Fast Company looks to us for tips on how to get kids to fall in love with healthy food. We’re selling the toughest customers—kids—on a product many of them don’t know they want—veggies.
By Laura Vanderkam
Trying to win over a tough customer? FoodCorps knows what you’re going through. Founded in 2009, this organization sends young service members to schools in disadvantaged communities with the goal of getting kids to eat more vegetables.
They have their work cut out for them. “We have a culture that is really great at marketing unhealthy food to all of us and to kids in particular,” says Curt Ellis, the cofounder and chief executive officer of FoodCorps. Our bodies love salty and sugary tastes, and kids, perhaps for evolutionary reasons, are naturally wary of new foods.
Some research finds that kids need to be exposed to foods a dozen times before they’ll accept them, which is a problem for lower-income families who can’t afford to waste a dozen servings of kale. “If you have a limited budget to spend on food for your kids, you’re not going to buy foods your kids might spit out,” says Ellis.