Kids Super Snaps: 7 observations with a 7 year old

Gemma from My Big Nutshell believes it’s never too early to have conversations with your children about the power of advertising. How was this tested during her trip to the supermarket?

I feel it’s never to early to start conversations with kids about good food choices and advertising. My three are 7, 4 and 2. They are not overexposed to advertising and they are not very influential when it comes to spending the household budget (or so I thought). Nevertheless they love a toy catalogue and bugging the hell out of me for lollies and the latest random merchandise they have seen during their allowed tv time.

I was thrilled to participate with my seven year old daughter Sophie, in The Parents’ Jury #kidssupersnaps campaign. It gave me another platform to discuss supermarkets, shopping and advertising with her as well as money and healthy food choices. The Parents Jury initiative primarily aims to encourage supermarkets to have half of their checkouts as lolly free zones. (I hate accidentally getting into a lolly checkout at our local Supermarket because it hasn’t got the lolly free signs any longer)

I discovered the unexpected bonus of Sophie and I doing #kidssupersnaps together was the experiential aspect. Lots to talk about together. Lots to refer back to when questions or pestering comes up. I’ve told my friends about what I learned and said that anyone can join in. I encourage you to have a go too because it is incredibly worthwhile. Get into those little minds and find your point of leverage.

How you and your children can participate in #kidssupersnaps

When you’re at your local supermarket ask your child to take photos of what they see. It’s easier to take one child or have enough camera’s or phones to go around.

  • Observe your child and refrain from directing them to different parts of the store.
  • Chat about what they see.
  • Try and take on their perspective. What do you see?
  • It’s easier if you are not doing a shop yourself, because children have a limited attention span (obviously).
  • Later on upload your childs photos on Instagram (use the share to Twitter function) or Twitter account using the hashtag #kidssupersnaps OR upload them direct to the Parents Jury Facebook page
  • Check out what experiences others have had under #kidssupersnaps
  • Keep the conversation going.

7 observations at the Supermarket for #kidssupersnaps

I asked Sophie to take photos of what she saw and what she’d like to buy if she was in charge of shopping for the family for the week. I added the extra layer of information as she needed a bit more direction on what she was to take photos of. During this time I made some observations and generalisations about kids, supermarkets and products.

  1. There are lots of products marketed to children which are perfectly placed at child eye level. It’s just not key brands at adult eye level. I didn’t realise this until I took Sophie’s perspective.
  2. Kids are influenced by your family’s brand loyalty. They know what you buy, what it looks like and can decipher between familiar and unfamiliar products. Kids are able to identify brands that other kids have in their lunchbox at school or what other families eat.
  3. Your every day grocery purchases impress upon your children and their food choices now and into the future. It’s important that parents model this daily with healthy food choices. Fresh fruit and vegetables and meats, unprocessed keeps things simple, cheaper and better for the environment. I buy all our fresh fruit and veg from our local horny fruiterer because it’s great quality, not expensive, the kids have a relationship with the workers at the shop and they can touch and see everything under normal lighting.
  4. Kids will gravitate towards merchandised brands on products such as Scooby Doo and Ice Age without even know what the actual product is. This didn’t surprise me as my daughter isn’t allowed merchandised products, but given the chance she’d buy it herself.
  5. Checkouts also have ‘kids’ lollies at eye level which is just above the conveyer belt, not only at the front of the checkout. Generally children cannot reach for the treats parallel to the conveyor belt, however it is in full view from standing or in the trolley. Sophie wanted a Freddo for being ‘good’. Ummmm, just behave mmmkay?
  6. Having a weekly meal plan where the children are involved ensures that you can make good food choices for your family, keep within budget and not have food wasted. Sophie was keen to buy the ingredients for her favourite family dinners like cannelloni, chicken soup and chilli con carne. These are meals that the kids help me with regularly.
  7. You’re the boss, you set the foundation.

#kidssupersnaps by Sophie

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