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Consumer Trends

A new playbook for kids’ health

Kids’ menus are proliferating, and many chains have started programs expressly to address childhood obesity. But it’s not clear how much of an impact they might have on the one-third of American children who are overweight, according to speakers who shared new insights during the RLC on promoting childhood health.

“These programs are good starts, but there’s nothing that links food with play,” asserted Ian Davidson, senior manager of brand insights at C3, a family and kids marketing and design agency. Research provided by the company during a breakout session showed that parents are concerned about both exercise and healthy eating. The data showed kids are getting more health-conscious, too.

Among the highlights of C3’s findings:

  • 31% of families are now more active with their kids.
  • 63% of moms have made a change in their kids’ eating habits over the past year.
  • 70% of moms want to see healthy kids options on menus.
  • 80% of kids say eating healthy is important.

The session also made the point that kids' menus have to keep pace with the evolving demands and tastes of two sets of consumers—parents and children. Last year, parents were most concerned about added sugar in kids’ diets; this year, it’s about pesticides and chemical residue, Davidson said.

“Kids look to their parents and teachers for healthy eating guidance,” he added.

Among the healthy foods that kids consider “cool” are fruit, granola bars and smoothies, according to C3’s research.

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