Somehow I missed the news back in May, reported on again in today’s New York Times Business section, about a partnership between the Birds Eye frozen vegetable company and Nickelodeon to encourage kids to eat more vegetables. As originally reported by Obamafoodorama:
Birds Eye said it will spend a minimum of $2 million in 2012, 2013 and 2014 on its veggie promotion campaign. . . . Birds Eye also pledged over three years to distribute 50 million coupons for products that meet these guidelines, offering a 50% reduction in price for qualifying products.
The brand is starting a recipe contest, “iCarly iCook with Birds Eye,” for children to develop offbeat vegetable recipes. In an online-only video that will be introduced on the Nickelodeon Web site on Monday, Jennette McCurdy, who stars on the show, encourages viewers to “create your own wacky veggie dish” for the contest.
Also beginning Monday, commercials on Nickelodeon will demonstrate the sort of offbeat dishes they seek, including the “veggie sundae,” a scoop each of carrots, cauliflower and broccoli in a banana split dish, each scoop topped with a cherry.
Viewers will submit recipes, hoping they’ll be featured on an “iCarly” episode. The effort, which also includes print, in-store and digital advertising, will be promoted through the Facebook and Twitter accounts of both iCarly and Nickelodeon.
With American children bombarded annually by close to $2 billion of advertising for generally unhealthy foods and beverages, I can only be supportive of this effort. But I do wonder if the recipe contest, in particular, will actually encourage children to eat more vegetables, as opposed to just making crazy concoctions with them and sending in the photos to Nickelodeon. The Times reports that:
commercials on Nickelodeon will demonstrate the sort of offbeat dishes they seek, including the “veggie sundae,” a scoop each of carrots, cauliflower and broccoli in a banana split dish, each scoop topped with a cherry.
No one loves vegetables more than I do (I’d choose them over fruit, any day, and I sometimes eat them for breakfast) but even I am totally turned off by the iCarly “veggie sundae.” Take a look.
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