Cookbook Author and Nonprofit Founder Sally Sampson chimes in on Kraft's recent #LieLikeAParent campaign
By ChopChop Family Founder Sally Sampson
When I make vinaigrette to pour over my vegetables I usually include Grey Poupon mustard. I’m not the sort who often boycotts companies but since Grey Poupon is owned by Kraft, I just couldn’t swirl it in. Their #LieLikeAParent campaign is disgusting, disheartening, and, even in a society where deception has come to “trump” honesty, shocking.
First, there’s the pretense that Kraft cares about encouraging vegetable consumption in kids, which it does not. So there’s the lie behind the lying.
Second, they think it’s funny for parents to lie to their kids. I’m not naive enough to think there’s no place for that (Santa, Tooth Fairy, et al.) but this is just offensive. And in this case, unnecessary and with no upside.
Third, the kids we see at ChopChop Family love vegetables. If you want kids to eat vegetables, or anything else, just have them participate in the process: shopping, cooking, eating, even cleaning up. We routinely set up shop at farmers markets and have kids make their own dressing—oil, vinegar, a few herbs, and mustard—in a little jar that they get to take home. Time after time, they leave our demos and beg their parents to buy lettuce. No trickery, no lies. Instead, they learn something real and expand their palates, often to their parents' surprise and delight.
Perhaps there are aspects of this campaign that seem amusing and clever to a cynical person; but raising kids, particularly good eaters, is both a fun and serious business, and both parents and kids should be treated with more respect than this.
And now I’m off to taste test other brands of Dijon mustard.
About Sally Sampson
Sally Sampson founded ChopChop Family in 2010. Sampson is the author and coauthor of 26 cookbooks, including ChopChop: The Kids Guide to Cooking Real Food with Your Family, The Olives Table (with Chef Todd English), and The Fifty Dollar Dinner Party. She was also a contributor to the New York Times' Motherlode Blog with her Picky Eater Project. She has contributed to Bon Appetit, Food and Wine, The Boston Globe, and Cooks Illustrated, among others and previously owned From the Night Kitchen, a café in Brookline Village.
About ChopChop Family
ChopChop Family is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to enrich the lives of families by inspiring and teaching them to cook and eat real food together while having fun and learning essential skills for a full life.
We believe that cooking and eating together is fundamental to every family’s health and happiness and that if children learn healthy eating habits when they’re young, they will maintain healthy lifestyles into their teenage and adult years. Cooking not only promotes better health, but it also builds relationships, saves money, and teaches math, science, and cultural and financial literacy, along with other critical life skills.