MomsRising FoodPower Conference Recap Pt. 2 – Marketing Unhealthy Foods To Our Children

Marketing Unhealthy Food To Our Children


Earlier in the day we watched this short video which I forgot to include in Part one of the MomsRising FoodPower Conference Recap:

Moving. Disturbing. Incredibly true.

After watching the Soul Food Junkie documentary, we headed upstairs for the breakout sessions:

The one I chose was: Junk Food Marketing To Children: How to stop the onslaught of advertising through television, smart phones and the web!

One of the panelist brought up the fact that our kids are being marketing to from all angels–through smart phone, Apps, commercials between their favorite cartoons–it never ends. Digital marketing is here and we as mothers need to take heed and pay very close attention! Marketing is getting a lot more tricky, way more personal and deceptive.

Stat: In 2009 1.8 Billion dollars was spent marketing food to children.

Think about it, usually our kids’ favorite cartoon characters are on a box of candy or cereal that is no good for them.

The session was very informative. It really opened my eyes to how businesses are using bloggers (like us) to spread the word to folks they would have never been able to touch. Instead of spending a ton of money with focus groups, they jump in front of us in the form of our favorite bloggers. How true is that? I have my bloggy tribe (you know who you are) so if you introduce something to me, I will listen–closely because I value your opinion greatly. It is really our responsibility to make the right decisions about which brands to work with because I don’t think any paycheck is worth  sacrificing your integrity. Someone actually brought up their disgust with mommy bloggers that promote McDonalds and other unhealthy brands.

They asked how many people in the room were bloggers, a LOT of hands went up. I recognized NONE of the bloggers they referenced and I thought I was ALL up in the healthy living blog space.

There was a nice hearty discussion about Girl Scout Cookies (how horrible they are but its a necessary evil because salt sugar and fat SELLS, nothing else quite sells like that and Nickelodeon peddling Cheetos on Nick Jr. The conversation was lively to say the least. I enjoyed it thoroughly however because this is a conversation that needs to be HAD. Our children can’t keep eating this way anymore, its criminal. It’s unnatural. Its wrong.

How do we make this better?

  • Your voice counts: When you see a commercial advertising something unhealthy to your children write a letter to the FTC complaining about the company. Just the threat alone is enough to have them reconsider!


  • Another way to make this better is to start educating our kids on how marketing works, teach them the tactics because we as parents have all the influence and the power to not fall for the unhealthy eating lifestyle.


  • For those of us who have toddlers, its really not too late to re-train the palette. I have a lot of retraining to do personally, but I do have completely control over what my children eat. I will start introducing new healthy foods, and trying different things with my very picky eating son until something works. The older they get the harder it gets to get them to change their ways.


Unfortunately it will also mean that I will have to go outside of my borough to find decent healthy options. But for my kids, its worth it.

The conference ended with some really cute swag and a feeling that not only could I control my children’s diet and make it even MORE nutritious, I can maybe even take the same care with myself.

How do you feel about the way unhealthy foods are marketed to our children?

Do you take actions to monitor what is marketed to your child/children?



Mommy. Fitness Addict. Socialite.
Schnelle "Nellie" Acevedo is a busy mom of two young boys (3 and 6), she is an Account Manager by day and a self proclaimed fitness junkie by night. Brooklyn Active Mama is a body positive community that focuses on demonstrating to all women that you can always find time for fitness. A recent running addict, Nellie has completed 7 Half Marathons and is currently training for the New York City Marathon on 11/1/2015. Nellie also is a co-founder of the annual A Healthy U Conference which is a conference dedicated to helping women improve their mental, spiritual and physical health. Nellie is a licensed Zumba instructor in Brooklyn. You can find Nellie on TwitterInstagramFacebookPinterest, PeriscopeGoogle Plus.


  1. I am very aware of marketing tactics for myself, I don’t have children (you already know that). I mentioned that last week in a post. We are all targeted for something and have to stay on top of reeducating our children & paying attention not to be dragged in ourselves as consumers. I never thought about the extra energy you have to exert to afford your family with a healthier lifestyle. Living in GA, we have easy access to healthy options, I need to use them more.
    Joi recently posted…How to Solve Your Insomnia Problems with OTC Sleep AidsMy Profile

  2. I think that I would have enjoyed this conference. I may have been a bit disturbed, and moderately pissed off about some things, but would have enjoyed it nontheless. A few years ago I read “Fast Food Nation”. I thought it to be a really good read and very informative. If you liked the conference you’ll probably also enjoy the book.
    Andrea recently posted…A First, A Cure, and a BreakthroughMy Profile

  3. I didn’t start my kids off with unhealthy foods I always cooked we occasionally stop for fast food but it’s not on a day to day basis. I can’t give up my double stuffed oreo…….*crying* We need to moderate what are kids give them just as much fruit and veggies as they get sweets and junk. Have a balance somewhere.
    Kita recently posted…What you talking bout KitaMy Profile

  4. Fortunately my kids are a bit older and pretty much in tune with healthy vs unhealthy (although I won’t say they never eat junk food). But I don’t buy a lot of processed foods and we eat a lot of organic fruits/veggies/meats. The summertime is the best because we belong to a CSA and can get our veggies fresh from the farm! When I see how some of these foods are made and look at the ingredient list, it makes me sick to think about it!
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  5. My children are grown so not really. But I do get upset that the high school has tons of soda machines. It irritates me to no end. Especially when I, the mother of three, am in ten times better shape than the soda chuggers walking out of the school. Makes me want to stand in the halls with bottled water.

    And don’t get me started on the false advertising of Nutella. I actually worked with Nutella before I knew but in my post you’ll see that I was sure to tell everyone it’s nothing but sugar.

    You have me all fired up now! :-)
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  6. I take this topic very seriously. Everything you learned about the conference is so very true. I have even gone so far as to cancel cable in our home because I will not leave it up to chance them learning about something that they shouldn’t yet. We don’t take our kids (or ourselves) to golden arches, and we always keep fresh food and veggies in the house. If we do choose eat out, we pick an ethnic restaurant–japanese, greek, vietnamese, etc so that they can have an idea of other cultures food.

    About trekking to a new area for food, that is very true. When I was in the hood, that is what we had to do. In my current area, we are surrounded by fresh food markets, so much so that when we know we move, we know where we have to go shopping.

    It’s so important for our kids to know healthy eating habits, and be able to tell the difference. Zee is very aware that while she doesn’t mind cake (who doesn’t mind cake) she’ll stop eating it and ask for fruit all on her own. I’m hoping that these habits will stay with her when she’s on her own. In the meantime, my family has no choice–it’s what I decide to cook 😉
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  7. Thankfully,we have close access to great grocery stores with fresh and organic fruits, veggies and meats. I cook at home the majority of the time. I’m slowly moving away from pre-packaged foods and making all parts of the meal myself. Also, getting away from canned veggies to fresh or frozen. RJ LOVES fresh fruit. Though, he has developed a fondness for candy, like his dad. He asks for fruit over candy. Veggies…not so much. He is also a Happy Meal fan. He does get a Happy Meal about once a week. We monitor and limit his sugar intake, even from the fruit. He gets a cut-off.
    I’m aware of the marketing. He hasn’t gotten to point where he sees an ad and says I want that. I’m sure it’s coming. I do the shopping and make the final decision about what’s brought into the house. My aim is for majority of food I bring home to be good for him.
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  8. Thanks so much for this terrific recap! It’s good to see the conversation continuing in these comments and on Twitter at #FoodFri.
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  9. I want that book Motherhood Manifesto!!! Did you crack it open?
    GoodLooknOut recently posted…Yep, I Took My Children to the Chiropractor…And???My Profile

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