Healthy Snacks and Overcoming Unhealthy Marketing Messages

I read a really interested post by Andrea over at A Peak inside the Fishbowl about a pitch she got asking her to promote a new food ‘snack’ option for kids.  Her post highlighted some of the marketing issues that many bloggers face – Are we comfortable promoting certain products? And worse, it highlights what products are actually being marketed to parents.

I’ll just briefly say this about the former comment:  I get pitches like this very often and turn away a lot.  Most who read my blog know that despite my indulgences, I believe in a healthy food lifestyle, or as close as I can get.  I also love cooking and eating so rely on fresh and when possible, organic and local foods.  Even so, some pitches that are obviously not matches appear in my email box.  I politely decline and tell them more about what I do believe in (and yes, I have a policy in draft form! Eventually it will see the light of day).

I do have a harder time with opportunities to work with groups that are in a more borderline area.  Some are clearly not a fit, but others blur the lines a little.  A well crafted pitch certainly helps.  But the more I blog, the more I learn, and I think it’s our responsibility as bloggers to find our voice that we are comfortable with, NOT to waiver on it and stay true to what trust and relationship you’ve already developed with readers.  That policy has served me well so far.

Now, moving to the snacking part of this pitch that Andrea received (and I really encourage you to read her post in full!)

This one in particular emphasized the product as an easy, quick and kid-friendly snack.

But, as Andrea asks, aren’t there healthy, easy, quick and kid-friendly snacks we as parents should be turning to at first?

You mean veggies and dip?  Or hummus?  Or fresh fruit?  Busy parents are looking for quick answers to that pre-dinner or post-school snack hunger.  But I also believe that most would prefer to give their children something healthy.

So how do these marketers win out? Prepackaged snacks fill the shelves (and many shopping carts).  Is it education? Do people not realize how easy healthier snack options are to obtain? Is it cost? Is a box of granola bars less expensive than fruit and cheese?

I do know we can be doing more.  But as a parent, I also know that is sometimes easier said than done (and as I mentioned, I certainly have my indulgences!).  And, when I’m really lucky, I have found some prepackaged items that actually don’t have ingredients that make me cringe.  Having options is a good thing.  Are enough people aware of the options?

Mother nature in many cases has snacks packaged and ready to go for us! Maybe her team just doesn’t have a huge marketing budget.

What do you think?  Is it easy to accept the marketing messages we are fed, or is access to healthy snacks too difficult for most?