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Sep 29, 2021

According to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the calories that children and adolescents consumed from ultra processed foods, i.e. foods the study defines as ready-to-eat or ready-to-heat dishes which often contain more sugar and salt, and less fiber than unprocessed and minimally processed foods, jumped from 61% to 67% of total caloric intake from 1999 to 2018. In other words, two-thirds of calories consumed by children and adolescents today are coming from ultra-processed foods!

Why is this?

As I started exploring this complex issue in more depth — because yes, this is a very complex, multi-layered issue with no simple solution — I came across a fascinating book by children’s food advocate and nationally recognized writer, Bettina Siegel, called Kid Food: The Challenges of Feeding Children in a Highly Processed World. You guys…I was hooked!

This book, for me, was a page turner and opened my eyes to just how broken and, I hate saying this, but manipulative the food industry is when it comes to advertising to our children.

If you’re a parent or soon-to-be parent looking for tools, insight, and tips on how to feed your kids more healthfully in this highly processed world or simply interested in food policy and nutrition, then you’re going to love this conversation with Bettina Siegel.

We’re digging into the difference between highly processed vs. minimally processed foods and why this matters, the history of kid food, the complexities of the food advertising industry, how immersive and aggressive kid food marketing is impacting our children’s nutritional choices (and, ultimately, their health), how brands depend on the “pester power” of children to wear down their parents, greenwashing, food insecurity, and so much more!

I have been following Bettina’s work for quite some time now and am so eager to dive into all of this with you today.

Connect with Bettina on Instagram, Facebook, and online.

The Wise Consumer Show Notes: