is National Nutrition Month, so Shaping Youth is adding to the ADA’s Eat Right web resources with some fun and worthy positive picks in food media to share with your kids, boost their media literacy IQ, and counter-market the cartoon pitches for empty calorie crud. Here goes:

I’ve always loved the SmartMouth interactive site for kids, but my new discovery is the U.K.’s “Which?” site, revealing kids’ food marketing ploys in a fabulously engaging digital ditty called “The Interactive Bedroom.” The cartoon door entices, “Knock, Knock! Open the door to find out who’s manipulating our children’s diets!”

Click through their interactive media as cartoon bubbles and factoids note the impact of celebrity endorsements, food playset product tie-ins, online gaming, branded playgrounds, in-school promos, lunchbox snack attacks, viral marketing, clubs, incentives and irresponsible hammering of unhealthy food choices into the pop culture with kids and you’ll see why we feel so undermined…it’s not your imagination!

Their glib site is brilliant, and their “Food Fables” report and genetically modified food explanations are enough to convert even the most diehard, anti-regulatory, free market foodie to call for ethical guidelines in food marketing to kids!

For animated shorts that wallop with impact, check out the Food Film Fest site which the fun-loving folks at the Mouth Revolution blog shared. (Also read their blurb on Girl Scout Cookies finally doing something about transfats, yay! Thin mints, ho!)

I’ve written about the Meatrix trilogy, Mouth Revolution, SuperSize Me and the snarky animation on ‘gassing’ meats for eye appeal, but this meaningful film fest media runs an even deeper gamut into the documentary realm. Some cartoon clips are funny. Some inspire. Some jolt you into action. All entertain.

Insightful films touch on the environmental impact of the food we consume (Sierra Club’s “True Cost of Food”) genetically modified food, (The Future of Food) the politics of food, (The Global Banquet) and more.

You may end up shaking your head about the massiveness of the food chain conundrum but at least you’ll see the whys of how we got here, what we can do, and where we need to go for kids’ health and well-being. Add this to your media diet, and enjoy!

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